At the break of dawn on Sunday, over 6,000 athletes buckled their shoes and gathered near starting point - Mangala Stadium to race in the 'Nitte Celebration Mangalore - Half and 10 kilometre marathon'.
The event was organised by Dakshina Kannada Athletic Association in collaboration with with NITTE Education Institution and Life is Calling under the aegis of Karnataka State Athletics Association.
As soon as Nitte Education Trust Chairman N Vinay Hegde raised the flag, the athletes started racing in all enthusiasm determined to finish the half-marathon (21 kilometre race).
The athletes who started at Mangala Stadium took the Mannagudda road, MG Road, Bejai Main, Kadri Park, Mangalore-Udupi Road, Airport Road and took a U Turn at KPTCL to reach back to Mangala Stadium which was also the finishing point.
The half marathon race was completed by Kalidas Hirave in one hour eight minutes and 29 seconds. In women's category Shabeena won the half marathon in one hour 28 minutes and 43 seconds.
Prizes were also given to Seniors and Veterans and participants from DK district who completed the half marathon fastest. 10 kilometre marathon, three kilometre race for high school boys and girls, five kilometre for college boys and girls and 5 kilometre celebration walk were the other race events.
A grand prize distribution ceremony was held at the finishing point. Sabhajeet Yadav (56) who won the gold in Half-marathon senior category told Deccan Herald that he traveled all the way from Uttar Pradesh only to participate in the race.
"I have participated in many marathons in the last three years in different parts of India. I refer internet and whenever marathons are announced, I am all set to participate, he said and added that he is going to Goa from DK to run in another marathon. “I am a poor farmer and Rs 10,000 prize is a huge amount for me,” he said.
Jayalakshmi, a Student of Alva's High School Moodbirdi won gold in the three kilometre run for high school students. "I am on cloud nine. I am very fond of running and practice every morning and evening. I hope to participate in Olympics one day," she hoped.
A special appreciation prize was given to Nanjappa from Bagalkot for being the oldest person to complete the half marathon. "I am 77 years old and have been participating in the marathon for the last 15 years. I have also gone to many Asian countries for partaking in marathons. I practice every day and run 10 kilometres. I plan to continue till there is strength in my knees," he said.
Prizes worth Rs five lakh were distributed to the winners of different categories. N Vinay Hegde, RTO Mallikarjuna, MLA Yogish Bhat, MLA U T Khader, Corporation Bank General Mangaer Ramamurthy, Life Is Calling Director P B Mithra, Athlete Anand Shetty, Vandana Shanbaugh, IG (CISF) Southern Chennai Dr Jayanth Murali, Dakshina Kannada Athletic Association President Manjunath Bhandary and others were present.
All the athletes who finished the race were given certificates. Kevin Misquith and his band made the event more lively with their performance.
Half-Marathon Men Open: Kalidas Hirave (I), Babu Ram (II), Pramod Kumar (III).
Half-Marathon Women Open: Shabeena (I), Archana K. M (II), Sudha Mani (III).
Half-Marathon Men Open DK: Vishwa A (I), Shivananda Baskar Naik (II), Bella Naik (III).
Half-Marathon Women Open Dakshina Kannada: Archana K M (I), Kripa (II), Chaitra (III).
Half-Marathon Men Senior: Sabhajeet Yadav (I), Joseph Francis D'Souza (II), Rajbir Singh (III).
Half-Marathon Men Veteran: Ajaib Singh (I), Ramasubramanian Vishwanath (II), Manjunatha Aithal (III).
10 Kilometre Men Open: Mukesh Rawat (I), Kuldeep Chauhan (II), Durga Bhadur (III).
10 Kilometre Men Senior: Bhaganna (I), Rananna M (II), Madhava (III).
10 Kilometre Women Open DK: Smitha (I), Sujatha (II), Akshatha (III).
10 Kilometre Men Open Dakshina Kannada: Pradeep M N (I), Suraj Poojary (II), Sidney Vijay Pereira.
10 Kilometre Women Open: Thippavva Sannakki (I), Priti Lamba (II), Smitha (III).
10 Kilometre Women Senior: Jyothi U Shetty (I), K Arunakala S Rao (II), Susheela V Rao (III).
10 Kilometre Men Veteran: Nemanna Gowda (I), Anis Ahmad Khan (II).
10 Kilometre Women Veteran: Suneetha Prasanna (I).
3 Kilometres Boys: Prakash P (I), Shivalinga (II), Sathyashilan (III).
3 Kilometres Girls: Jayalakshmi (I), Sara H (II), Rakshitha B (III).
5 Kilometres Boys: Devanna Naik (I), Sharath (II), Abhilash (III).
5 Kilometres Girls: Akshatha (I), Amitha (II), Soumya K (III).