Kerala govt plans marathons in every village, says sports minister

Joby Paul, who finished first in the 21-km open category of the second edition of GTECH Kerala Marathon at Infopark Kochi on February 11, Sunday, clicks a selfie with film actors Aparna Balamurali and Indrajith Sukumaran. Photo: Special Arrangement

Kochi: The Kerala government is considering organizing marathon in every village of the state in a bid to spread awareness about a healthy life, Sports Minister V Abdurahiman said here on Sunday.

The move also aims to send a message against the increasing use of drugs in society, the minister said. He was speaking at the prize distribution function of the GTECH Kerala marathon held by the state’s IT community, marking the second edition of one of Kerala’s biggest sporting races.

As many as 6,000 runners took part in the GTECH Kerala Marathon of 21 km, 10 km and 3 km in three categories: senior veteran, veteran (45-59 years) and open (up to 44 years). The marathon which began at Sanskara School in Phase-2 of Infopark at Kakkanad, was flagged off by Hibi Eden, MP; GTECH Chairman V K Mathews; oncologist Dr V P Gangadharan and former cricketer Tinu Yohannan. The race proceeded along Gems School, Chithrapuzha Bridge, Infopark Phase-1, Police Station, Carnival IT Park and SmartCity.

Lauding the veterans who completed the 21-km race, the minister said they will be fitness models for the youngsters. Uma Thomas, MLA, too spoke.

Actors Indrajith Sukumaran and Aparna Balamurali, GTECH secretary V Sreekumar and senior excise officials, too, participated.

In the 21-km ‘open’ category, Joby Paul and Bincy Jith finished first in the male and female categories respectively. The ‘veterans’ category saw Aji Kumar and Meenakshi Sankar emerging as the toppers while Nalinakshan Kizhakedath, and Jyothi P Balan came first in the ‘senior veteran’ category.

Hemant Kumar and Vinitha Varghese finished first in the 10-km ‘open’ category. Ramesh Kanjilimadhom and Reena Job emerged as the winners in the ‘veteran’ category. Purushothaman P V came first in the ‘senior veteran’ races for men, while Zeena Firoz was the topper among the women.

As for the 3-km race, the prize went to IBS Software for the biggest participation.

Mathews, who is chairman of both IBS Software and GTECH Kerala Marathon, said the sporting event will be held in Thiruvananthapuram and Kochi every alternate year.

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