On Your Mark Get Set Balipu! Mangalore Round Table 115 hosts “The Marian Big Balipu Marathon” for a Good Cause
Mangaluru: Yes, the Coastal and picturesque city of Mangaluru has finally joined the running and fitness bandwagon that is slowly but surely gaining momentum across India. To encourage the running community of Mangaluru aka Kudla aka Kodiyal aka Mangalpuram, The Mangalore Round Table 115 hosted “The Marian Big Balipu Marathon” on Sunday, April 10th, 2016- a Marathon that was held in 3 categories – the 21 km, 10 km and 5 km categories.
Kudla being a Tulu speaking city, “Balipu” in Tulu language means “Run”, and hence the “Big Balipu” literally translates to “The Big Run”. It is learnt that the quirky name was coined by Srinivas PD – an alumni of NITK from 1996 who has now become a Managing Director of Citibank, London, but continues to have his heart (and clever brain) attached to his hometown, Kudla. From the name to the idea, “The Big Balipu” has captured the imagination of runners and participants from Mangaluru -Benngaluru – Goa- Cochin- Mumbai- and there was even a couple, Gerry from Canada and Elizabeth from Holland who happen to be visiting Mangaluru for the weekend. Seems like it is truly the start of “fitness tourism” in the city.
Running in India has been growing by leaps and bounds over the years and Mangaluru is one of the cities leading this change. Among many cities in India, Mangaluru also boasts of having the largest runners community in India and many of these runners across different age categories have been winning at the major marathon events. With the launching of this unique Marathon, Mangaluru could soon be referred as the fitness capital of India. With all these enthusiastic and energetic participants, this event will go a long way in further promoting running in the city and encourage a fit and healthy lifestyle.
With official timing chips, certificates and medals for all the finishers, The Big Balipu brings organised running to a new level. Organizers had provided for umpteen water stations and energy drinks/Bananas along the way for keeping runners hydrated and in good condition. Prof. Shameem Shaikh from MIT Manipal was the official two hour pacer for the race and helped runners pace themselves to finish in under two hours. To ensure that every runner finishes before the heat kicks in, the 21 km race was flagged of during the early morning hours of 5.30 am, the 10 km race at 6 am and the 5 km race at 630 am with assembly and briefing 15 minutes before the run.
The glorious route commenced from Tannirbavi Beach entrance and proceeded along the beach to the quaint Kasaba Bengere village. The scenic run route helped the participants to get the view of the ferry boats, private yachts and the ship building facilities along the route. The runners from out of Mangaluru had a chance to discover the scenic beauty of Mangaluru and its wonderful coastal route including a stretch along the backwaters of the Gurupura river. With outstation runners from Mysore, Kerala, Bengaluru, Chikmaglur, Goa and Mumbai taking part in the event, Mangaluru enjoyed a serious burst of ‘running tourism”. The youngest registered participant was 2.5 years old and the oldest registered participant was 73 years old, among the 300+ participants registered until yesterday.
The Mangalore Round Table 115 has focussed on carrying out several development projects across the city of Mangaluru. In the last three years alone, they have donated dialysis machines to the Wenlock hospital, built a public toilet at Pilikula Nisarg Dhama, donated clothes and books worth over Rs 25 lakh at various schools and orphanages across the city and supported various government schools by building toilet blocks and donating water purifiers. Kenneth Serrao, the current chairman of the Mangalore Round Table 115 has committed to use proceeds from “The Big Balipu” event for a good cause. All money raised from the event will be used to help the Government School at Mallikatte-Mangaluru and promote the Round Table India theme of “Freedom through Education”.Freedom Through Education”. MRT believes that true freedom for an individual comes only through education. Over the last few years, Round Tables in India have really put in a lot of effort to provide infrastructure in schools. By now, RTI has been successful in building 5108 classrooms over 1811 schools at a cost of over Rs. 152.54 crores benefiting over 5.62 million children.
Even more interestingly, the wonderful posters and promotional shots were shot by getting regular runners from Mangaluru to volunteer and pose on Tannirbavi beach for the pictures taken by photographer Karthik – all for charity without charging a single rupee. The Big Balipu was truly a unique run where all races – 5 km, 10 km and 21 km that started and culminated on the beautiful beach front. When you run for a charity, you’re surrounded by like-minded people running for the same reason. There’s always a great sense of camaraderie among the charity runners, and you receive plenty of support from the sidelines too. “When you run in the Marathon for charity, take everything that you’ve ever heard about the marathon experience, double it, and you’re somewhere near the true sense of achievement. A great experience that I will never forget. So proud to take part in this Marathon to raise funds for a good cause. Thank you for the overwhelming support I received”, said Gerry from Canada.
Speaking to Mangalorean.com, Elizabeth from Holland said, “Thank you so much for giving me the opportunity to run the marathon. It was an amazing day from start to finish. The emotional highs and lows were incredible. The support throughout was brilliant. Running the Marathon was possibly the most rewarding experience of my life-The support throughout the run was incredible – at every point I began to feel myself lagging, there they were, a troupe of MRT supporters, shouting support, waving, and smiling. This was exactly what was needed to make me pick my feet up again and keep going. To be greeted at the end as we were, with water and bananas,rounded it off in the best possible way.
A runner from “Soles of Kochi” team said “Thanks to MRT 115 for such a enthusiastic support! Every time I ran past a MRT cheering point there was a roar of encouragement and shouting of my name – it felt so good, it helped me no end. This was my first ever marathon and it was the most amazing experience. Thank you for enabling me to do it and give my support to such a worthy charity. Thank you!”. Jennifer from Marketing Department of AJ Shetty Hospital and Research Centre after completing the 5k run said, ” Although I am quite tired and exhausted, it feels great to take part in such a event for two reasons- one for the health and fitness part of it, while the other being running for a good cause which helps the community. Being my first participation in a Marathon, I would love to take part in future such events. This event was well organized with support from volunteers at various locations”.
Total number of participants for the Run were 311, of which 139 ran the 5K, 78 in 10K, and 94 in 21K. The best part was that 310 runners successfully made the finish line, while only one runner in the 21 K dropped out due to cramps from the humidity. The organizers had provided 16 water stations and two mobile water stations- and also a ambulance from AJ Shetty Hospital and Research Centre in case of emergency, with Dr Eugene Rent from AJ Hospital as the doctor on duty, along with ambulance staff. Team Mangalorean (Mangalorean.com) feels proud to give wide coverage of this charity Marathon, and will continue to do so in such fundraising events of Mangalore Round Table 115 in future- Yes, together we can make a difference in the society!
The winners in the three categories are as follows :
Women’s 21 k Half Marathon:
1st place Ganga Shingal 1:57:02
2nd Duraiya Lokhandwala 2:24:54
3rd Puja Barkhathur 2:46:22
Men’s 21k Half Marathon:
1st place Rakshith 1:36:00
2nd place Dakshesh Patani 1:39:20
3rd Charles Antony 1:50: 45
Women’s 10 k:
1st Spoorthi Seethamma 54:53
2nd Dr Anupama 59:16
3rd Ankita 1:00:00
Mens 10k :
1st Chengappa AB 40:57
2nd Tanay Shah 51:38
3rd Niranjan 52:05
1st Arpita Shet 27:18
2nd Ashel D’Silva 27:18
3rd Shipra 28:34
1st Lohith Kumar 25:39
2nd Shrujan Shetty 27:18
3rd Chinmay Kottary 27:18