Mumbai: Injured Ram Singh Yadav and Binning Lyngkhoi, among men, and an unfit woman steeplechaser Sudha Singh will miss this Sunday`s Rs 20-lakh prize money Vasai-Virar Mayor`s Marathon, but the field is still strong in this national-level event in its third year.
"Ram Singh Yadav and Lyngkhoi (top Indian finisher in this year`s Mumbai Marathon) are injured and are not participating while Sudha feels she is not in the best of shape to run the marathon. But we have a very strong national field with most other top notchers taking part," said the organisers of the event at a media conference on Thursday.
Among the men participants for the full marathon, offering Rs 2 lakh for the winner, are defending champion Elam Singh, himself a top steeplechaser who was third in the Mumbai marathon, and other top distance runners like Ashish Singh, who was runner-up to Lyngkhoi in Mumbai marathon, Arvind Kumar Yadav, Sanaton Singh and K C Ramu.
The men`s and women`s half marathon races, offering Rs 1 lakh each to the winners, has attracted good runners, including 2010 Guangzhou Asian Games 10,000m silver medalist Kavita Raut.
Among men, the fancied runners are Sandeep Kumar, B C Thilak, who won over this distance in this January`s Mumbai marathon, Rahul Kumar Pal, Indrajeet Patel, Nudha Ram and Soji Mathew.
Apart from favourite Kavita, the women`s field has also attracted last year`s runner up Monika Athare, 2011 winner Kiran Tiwari and Lalita Babbar, the best finisher among Indian women in the Mumbai full marathon for women.
With the October heat expected to affect the runners despite the early starts, the authorities have decided to use plenty of water stations.
"Over 10,000 participants are expected to take part in the different categories of events," said Vasai-Virar City Municipal Corporation`s mayor Narayan Mankar.
To facilitate participants from Mumbai to reach Virar on the morning of the race, Western Railway is to run a special local train at 03:45 am which is scheduled to reach Virar at 05:20 am, the mayor said.