Bhubaneswar: Bhubaneswar Cycling and Adventure Club (BCAC) organised its flagship adventure and pioneer venture as the third edition of the Puri Beach Marathon on Sunday. This one-of-a-kind beach marathon aims to promote marathon running right on the sandy beaches of pristine Puri. About 250 runners, including ladies, participated in this marathon challenging their physical strength and overcoming mental barriers.
The Puri Beach Marathon 2023 was flagged off from the Samuka Beach in Puri at the sea-mouth of Mangala River by Sanjeeb Panda, Additional DGP-Cum-President of BCAC, along with Yugabrata Kar, President of Odisha Ecotourism Foundation. After a brief opening ceremony, the half-marathon runners were flagged off exactly at 7.00 am which was followed by the 7-km Fun-Run participants.
This event witnessed a large participation with ace runners and budding athletes from different parts of the country. The runners reported well before the starting time at the hold-up area and received their kits from the designated stalls.
The Puri Beach Marathon had two types of running courses. The half-marathon course was designed as a return route of 10.55 km from the Samuka Beach of Mangala River sea mouth to Bali Harachandi Beach and back. The 7-km fun run participants started from the same starting point covering a distance of 3.5 km towards Bali Harachandi and returned to the same starting point after taking a U-turn.
More than 250 runners joined the beach marathon organised by BCAC and tested their grit and mettle. This beach marathon was quite a tough marathon where participants had to run on the uneven surface of a sandy beach with different inclinations at each step. Apart from the soft sandy beach, the uneven surface provided a real challenge to the runners on the entire course. Even such challenging circumstances couldn’t hinder the advancement of the determined souls and people witnessed some fine performances by budding athletes. With the tune of bands and cheers of the crowd, the runners completed their preferred route barefoot and without snickers. BCAC has provisioned water and medical aid stations on the route at every 3.5 km, and volunteers were present to cheer up the runners.
BCAC has also made provisions for cash prizes for the winners and podium finishers. Apart from the prizes, the participants received a specially designed Finisher Medal, Event T-shirts, and digital certificates upon successful completion of the race.
Winners of different categories received prizes totaling Rs 75,000.
The first prize of Rs 25000 for a 21 km half-marathon was awarded to Ashok Dandasena – who completed with a time of 01:21:19.
The second prize worth Rs 15,000 was awarded to Anupam Mahata who completed the race with a time of 01:21:39.
The third prize of Rs 10,000 was won by Suryakant Ray for completing the race within 01:23:43.
Sanjeeb Panda, along with Dr Vishal Singh, SP, Puri, Yugabrata Kar, and Ajay Nanda, Secretary BCAC, felicitated the winners. On this occasion, Sanjib Panda announced to make the Puri Beach Marathon an annual event on the second Sunday of December every year and to take it to the next level to attract talent from all over the country and abroad.