Riding high on the success of the first-ever Goa River Marathon held in 2010, Vasco Sports Club in association with title sponsors NRB Group, Zuari Industries Ltd, and co-sponsors Sports Authority of Goa (SAG) organized the second edition of Goa River Marathon on December 11, 2011. As before, it was flagged off from Baina beach at 6:00 a.m.
This year saw participants from as far as Ghanians, Kenyans, France, US, Japan and Vienna. The theme for the event was ‘Run for Green Goa’.
The Goa River Marathon 2011 had three main events; the 21km Half Marathon, the Corporate Relay Run and the 5km Fun Walk Run. The total prize money for Goa River Marathon 2011 was over Indian Rupees Six Hundred Thousand.
This year too the run was along the scenic path by the riverfront past the picturesque St Jacinto Island, up to Marman Shipyard and back along the same route. Athletes, serious runners and fitness enthusiasts from all over the country and abroad participated.
The Goa River Marathon 2011 organizers were happy to see Sujoy Thomas - winner of Mysore marathon and twice runner-up at the Standard Chartered Bank marathon; along with Natasha Ramnathan from the Bangalore Ultra marathon. There were also veterans Sreenath S and Suresh Sheshadri.
Officials and members of the Vasco Sports Club who are the organizers of Goa River Marathon were present in large numbers. Their president, Mr Nitin Bandekar of the NRB Group, who are one of the major sponsors and supporters of this novel event, stated that plans were afoot to convert the half marathon into a full 42km even in the years ahead.
Mr Bandekar thanked the SAG executive director Mr V M Prabhudessai for extending SAG’s support for the Goa River Marathon. Mr Prabhudessai in turn vouched total support for the marathon event and acknowledged the inclusion of this event into the Goan calendar for brining athletes, corporate and enthusiasts under one roof.
Among the main highlights of this year’s edition of the Goa River Marathon was Bollywood celebrity actress Gul Panag who had also ran in the race last year. Live music before the event, cheerleaders and music along the route were some of the unique features of the Goa River Marathon 2011. Aid stations, refreshments, medical and emergency services were made available.
It was decided that the proceeds of the Goa River Marathon 2011 5km fun walk run will be divided between two charities; ‘New Dawn Ashadeep Special School’, Sada, Vasco and ’COOJ Mental Health Foundation’, Chicalim, Vasco.
Support and encouragement for the event also poured in from politicians as well with Deputy Speaker, Mr Mauvin Godinho and Mormugao MLA, Mr Milind Naik.