Thane, July 12 (ANI): Thousands of enthusiasts from different walks of life and age groups participated in the annual 'Varsha Marathon' or, the Monsoon Marathon held at Thane in Maharashtra on Sunday.
This marathon race is reckoned to be one of the biggest sporting events of Thane, located on the outskirts of Mumbai.
The 'Varsha Marathon' is hosted with to encourage youngsters to be more health conscious and sports-oriented.
For Rashmi Srivastava, one of the girl participants, this marathon run has been an index of unity and human strength to achieve the impossible, individually as well as collectively.
"Here people of all ages, old and young alike, are running for unity. It sends a signal that we all should unite to fight for something and to achieve something. We should always be united, come what may," said Rashmi Srivastava, a young participant.
The annual 40-kilometres marathon is two decades old and it was started by Shiv Sena. However, this year, Maharashtra Navanirmana Sena (MNS), the breakaway faction of Shiv Sena led by Raj Thackeray, was in the forefront in organising this event.
Interestingly, it is for the first time in 20 years that the marathon was held with the weather gods playing truant! The founder and chief of MNS, Raj Thackeray flagged off the race with hardly any clouds in sight.
"This marathon takes place every year. Though the name of the marathon is 'Varsha (monsoon) Marathon', however, this year it is only marathon without the rain. We hope it will rain," said Raj Thackeray.
This year the race was open to competitors from all over India despite MNS being allergic to people who are not 'Marathi Manoos' (non bona-fide residents of Maharashtra). (ANI)