The word Marathon spreads the vibe of unity and strength, something that prompted me to be immensely enthusiastic about Vadodara International Marathon 2018, one of the largest Marathons in India. The 7th edition held in the Smart City Vadodara in the month of January was a spectacular event where participants from all over Gujarat and other parts of India, along with huge participation from different countries of the world joined hands making this grand event an even grander one. More than 91 thousand registrations were submitted and needless to say I am truly blessed to have been a part of such a successful event. The best part of the event that really motivated and impressed me is the cause of the race. Each and every member promoted health and wellness as well as a strong bond that defined our Nation’s pride.
About Vadodara Marathon
Since its inception in 2009 Vadodara Marathon has successfully conducted 6 editions of the race. And the 7th edition in 2018, felt like an exciting event that glorified the actual cause for this sport. Vadodara International Marathon is Accredited by Association of International Marathons and Distance Races (AIMS), Athletic Federation of India (AFI), and Baroda District Amateur Athletics Association. The team of runners comprises of enthusiastic and diligent volunteers who want to spread the message of a healthy lifestyle and to adopt cleanliness. Keeping the city clean is their primary motto which taught me a lot regarding the importance of a clean and beautiful city. I was practically overwhelmed with the vastness of frontrunners who were from various colleges and institutes of Vadodara.
Smt. Tejal Amin – A Lady of Honour And Women Empowerment
Describing women cannot be better than this sentence in the book “Women Who Run With The Wolves” by Clarissa Pinkola Estés, “I hope you will go out and let stories, that is life, happen to you, and that you will work with these stories… water them with your blood and tears and your laughter till they bloom, till you yourself burst into bloom”. If I look upon as a role model for my change, then none comes to my mind, than the face of women empowerment in Vadodara, Smt. Tejal Amin. Who would let go of the opportunity to work with this illustrious lady. Vadodara International Marathon brought us together on the same platform and it helped me see her work and dedication from close quarters.
Tejal Amin is a prestigious name who is not just associated with Vadodara Marathon as the Founding Director, and Chairperson, but also with different industrial, educational and socio-cultural activities in Vadodara city. Her sole encouragement and enthusiasm lead this event turn into a grand one. Her deep knowledge and determination in the involvement of Vadodara Marathon is the inspiration for all. I must say I have never seen such an all-rounder woman who loves to face challenges and embrace every oddity, finally defining true spirit of success. Her deep concern in improving the city and quality of life is unparalleled. Her mere presence does the magical influence and inspires a woman to be successful in every sphere of life. To me, she is and always will be an embodiment of leadership. It’s my salute to her profound spirit and hard work!
Sam Khera – Co-Chairperson and Chirag Patel- Member of Board Of Directors
The Marathon event itself has a magnitude of a vast battlefield where winning is not the answer, but the strategy of winning and the unity that binds every soldier aspiring to achieve one single dream. I have learned that best preparation always led to the flawless execution of any action.
Without Sam Khera’s unrestrained hard work and support, Vadodara International Marathon would not have reached its glory. I do not have words to define his relentless contribution to the success of this event. It was his immense knowledge and hard work that kept others motivated to work rigorously towards the success of the event. His positive attitude and unmatched quality to keep everyone’s spirit high was something to brag about.
There goes a saying that silence says a thousand words. Well, I saw a different version of this saying. I have never seen any person in my life who works constantly striving for the success of others till I met Mr. Chirag Patel, one of the backbones of this super event.
The warriors of the Battlefield Marathon-The Volunteers
For any war to be won, it has to be the soldiers on foot, and for any marathon to succeed it has to be the volunteers who tirelessly work manning all the stations, the water zones, the medical points. So, without these people, a marathon event would just crumble by the weight of the participants and that also in such a huge number. These volunteers make sure that they take the weight of the runners’ expectation upon their shoulder like Hercules. Baroda Road Runners, The Cycling Club of Baroda did this job effortlessly, Shyam Prabhakar of Scott Cycles with his team, The medical team of Tricolour Hospital, The Jain Group, The Yogniketan Group.
The Zen People
They are the unsung heroes of any marathon; they just go on with their work like a monk on the mountain, calm and serene without being noticed. The names that make up here are Pawan Rai, Nicky Joshi, Onkar Singh, Rajiv, Amal Patel and many others whom I may not know by name but are the core part of the team. A salute to these people.
The Media of Air
A new movement known as the “Respect the Runners” was aired on Radio Mirchi which was a novel way of putting runners above everything else. Radio Mirchi was successful in carrying this message of MG VIM to all the listeners and citizens of Vadodara.
Chief Guest: The Honorable Chief Minister of Gujarat Shri Vijay Bhai Rupani
Shri Vijay Rupani, the Chief Minister flagged the stunning Seven Star 7th Edition “Vadodara International Marathon”. His presence was like a spark among the participants. I and my Crazy Wanderer team went early morning at the Navlakhi Ground, Vadodara, where we were overwhelmed to see the huge spectators and members of the Vadodara International Marathon. Shri Vijay Rupani requested the people of the city to take inspiration from the team spirit and unity that was displayed through the entire Vadodara International Marathon. It was an amazing moment in my life to watch the city coming to life for one beautiful cause with renewed energy and vibrancy.
