The cornerstone of Indian distance running, the Standard Chartered Mumbai Marathon, was flagged off at dawn on 17th of January 2016 against the iconic backdrop of the Chatrapati Shivaji Terminus.
The most awaited sporting extravaganza that is marked in the city’s calendar witnessed more than 40,000 runners take the streets of the Maximum City, in a display of tremendous grit and endurance.
For the USD 3,77,000 event, it was a day of records as both the elite men and the Indian men set course records. Kipketer, who started the race as a pace-setter, clocked 2:08:35 hours as he ran a blistering second leg to break the three-year-old record set by his Kenyan counterpart Jackson Kiprop in 2013.
Kipketer dipped 57 seconds under Kiprop's record with a strong run from favourite Dibaba ensuring that even he finished under the previous record. "This is the biggest prize money I have won, and I hope to build a house for my family," said Kipketer, who won a total of $56,000. He won $41,000 for the finishing first and even bagged the $15,000 bonus for a course record.
Leading Indian contender, Nitendra Singh Rawat, put in a rockstar like performance as he clipped a minute and 11 seconds from Ram Singh Yadav's record of 2:16:59, set in 2012. Nitender becomes only the second Indian to finish among the top ten overall with 2:15:48.
In the women's category, Ethiopian Shuko Genemo won the top prize but fell more than three minutes behind the course record. She clocked 2:27.50. Bornes Kitur finished second with 2:32:00, followed by the course record holder Valentine Kipketer 02:34:07
Sudha Singh beat her two training partners as she swept home in 2:39.28. She also finished seventh overall, earning an additional bonus.
Lalita Babar finished second in 2:41.55 while last year's winner OP jaisha came in third in 2:43.26.
All the six Indian podium finishers have their eyes set on the Rio Olympics in August 2016.