Mumbai Marathon begins amid tight security

Mumbai: Over 38,000 people early Sunday gathered at the Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus here to participate in the Standard Chartered Mumbai Marathon 2011 as Maharashtra Governor K. Sankaranarayanan flagged it off amid tight security.

Star participants like model-actor Milind Soman who runs the full marathon each year and business tycoon Anil Ambani who participated in the half marathon this year were seen in full energy as they started off the coveted run for the eighth edition of the marathon.

"It gives me great pleasure to participate in the Mumbai marathon every year," Soman said before he began his run.

An elated brand ambassador of the marathon for five years now, Bollywood actor John Abraham said he was here to fulfil all his responsibilities.

Also participating in the run this year is Siddharth Mallya, socialite and son of businessman Vijay Mallya.

"I am participating in the Mumbai Marathon for the first time and I am excited about it," he said.

Several international participants, including Catherine Freeman who is also the event ambassador for the marathon, participated in this year`s run.

The Bandra-Worli Sea Link proved to be a major attraction for most runners.

Keeping the security aspect in mind, around 700 policemen and policewomen have been deployed across the 42-km-long route.

Around 150 doctors with their 120 assistants, two helicopters and eight ambulances have been arranged for any untoward incidents or emergencies.