Mumbai: Actors, businessmen, doctors and dabbawallahs, environmentalists, sportspersons including many foreigners and others joined over 40,000 enthusiasistic citizens at the 10th Standard Chartered Mumbai Marathon here, braving the Sunday morning chills.
The runners are highlighting various causes ranging from female foeticide to saving tigers to good health through the marathon and are sprinting in various categories for different lengths.
The marathon was flagged off by Governor K. Sankaranarayanan near Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus.
Also present at the inaugural were Mayor Sunil Prabhu, Police Commissioner Satyapal Singh and other top dignitaries.
Among the prominent runners were top industrialists Anil Ambani, Anand Mahindra, builder Niranjan Hirandanani, Tina (Anil) Ambani, actors Vivek Oberoi, Rahul Bose and many others from the silver screen and the small screen.
Several social groups like a 25-member contingent from Ion Foundation and NGO Muktangan, Mumbai's famous dabbawallas, were in the fray for the prizes worth over $350,000, for what is considered the richest Asian marathon.
The Full Marathon (42.197 km) has received 4,169 entries, a significant increase over last year's figure of 2,775.
While there was huge demand for a slot in the half-marathon, entries were restricted, finally closing at 12,742.
The Senior Citizens' Run saw 1,396 participants, while the champions with disability will see participation from 218 people.
Another over 20,000 people are slated to take part in the popular Dream Run.
The Standard Chartered has instituted a special trophy for the winners, while the top Indian male and female finishers will take home Rs.450,000 each.
The run is supported by the Indian Navy, the Government of Maharashtra and the Athletics Federation of India.
The increase in prize money is towards the Indian prize fund and will benefit the Indian athletes in the full marathon.