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What you need to know two weeks before Pondicherry kicks off a half marathon, and a run for beginners

besides the annual Auroville marathon that sees at least 1,000 participants, Pondicherry will host the first edition of the Pondy half marathon, two weeks from now.  More than 500 people have already signed up, but the organisers expect at least 1000 participants. Flagging off from the Gandhi Thidal, the half marathon covers Pondicherry Museum, Manjini Nagar, Muthi0apet and Pillaichavady.  For beginners, there is a 10 kilometre run as well. According to Santhosh Kumar, the head of marketing and operations of Chennai-based Eyeball events (the organisers), this is the first marathon that is routed through the city. “This is going to be the first city marathon in Pondicherry with international standards, using timing technology,” he says. Can children take part? “Those below 18 will have to register in advance. Children must have their parents’ consent and a medical fitness certificate,” says Kumar. The winner of the four- hour marathon will be awarded a cash prize of `20,000. Organised by the Department of Tourism and Government of Pondicherry, the event will see counters  stocking refreshments every 2.5 kilometres. Kumar has also assured crowd control and enough medical facilities for the runners. Santhosh agrees that the event aims at promoting tourism,‘‘We have very few people from Pondicherry. Most of the participants are from Mumbai, Chennai and Bangalore.’’

From Gandhi Thidal, on August 10, from 5 am onwards. Registration fee for the half marathon and 10 kilometre run is `1,000 Details:pondy-marathon.com

-Mrinalini Sundar

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