Prayagraj: The historic All India Prize Money Indira Marathon was cancelled on Thursday — the second time since it was first organised in 1985 — due to the safety concerns associated with the Covid-19 pandemic. The event is organised every year to commemorate the anniversary of former Prime Minister Indira Gandhi on November 19.
The marathon was cancelled for the first time in 1990, but the organisers held the event in January 1991, therefore ensuring that it was organised in the annual sports calendar of 1990-91.
“Over the years, several ace sportspersons have participated in the marathon. The event would have been organised even this year had it not been for the Covid-19 pandemic. We don’t have any information whether it would be organised in this calendar year or not,” said district sports officer Anil Tiwari.
Earlier, the prize money for the race was Rs 50,000 for the winner, while the first and the second runner-up got Rs 25,000 and 15000 respectively. The prize money for the winner was increased to Rs 1 lakh and later to Rs 2 lakh for winners in both the men’s and women’s category, The first and second runner-ups are awarded Rs 1 lakh and Rs 75000, respectively in both the categories. Eleven consolation prizes of Rs 10,000 are also given in each category.
The race covers a distance of 42.195 kilometre and starts from Anand Bhawan, the ancestral home of Jawaharlal Nehru in Praygraj. The track covers areas like Teliarganj, Mayo Hall Crossing, Allahabad High Court, CMP College, Allahabad Agricultural Institute, Yamuna Bridge and Hanuman temple. It ends at Madan Mohan Malviya Stadium.
The event has had a rich legacy with several celebrated long-distance runners participating in it every year. Maharashtra’s Joyti Shankar Rao Gaute had won the marathon for six years consecutively. Her winning streak ended when West Bengal’s Shyamali was declared the winner in 2019. sitions respectively.
Last year, Amethi’s Rahul Kumar (Naib Subedar) won in the men’s category, while Harendra Chauhan and Hetram were the runners-up.