Bajaj Allianz Pune Half Marathon (BAPHM) celebrated fitness when in the early morning hours of Sunday, fitness freaks and serious runners, took to Pune's otherwise choked roads, to complete their respective marathons: 3 km, 5 km, 10 km and 21 km.
The third edition of the race saw great participation to light up Pune into a grand spectacle like never seen before. That the event (third edition) was happening after the two-year Covid-induced break was an even bigger celebration for the participants, who waited patiently for the experience.
When the participants crossed the finish line, the big smiles were the proof of joy and satisfaction they experienced.
The railway police Mumbai team won the Police Commissioner's Cup in the Bajaj Allianz Pune Half Marathon. The railway police team succeeded in defeating SRPF 1 (State Reserve Police Force) team due to strong teamwork. The distance of the race was ten kilometres. Each team consisted of four runners. The team with the shortest completion time was considered the winner.
The railway police maintained undisputed supremacy in this marathon. They won by a difference of almost five minutes. Chandrakant Koli of Kolhapur, Amol Sankpal, Shrimant Kolhe of Beed and Mahadev Koli of Solapur were in the winning team.
This was the first competition in which the team members participated after the lockdown.
The team was guided by Bhimaji More, a national athlete himself and an NIS (National Sports Institute) and World Athletics Federation-recognised coach. Apart from this, Police Commissioner Qaiser Khalid provided facilities to the participants.
More, whose native village is Karnavad in Bhor taluka, said, “We got the third position in the 10 km cross country race in the police sports competition held in Nagpur this year.
SRPF teams have dominated this tournament for the last ten years. The police sports competition will be held in Pune next year. We chose this competition, to prepare for it.”
Along with Khalid, Pravin Bhagat and Rajendra Yadav, Head of the Sports Department Vinod Kadam encouraged the participants. Khalid said that it is the job of seniors to provide facilities and opportunities to harness potential.
If one wants to achieve something, one has to be stress-free. We have recently installed an eight-lane synthetic track at our headquarters at Ghatkopar. A swimming pool has also been built.
Earlier, despite being a Sunday, at five o'clock in the morning, hundreds of people rushed towards the Balewadi Stadium. Finally, when the people reached the main stadium on time, they cheered with joy. Here the participants warmed up before the start of the actual competition.
The music on the dais next to the start line of the competition caught the attention of the participants, and automatically they started tapping their feet and making rhythmic motions taking part in the Zumba session with catchy songs like “Koi Mil Gaya”, “Zing Zing Zingat”, etc.
Competitors of various age groups enjoyed themselves by dancing in a Zumba session to the tune of songs at the Bajaj Allianz Pune Half Marathon organised by Sakal.
The highly energetic and positive ambience inside the main stadium doubled the enthusiasm of many participants.
At the start of the competition, many participants crossed the starting line cheering. However, before that, the contestants of all age groups had danced the Zumba.
On this occasion, Zumba instructor Sameer Sachdeva and his fellow presenters Chetan Agarwal, Meghna Gokhale and Jasprit Singh added to the excitement of the marathon by performing Zumba dances from the podium and encouraging the contestants.
Meanwhile, Makarand Tillu of Navachaitanya Laughter Club along with other colleagues informed the audience about the importance of laughter and its health benefits.
Sachdeva stated, "A warm-up is equally important for competitors before any sport. Competitors always respond well to the Zumba dance.
Seeing the enthusiasm of citizens gives us a lot of energy. Once again, after years, it is great to see the enthusiastic participation of citizens in this competition."
Chetan Aggarwal, a Zumba presenter, also said, "After the Corona pandemic, we have once again participated in the Pune Half Marathon organized by Sakal.
The opportunity to increase the enthusiasm of the contestants by dancing on the platform is good.
After years, the enthusiasm of citizens in this competition is admirable. This year the enthusiasm of the contestants was seen to be huge. It was fun performing in a heavy and energetic atmosphere."
The marathon was organised meticulously, and it showed when an elite athlete suffered a heart attack. Such were the arrangements and the response time that the participant was quickly shifted to a hospital and is doing fine.
All the people who stood at the start line of the marathon began their journey to the event months before by training and adding miles to their life.
Many of the participants, who finished in good time, said it was all about a personal challenge for them to do the distance. Some said they did it to lose weight, while for many it was about living a healthy lifestyle.
Names of the winners of different categories of the Bajaj Allianz Pune Half Marathon:
5 km run for men
1) Dhuradev Garge
2) Tejas Pawar
3) Akshay Chauhan
5 km run for Women
1) Shruti Redkar
2) Rohini Patil
3) Gayatri Shinde
10 km run for men
1) Rohit Varma
2) Shrinu Bugtha
3) Ankit Deshwal
10 km run for women
1) Shashilata Thakur
2) Arpita Saini
3) Jyoti Chauhan
21 km run for men
1) Deepak Rawat
2) Deepak Kumbhar
3) Hukam Singh
21 km run for women
1) Reshma Dattu
2) Nandini Gupta
3) Kavita Yadav
Corporate cup 10 km
1) Niranjan Date
2) Satyawan Yevle
3) Sudhir Chowgule
4) Santosh Khandagle
1) Tanuja Singh
2) Rohit Bisht
3) Bappaditya Kolay
4) Ari Ji
1) Vishal Aggarwal
2) Amit Tater
3) Vaishnav Mohan
4) Kunal Rajpal
Commissioner's Cup 10 km category
1) Amol Sankpal
2) Chandrakant Koli
3) Shrimant Kolhe
4) Mahadev Koli
1) Balaji Kamble
2) Sanjay Chaure
3) Prabhakar Gahale
4) Hemant Gavit
1) Bhima Kalgutge
2) Deepak Bhangare
3) Prakash Boinvad
4) Madhav Kale
Detailed results of this marathon competition are:
1) Railway Police, Mumbai - 2 hours 25 minutes 51 seconds (Amol Sankpal - 34 minutes 41 seconds, Chandrakant Koli - 36:02, Shrimant Kolhe - 35:38, Mahadev Koli - 39:32)
2) State Reserve Police Team 1 2:30.15 - ( Balaji Kamble - 34:53, Sanjay Chaura 38:51, Prabhakar Ghale 38:24, Hemant Gavit -30:08)
3) Police Training Centre, Nanvij 2:31.11 (Bhima Kalgutge 38:14, Deepak Bhangre 37:23, Prakash Boinwad 37:33, Madhav Kale 38:02)