sixth edition of the Standard Chartered Mumbai Marathon (SCMM) will take place on January 18, 2009. In the aftermath of the terror attacks in Mumbai on 26/11, this marathon will hold special significance. As an event which is recognised internationally, SCMM will be a platform for Mumbaikars to show their defiance of terror and take a pledge to make Mumbai safer.
Registrations for the marathon opened six months ago in order to attract the maximum participation. They were oversubscribed in August itself, says Vivek Singh, joint managing director, Procam International, which is promoting the event.
As of now, 35,450 people have registered for the marathon. Of these, 2,500 people have registered for the Full Marathon, 11,000 for the Half Marathon, 1,800 for the Senior Citizens' Run, 150 for the Wheelchair Event and 20,000 for the Dream Run. Last year, SCMM attracted around 30,000 participants.
Singh says that people will express their solidarity in their own creative ways through banners and costumes. "We have created a platform for people to put their signature on it," he says.
Interestingly, the marathon will begin at the Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus and the hospitality partner is the Trident hotel - both venues that were affected by last month's terror attacks.
Standard Chartered has been the title sponsor of the marathon since the beginning. Neeraj Swaroop, regional chief executive, Standard Chartered Bank, India and South Asia, says in a statement, "The event showcases the best of Mumbai from its determined spirit to its large-heartedness. What better time to demonstrate these qualities than now, as we as a city, resolutely bounce back from last month's tragedy? We have dedicated the Standard Chartered Mumbai Marathon 2009 to the theme, 'Run for a Cause'."
The marathon has 14 other sponsors, including CNBC-TV18, Radio Mirchi, Prasar Bharati and The Times of India. "Each sponsor gets a platform, such as logistics and hospitality, in which they can espouse their values," explains Singh.
The prize money for this year's marathon has been raised to $250,000 (Rs 1.1 crore), an increase of $10,000 from last year. Last year, Rs 8.5 crore was raised in charity as part of the event. The promoters expect to exceed that amount this year.
SCMM is supported by the Government of Maharashtra, the Municipal Corporation of Greater Mumbai, Mumbai Police, Indian Navy - Western Naval Command, and the Maharashtra Athletic Association. It is being held under the aegis of the Athletics Federation of India.