Puri: Despite a cold and foggy morning, great cheer prevailed on a road near the sea beach here as over 4,000 people, including a large number of students and foreigners participated in the first edition of ‘Puri Mini Marathon’ held in the Pilgrim City on Thursday, on the occasion of Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose Jayanti.
The theme for this year’s event was ‘Disaster Resilient Heritage.’
Odisha Sports and Youth Affairs Minister Tusharkanti Behera flagged off the marathon that began from the District Sports Complex at Talabania covering around 8-km route culminated near the Beach Hotel Asiana Lagoon.
The race began at 7.30 am and the runners ran through the stretch touching District Sports Complex at Talabania, Helipad Square, Shree Jagannath Stadium, Penthakata Square, Youth Hostel, Subash Bose Square, Sea Beach Police Station, Digabareni Square, Chaitanya Square and Light House on their way.
The mini marathon was organized by the District Administration in association with Odisha State Disaster Management Authority (OSDMA), Bay of Bengal Initiative for Multi-Sectoral Technical and Economic Cooperation (BIMSTEC) and the National Disaster Response Fund (NDRF).
The first prize carries cash reward of Rs 30,000, second prize Rs 20, 000, third prize Rs 10, 000, a trophy and certificate. This apart, seven consolation awards of Rs 5,000 each were given to seven participants.
In the male category, Mukund Banra secured first position while Rashmi Ranjan Nayak and Sudhansu Nayak got second and third spots respectively.
Similarly, Samsad Ara Begum secured first position while Sandhya Murmu and Saima Smile Mohanty took second and third spots respectively in female category.
Congratulating the winners the Sports Minister said: “Puri has already made its mark in the tourism map of the world but organizing such event will take the Pilgrim City to newer heights and make it as an ideal and a global city in future.”
The Puri Mini Marathon is an annual event which will be held on January 23 every year with a new theme and to provide a common platform to promote health and active lifestyles.
Among others, sand artist Padmashri Sudarsan Pattnaik, Tanaya Patnaik, Executive Director, Eastern Media Limited (EML), international athlete Purnima Hembram and several officials from the District Administration were present at the event.