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

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

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

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.