Visakhapatnam: The sixth edition of Vizag Navy Marathon (VNM) — the largest running event in Andhra Pradesh — organised by Eastern Naval Command (ENC) of Indian Navy, became a success on Sunday.

Around 19,000 enthusiastic runners, including foreigners, participated in the event. The marathon featured a 42.2-km Courage run, 21.1-km Destiny Run, 10-km Friendship Run and 5-km Run for Fun. The event started from Vishwapriya Function Hall on the pristine Beach Road along the Bay of Bengal coast. The central theme of the marathon was ‘Reduce-Reuse-Recycle’, making it an environment-friendly run, contributing to the ‘Fit India’ movement.

The event received tremendous response from its many participants. People from all age groups — children with parents, veterans, youth, naval personnel, foreigners and schoolchildren — ran side-by-side.

In addition to the participants, Vizag citizens came out in large numbers from early morning to cheer the runners with spontaneity and enjoy the celebratory atmosphere.

Around 458 runners participated in the Courage Run, which flagged off at 4:15 am, while 2,739 runners participated in the Destiny Run. The Friendship Run, which saw a participation of 5,850 runners, was flagged off at 6:30 am by Vice Admiral SN Ghormade, Chief of Staff of ENC and Gautam Sawang Director General of Police (DGP). The Run for Fun witnessed a record participation of 10,061 runners, and it was flagged off at 7 am by Vice Admiral Atul Kumar Jain, Flag Officer Commanding-in-Chief of ENC.

Vizag Navy Marathon, which became a signature running-event in Visakhapatnam, has been accredited by the AIMS (Association of International Marathons). This accreditation proudly makes VNM an internationally recognised event and a qualifier for the World Marathon Majors.

The event was conducted without any untoward incident thanks to the effective traffic management by the police department, and a host of facilities operated by volunteers manned at hydration points, medical points and restrooms throughout the route.

An event of this scale and proportion has placed the ‘City of Destiny’ on the country’s marathon map. It is mainly thanks to wholehearted support from District Administration, City Police Authorities, GVMC, AP Tourism Department, Sports Authority of AP, Indian Oil Corporation (IOC), Care Hospital and numerous volunteers.

SN Ghormade, Gautam Sawang, Chairman of VPT K Rama Mohana Rao, and a few others presented cash awards to winners the various events.

In the Men’s category, Felex Cheruiyot Rob and Mohit Rathore emerged winner and runner-up respectively in the Full Marathon while Nicordemus Kiprugut and Moses Kiptaniu emerged winner and runner-up respectively in the Half Marathon.

In the Women’s category, Etregenet Belete and Sally Jebiwott emerged winner and runner-up respectively in the Full Marathon, while Caren Jebet Maiyo and Phoolan Pal emerged winner and runner-up respectively in the Half Marathon.

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