Mumbai Marathon: Minor route tweaks, new challenges

Race Director Hugh Jones, also a former London-based long distance runner, says as a runner he would have preferred a finish which had a bit more complicated navigation.

With the Mumbai Metro work taking away a long stretch on the D.N Road, the organisers of the event, Procam, and Jones had to find ways to find a home straight in order to finish the race at the CSTM Junction.   -  THE HINDU PHOTO ARCHIVES

 

Elite runners, in all about 77 men and women, would be challenged by three 90 degree (right angle) turns leading to the 260m home straight on the Dadabhai Naoroji Road (D.N.Road) in the Tata Mumbai Marathon to be held here on Sunday (January 21).

Other entrants in the marathon will take a different route in the last stage of the course, but they will rejoin the Elite runners in the home straight. The marathon has to finish at Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Terminus Mumbai (CSTM)

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Hugh Jones, a former London-based long distance runner and a Race Director of the Mumbai’s famous street race said that as a runner he would have preferred a finish which had a bit more complicated navigation than just a long, long straight. “This year, runners will have to think more carefully, than relying on pure speed in the last 260 metres,’’ said the 62-year-old Jones before unveiling the route of the 42.195 km (26.21 miles) event.

Race Director Hugh Jones unveiled the Mumbai Marathon route in Mumbai on Wednesday.   -  SPECIAL ARRANGEMENT

 

With the Mumbai Metro work taking away a long stretch on the D.N Road (from Flora Fountain, Hutatma Chowk in South Mumbai), the organisers of the event, Procam and Jones had to find ways to find a home straight in order to finish the race at the CSTM Junction. This, Jones managed by drawing up a route (in the last 700 metres or so). Runners will take a left turn at the Bhikha Behram Well (instead of Hutatma Chowk) and then navigate a handful of more turns before pounding their way into the home straight on D.N. Road.

Change of course

At the outset Jones said: “The course has changed, but not significantly, it’s only a couple of 100 metres here and there. The biggest change is in terms of distance; this is around the 30 km point around the Dr. Annie Besant Road (AB Road). That’s come back after being off limits for three years. That’s allowed us to recoup 770 metres for the course. There was a sort of zig-zag just beyond the toll plaza at Bandra. It was not a solution that was particularly elegant. We have been searching for ways to eliminate that (zig-zag) and we have done that.’’

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Jones further said: “In practice, they are very helpful. We dropped two u-turns in that position (at the 30 km point) and kept one at the AB Road and inserted three right-angle turns in the last 650-700 metres of the course. The three 90 degree turns are a lot better than two 180 degree turns which are always disruptive. It is an interesting question as to how much time will be effected in the last 650-700 metres. We tend to overestimate as to how much one would slow down at a simple 90 degree turn. It presents more possibilities for competitive edge. The 260 metre home stretch... it’s a good stretch for running. The London Marathon home stretch straight is 195 metres.’’

New addition

The organisers have also introduced the 10km race. “This gives us a full range (of running). It’s a useful stepping stone towards half-marathon and marathon. Going straight into a half-marathon is a daunting business and so providing that developmental stage (10km race) for people is good,’’ said Jones.

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