Hyd Runners to take part in Athens Classic Marathon in Greece

Hyd Runners to take part in Athens Classic Marathon in Greece Hyderabad: 'Hyderabad Runners' are heading for Athens, the ancient Greek city, to take part in the historic Athens Classic Marathon on October 31.

The 2010 Athens Classic Marathon celebrates its 28 years, along with the celebration of the 2,500th anniversary of the Marathon Battle that marks the victory of the Greeks against the Persians during the Marathon Battle in 490 BC.

The event is being held in the city of Marathonas to commemorate the historic occasion.

More than 15,000 runners from across the globe have registered for the event this year, given the historic significance.

Of the 34 runners registered from India, 18 are from Hyderabad alone. Individual runners from Bengaluru, Chennai, Ahmedabad, Mumbai and New Delhi will also take part in the event.

The first batch of 10 runners has left for Athens from Hyderabad in the wee hours today while the next batch will fly early tomorrow.

The marathoners from the city, most of them amateurs, have formed into the 'Hyderabad Runners' group that promotes running in an injury-free and safe environment.

While the average age of those taking part in the Athens Classic Marathon from Hyderabad is 36, the oldest of them is 63-year-old Hariharan who works with Sriram Life Insurance, followed by 62-year-old retired chartered accountant Anand.

Four women, including 48-year-old home-maker Rama Vijaya and 40-year-old fitness trainer Sunita Tummalapalli, are also among the group.

All of them will run the full marathon of 42.19 km.

"I have taken part earlier in the Puducherry Marathon and the Athens one will be my first international event," Sunita told reporters.

She, along with other members of the group, has practised rigorously for over three months to get ready for the big event.

Superintendent of Police M Ramesh, TransDyne Chief Executive Officer Raghu Adusumilli and a senior executive Rajesh Vetcha are some of the other participants.

"It's a great feeling taking part in a historic international event. This will be my first marathon race," Raghu said.

In fact, Raghu and Rajesh encouraged many to take up running "which is a form of meditation."

"Next year, we are going to organise a half marathon (21-km run) in Hyderabad to encourage people to run," Raghu said.

Already the Hyderabad Runners group has about 70 people who did a full marathon.

"We have started this informally mostly with amateurs. Now everyone is taking it seriously and more people are joining. Our endeavour is to create a safe and injury-free environment for all the runners," Rajesh said.