“The Essence Of All Religions Is One. Only Their Approaches Are Different”
I believe in God, but I also believe that one God rules every religion. And this belief of mine got even stronger when I experienced Vadodara International Marathon with my eyes. The event invited all the respected Religious Gurus who interpreted one notion – “all Religions support equality and are there for the welfare of people.” I found their encouragement exceedingly powerful that filled me with love and hope.
Impressive Race Categories
The most interesting part I found in the Vadodara International Marathon was the various categories of the race according to the type and age group. This helped men and women from any age group to participate as per their suitability. There was full Marathon of 42.195 Km, Half Marathon of 21.098 Km, 10 Km Amateur race, Half Marathon Relay, Bank of Baroda Swachchata Run of 5 Km, NRI Homecoming Run, KYB Conmat NGO, Pledge Run 5 Km, Jawan Run.
Inox Divyang Paralympic Race: The One Of A Kind Race
A race for not just a cause but for spreading the words that everyone is capable to be successful in their life. It was an event of a lifetime for me to have watched how physically challenged, visually impaired, mentally challenged and people who are deaf and mute made the impossible possible with their inner strength, determination and the will to achieve success.
NGO Pledge Run
This special 5 Km Pledge Run is organised for all the prestigious NGO partners that have delivered immense support to uplift the popularity of this memorable event. I had the pleasure to cover their relentless work to raise funds, spread awareness and enhance the overall moral and spirit of this sport.
Front Runners – The Real Heroes
The 150 Front Runners were the major boosters for the race. They were participants from many colleges and institutes of Vadodara. I felt like I did not see just 150 runners; rather I saw a group collectively preparing themselves in their highest spirit to win over any obstacles. Their dedication and unstoppable effort has lead to the grandeur of the event.
Vadodara International Marathon: A Sport Of Swachhata
“Cleanliness Is Next To Godliness” – this saying has a true connection with Vadodara International Marathon. This event supports that ‘Swachhata hi Seva” and also supports various civic causes as well social causes which are aimed to build the city near-perfect and completely clean and safe. For my team and I, this event brought the importance of understanding the fundamental idea behind a clean surrounding. It’s not just about a city, it is about each and every citizen, their lifestyle, motive and wellness. Vadodara International Marathon is the symbol of a graceful face of a Smart City.
Leading Women To Greatness
Women are not behind in anything or in any sphere of life. Be it personal, professional or leadership qualities, nothing remains unachievable for a woman. To facilitate this further, Vadodara International Marathon inspired and motivated women to take part in the various races wherein their outstanding performance was a moment to cherish for all women. Their sportsmanship and mental strength was a powerful vibe that renewed me and incorporated the will to fly high and gain confidence. Vadodara International Marathon, also organised The All-Women Car Rally that was flagged off by Smt. Tejal Amin. The huge participation of women gathered together for the Rally Event gave a tribute to women power and strength.
Pacer & Runners Of Vadodara International Marathon
Pacers being the pace setter or the rabbits, work with the excessive tactical racing ability. The aggregation of excellent pacers who participated are Dr.Nagesh Kamat, Rinku Shah, Rohan Jaradi, AdilMarawala, Durgesh Merchant, Swapnil Joshi, DevendrasinhRana, Dr. Sandeep Nanda, Mahima Pratik, Jarul Vora, RashmiGaikwad, Dina Patel, Swapnil Joshi, Ajay Sharma, Rajesh Tiwari. They kept the pace of the race with high level of spirit. The runners on the other hand worked like a team to get to the goal together. Immense participation and hard work of the runners made the occasion a celebration of a lifetime.
Brand Ambassadors of Vadodara International Marathon
Vadodara International Marathon received enormous inspiration and motivation from great and eminent personalities named Dr.Bhagwatiben Oza, IrfanPathan, Yusuf Pathan, Birju Patel, Mira Erda, Dr.Preeti Kamat, Sanat Pandya, and Krishna Rajput. These brand ambassadors helped the event to become not just popular but also a memory that cannot be forgotten.
Sponsors and Partners of Vadodara International Marathon
Various Sponsors and Partners have found a higher level of exposure for their brand visibility as Vadodara International Marathon received huge amount of success and people from all over India and world joined hands to popularise the event exponentially.
Finally it will not be complete if I do not mention about the constant assistance of the Vadodara (Baroda) City Police Department. They did unparalleled work to look after the whole event and let the work run smoothly. Vadodara International Marathon’s success will have remained unfulfilled without their strict laws and order. Moreover the Media also played a pivotal role. They covered the whole event successfully along with other events associated with the promotion of the Marathon. Their unequalled effort made the grand success possible.
It was a lifetime opportunity for me and my team to be able to watch such an amazing event. Vadodara International Marathon gave new hope, positively and inspiringly forced me to think, “Are we all doing enough for our city? After all our city is our home.” The unity and love that this event shared is and always will be deeply encased within my heart.