The immensely popular Mumbai Marathon may have inspired scores of residents to take to long-distance running, but here’s a race that promises to put a runner’s endurance to some real test.
Titled Fort Marathon, the event will see participants sweating their guts out to cover 20 kms on trails and undulating terrains inside the twin fort complexes of Lohagad-Visapur on December 28.
The run has been organised by Sagarmatha Giryarohan Sanstha, a Pune-based non profit body that promotes adventure sports and trekking. The forts are situated near Malavali on Mumbai-Pune railway route.
“The race will start from Lohagad Fort. In between, there will be 6-7 checkpoints covering the 20-km route for open category. For amateurs, the distance to be covered is 16kms,” said Sanjay Gawli, a co- organiser.
The undulating nature of the route makes the marathon quite different from other races. “With a lot of climbing to be done, it makes the run all the more challenging and adventurous,” said Narayan Kardile, a team member.
The registration fee has been kept nominal – Rs499 and Rs699 for amateur and open categories respectively. Proceeds from the event will be used for the betterment of the villages around the twin forts.
The earlier edition of the marathon was held at the twin forts of Manoranjan and Srivardhan at Rajmachi in the same Lonavala-Karjat region. “Our aim is to take this marathon to all the 23 hill forts of Sahyadris in Maharashtra. We are yet to finalise location for our next edition,” said Gawli.
As per the format, participants are required to run in teams of two. So far, over 40 team have registered for the race. With a week more to go for the run, organisers expect the numbers to go up.
Gawli added, “A set of doctors and an ambulance will also be on standby for those who may need some medical assistance during the event. We are giving a lot of importance on the well being of the participants.”