Hello, on January 6th 2013, you’ll be organizing the Sabarmati Marathon. Can you tell us where it is located?
The race is located in the historical city of Ahmedabad which completed 600 years of its existence in 2010. The Start point for all categories is from Sabarmati Riverfront which is newly developed. This is the place from where Mahatma Gandhi had started the historic Salt March as an agitation against British rule before the independence of India.
How old is the race and why was it created in the first place?
The race is 3 years old and it was created to showcase beautiful city of Ahmedabad, which has got lot of heritage monuments. On one side of Sabarmati river is the old city of Ahmedabad and the other side is the modern city, which showcases the development of the city in recent times.
The race was also created to make people aware about their own health and fitness and take up fitness and exercise as a daily part of their routine. Ahmedabad is also the diabetes capital of India and so this awareness was much required.
What kind of route have you set up for the runners? How would you describe it?
The route has been set up keeping in mind the new developments of the city such as Sabarmati riverfront and also to showcase heritage sites of Ahmedabad such as Sabarmati Ashram. It also covers the knowledge city known as science city and other monuments of historic importance.
The route is considered one of the fast paced route as it is mostly flat with just one fly over and one underpass and elite athletes can create a world record on this route. The route covers the major populated parts of the city so that the athletes gets continuous cheering all through the route. The route is also selected keeping in mind the traffic so that majority of traffic is not disturbed.
How many runners do you expect on Sunday morning? What type of runners do you plan to attract?
We expect more than twenty five thousand runners to hit the streets on the race day in all categories put together. The runners will be of all ages from 12 years to as old as 80 years and above. We expect a lot of international athletes from Africa and European union to participate, as there is big prize money involved, which is the 2nd highest in the country for a marathon. We have various prizes for all categories and age groups. We have a lot of Non residential Indians (mostly from USA and Canada) who are in the city during this time and make a point to participate in this prestigious event.
We have 28 states in India Jammu and Kashmir in the north to Tamil Nadu in the south. The popularity due to the facilities is such that we have participants from nearly all states in India. 70% of the other runners are those who come down to have an enjoyable run, trying to improve their own personal bests. 10% are first time half marathon runners trying to create personal history.
Keeping this in mind every finisher is given a medal and timing certificate mentioning his/her completion time. Timing chips are given to every participant so that perfect timings can be obtained. There are international participants from Asia, Europe, Africa and Americas.
Do you organize other races during the Weekend? If so, on what distances?
We have a passionate and dedicated group of runners called “Amdavad Distance Runners” who organizes competitive monthly run on first Sunday of every month where the distance is 21 km. There are the races where we encourage new runners to join for the run. The approximate participation during monthly runs is around 500-600. We also organize training camps on Tuesday and Thursday for new runners apart from the Sunday Practice runs.
At that time of the year, what kind of weather can we expect?
The weather is cold to pleasant during this time of the year. The temp in early morning is about 12-16°C and during the day would be about 20-25°C.
Have you planned festivities around the marathon?
As it is Christmas time the city is already in festive mood. Along the route of the run we have Live Bands, DJs and local music playing live.
The race finished, what advice would you give a runner who has never been to Ahmedabad before? A good restaurant, a fancy sightseeing?
Ahmedabad is one of the safest cities in India and national/International participants can freely roam in the city at any time. There are lots of Authentic Gujarati cuisine serving restaurants/eateries. One can visit the famous Siddi Saiyad Mosque famous for its carvings as well as Sabarmati Ashram (Mahatma Gandhi Ashram) to get a glimpse of Historical Ahmedabad.
In a single sentence, what would you tell the readers of ahotu Marathons to make them register for the Sabarmati Marathon?
Experience the historic city of Ahmedabad and its warm, fun loving and welcoming people.
Interview with Lihas Trivedi, Organizing Head and Race Director. Lihas is an ultra runner. He completed Comrades Ultra Marathon last spring, and beat the Indian National Record of Maximum kilometers in 24hours run by running 183 km on 2nd December 2012 (the previous record was 144 km) in “Running And Living – 24 hr experience” at Gurgaon.
He also took part in the Athens Classic Marathon in 2010 for the 2,500 anniversary of the Marathon.
In addition, he is the founder of Amdavad Distance Runners in Gujarat with the goal to promote the benefits of running among the citizens.