Atharva – Run for a Cause
A curious sight caught many passers-by unaware at End Point Road during the sunny evening of 13th January, 2018. A motley group of young, enthusiastic runners could be seen moving along the road, towards Syndicate Circle. Hardened, sweat soaked students from colleges across Manipal, ran with a singular goal in mind: to run for a good cause. The infectious enthusiasm of the participants was palpable. Surprisingly, apart from the seasoned runners, amateurs had come ahead to test their mettle too. Unfazed by the heat or the daunting run ahead, everyone tried their best to stay upbeat.
TAPMI, under the banner of the 31st edition of Atharva, India’s oldest business school fest, conducted the marathon as part of its community service initiative. TAPMI undertook great effort to flawlessly execute the event, and for the most part, they succeeded emphatically. Apart from a few hiccups, which delayed the marathon by 20 minutes, there was nothing to complain about. In lieu of a warm up jig, a high tempo Zumba session was conducted by the trainer’s present with the actual run beginning soon after. Water stations were set up at regular intervals to keep participants hydrated in the blistering sun. From KMC Greens to Syndicate Circle, the runners were expected to cover a distance of 4.8 kilometres.
With over 300 participants, each one keen on the top prize, the final finish was close. The top two male and female runners were awarded cash prizes, while the top 50 finishers received tees, medals and certificates, sponsored by Phenom Fitness wear. There were special prizes for the top runners from TAPMI as well.
Samuel Verghese, one of the top 50 winners, loved the idea of running for a good cause. ” It is always a good idea to combine health and education. Wonderful way to kill two birds with one stone.” Debrupa Ghosh, part of the organizing committee, was buoyed by the immense response the marathon received. “All the proceeds collected here will be used to improve the basic infrastructure of Academy Primary School. Last year we collected enough to build toilets for them. This year, we are hoping to construct a playground for the kids.” She said.
India is in dire need of such initiatives, especially from the youth. Hopefully, many more runs along these lines will be conducted in the future, each for a benevolent cause. After all, not much can be said of the man who has never enjoyed the runner’s high.