Dravid ran away with adulation of marathoners

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New Delhi, Oct 28 (UNI) Rahul Dravid might have been omitted from India's cricket squad for first two ODIs against Pakistan, but the former skipper ran away with all the attention of athletes from another sport and fans here today.

Dravid was the cynosure of all eyes as disbelieving runners at the Vodafone Delhi Half Marathon found out that he was in their midst, standing on a special platform along with Home Minister Shivraj Patil who flagged off the 21.0975 km half marathon.

Runners waved at him and took photos from their mobile cameras as they passed by below him. A casual participant stood longer to take Dravid's photo to the discomfort of Mr Patil's securitymen and was asked to proceed.

Another female runner at first ran ahead but after realising Dravid's presence came back, called out at the star batsman who obliged her for a photo from her mobile camera.

Dravid flagged off the Wheelchair Run and was relaxed throughout, clapping and cheering the runners and acknowledging their adulation though he stoutly refused to field questions from a huge media posse despite repeated attempts.

He earlier said on the public address system that the half marathon would bring awareness to the public about the importance of sports in life to keep oneself fit besides its importance for nurturing talent.

When asked about running as part of physical training in cricket, he said, ''It is different in cricket. We concentrate more on short sprints rather than running long distances. Otherwise the basic purpose is same, to keep you fit,'' he said.

Dravid also accompanied Delhi Chief Minster Shiela Dikshit in flagging off the Great Delhi Run of 7km which saw around 20,000 runners taking part and later gave away prizes to the winners of different categories.


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