The elite runners in the competitive section of the 16th Tata Mumbai Marathon will make a lap of the Oval Maidan on the race's outward stretch on January 20. Announcing the slightly altered route, Race Director Hugh Jones said this change will enhance the runners' overall experience as compared to the earlier years. "The course is changed a bit. There is pretty much a full lap of the Oval Maidan. "There will be a U-turn like in an athletic track," Jones said at a media conference here Wednesday.
He also said the casual runners will all finish at a different spot on the opposite side of the Azad Maidan in South Mumbai and not outside the Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Terminus which is both the start and finish point for the elite runners. "There is a different finish for the open category runners, on the other side of the Azad Maidan. But the overlap of slow runners with the elite ones at some stretches is inevitable even though the two starts are spread out. "But there are also stretches where the elite athletes will have a clear run," he explained.
"We hope for a more exciting finish on Sunday," hoped Vivek Singh of race organisers Procam International. A host of elite distance runners from Africa have entered the race along with top Indian runners like Asian Marathon men's champion Gopi T and Asian Games women's steeplechase medallist Sudha Singh.
(With inputs from agencies.)