Hard field set for the Mumbai marathon

BY: Hugh Jones

The 17th edition of the Tata Mumbai Marathon January 19 promises to be the best so far, both for the elite exhibition race and for amateur runners. This year's entry exceeded more than 9,000 runners in the early start popular race.

Such a number was unimaginable just a few years ago. It says a lot for the dedication of the runners participating in the training for the event, and for the event itself to be able to inspire such commitment.

Some small but significant changes in the elite course will also generate a better race experience for the mass of runners, with a cleaner separation of these two currents. Last year, elite runners went around the Oval Maidan a kilometer in the race that added new views and a new feeling to the generally quiet initial part of the race. The cricketers who approached the Maidan stopped to cheer on the runners: this year they will have two opportunities, as the course will surround the Maidan twice. Towards the last stages of the elite runners, instead of merging with the beginners slower, they will take the same road in the ocean where they ran before, from Worli Sea Face (31 km) past Haji Ali and on the hill towards Babulnath, the section where the race is usually won, they will have an unobstructed path Towards an end of storm.

This could improve the chances of course records, and the field is full of talent that could achieve them. Both 2019 champions return to defend their titles.