Kartik | Chandigarh
With only two weeks to go for one of the biggest marathon running event in the region, the preparations are in full swing for the Daily World Marathon 2018.
A Daily World reporter caught up with the members of the organizing team, with some starting off as early as 4:00 am. “As the Race Director of the Daily World Marathon 2018, I have to ensure that the stars of the show, our runner participants, get the best experience,” said Stephan van der Merwe who along with his team and a trusty measuring wheel ran 21.1 km, taking note of the quality of the road surface and marking every kilometre on foot. “It’s critical to ensure that the international standards are maintained. It’s hard but that’s why we do it”. Leading the organizing team was Dharminder Sharma, a seasoned marathon runner. “This year’s edition of the Daily World Marathon is on a much larger scale. To organize an event of this scale requires that all teams come together and interact with one another. The teams are working very hard to deliver a world-class experience to the runners. We promise a great show!”
With a core team of around 70 people, from young students to veterans, IT professionals, doctors and local businessmen, it’s a diverse group who share a common passion for running.
Considered the backbone of any marathon event are the volunteers and there are plenty in this year’s edition. “We have over 800 students from various colleges and universities in the region who fill every support role this event requires” says Ajay Bansal who heads the volunteer teams. “They are a very enthusiastic bunch and bring a lot of energy to the event. From manning water stations and providing on-ground support to help desk and providing refreshments to the runners, they handle it all.”
Also providing critical marshaling support to the runners and flair to the event are over 80 cyclists from local cycling groups lead by Anil Dogra. “Cyclists provide direction and support to the runners. We are very mobile and fill in the gaps between long stretches during the race. It was a very productive outing today and it always helps to prepare in advance.”
The recce ended at the Omaxe Club in Mullanpur over breakfast with HS Gujral, CEO of Daily World newspaper praising the organizing team. “These orientations are crucial to the moral of everyone involved. When you organize a marathon event of this scale, coordination between all the support wings is vital which is why this joint recce and meeting was held.. This year we have introduced the Zone concept in which the entire route has been divided into 10 zones to facilitate support to the runners. All the teams have done a fantastic job and delivered above and beyond our expectations and we’ will ensure the Daily World Marathon continues to deliver a world class experience he added.”