Deepak Rawat and Reshma Dattu won the men's and women's Pune Half Marathon respectively. The marquee event of Pune's long-distance running calendar has now completed its third edition, which saw over 16,000 runners and running enthusiasts participate. Arjuna awardee and reputed distance runner Sudha Singh flagged off the third Pune Half Marathon in the presence of other dignitaries.
Deepak clocked a time of 1.04.18 hrs for the 21k distance to win in the men's category while Deepak Kumbhar was second with 1.05.09. Hukam Singh bagged third place with a timing of 1.06.28.
In the women's 21k, Reshma came through with a timing of 1.17.06 hrs, while Nandini Gupta (1.18.06) came second and Kavita Yadav (1.19.52) finished third.
The Men's 10k run was won by Rohit Verma in a time of 30.06 minutes. Srinu Bugatha (30.06) was declared second in a thrilling photo finish, while Ankit Deshwal (30.21) was third.
Shashilata Thakur won the women's 10k clocking 35.56 mins. Arpita Saini (37.34) was further back in second while Jyoti Chouhan (38.41) claimed third place.
Sharing her thoughts before the flag-off, Sudha Singh urged enthusiasts to take up distance running seriously saying, "It is time that India made use of its full potential in distance running and more and more youngsters take to the sport in a more professional way. Not only is it the ultimate exercise if done professionally, but athletes like Avinash Sable in recent times have shown, that we can be the best in the world if we put our hearts and minds into it. I congratulate the Pune Half Marathon organisers for their commitment to fitness and distance running and wish all the participants, all the very best. Enjoy your run."
Speaking after the race, Vikas Singh, CEO, APG Running and fitpage, said, "It was wonderful to see Punekars come out in such large numbers to support the Pune Half Marathon. The city had a tough time during the pandemic and it was heartening to see the smiles on so many faces together after a long time. The spirit of the city urges you to do more and we are confident that with the continued support received for the Pune Half Marathon upon its resumption this year post-pandemic, we will make it one of the biggest running events in the country going forward."
This year, the Pune Half Marathon also declared prize money of approximately INR 28 lakh, up from INR 21 lakh from the second edition, to be won across its race categories. The Pune Half Marathon promotes Indian runners and so all prizes are reserved for Indian citizens only. It features primarily four categories, which include the half marathon (21.1 km), a 10 km run, a 5 km run and a 3 km (family and fun) run. (ANI)