- 2018: Over 6,000 Participants Run in Grm 2018
- Over 6,000 runners from India and abroad took part in the ninth edition of the Skechers Performance Goa River Marathon on December 9. Competitive athletes not only came from as far as the African continent, Europe and North America , as expected, they also took away the bulk of the top cash prizes. In fact, Ethopia's Adinew Tolsea emerged the winner in the 42Km category with a timing of 2:45:33. Amongst the women, Seema from Delhi took the top spot winning the 42 km run by clocking 3:33:20. Also in the 42 Km, Jitesh Vishwakarma from Madhya Pradesh clocked 3:02:12 and Vinayak Jambotkar of Belgavi clocked 3:12:18 coming third in the 42 kms mens race. The 21 km half marathon men and women remained a close contest, as Kanakappa Donni of Belagavi finished it in 1:16:18 as he was followed second by Goa's Teddy Cardozo at 1:17:24. Indian Army man, Chandrasekhar Ukey clocked 1:17:39 to come in third. In the women's half marathon, Pune's Swati Gadhave won the race with 1:32:04 on the clock as Priyanka Chavarkar (1:33:59) and Vinaya Malusare (1:38:59) came in second and third.
A glance at the nation-wise list of participants indicated that participants from over 12 foreign countries including, Kenya, Tanzania, Ethiopia, USA, Finland, Chile, Bangladesh,United Kingdom, Germany and Russia participated in the run and for a chance at bagging a prize. This year, Goa River Marathon gave away over Rs 700,000 is prizes. The largest contingent of Indian runners were from Maharashtra followed by Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, Telangana along with others from the state and beyond. The full marathon, half-marathon and 10km races were flagged off from the Joggers park at Chicalim at 4.30am, 6am and 6.30am. The five km run was flagged off at 9am. An all-new, event tee shirt incorporating the distinct Vasco Sports Club insignia was unveiled at the media conference the previous week. For several years now, Goa River Marathon has been acknowledged as one of the top 5 marathons in India and is organised by Vasco Sports Club, Vasco-da-Gama, Goa.
Vasco Sports Club president Nitin Bandekar stressed on the 5km event as a means to encourage families and youngsters in particular, to start running. Secretary, Rakesh Unny believed that once a participant begins in this event, it does not take long to convert that start into a 10km entry for the subsequent year. Thanks to the runner groups called "Sussegado Runners" and affiliated to Vasco Sports Club, the number of Goan participants keeps goes up with every edition of Goa River Marathon. This is good not just for the sports but also for the overall health of the people of Goa.
When asked about the impact of Goa River Marathon (GRM) on tourism, Unny explained: "The GRM has grown over the years and participants are travelling to the state from all over with their families and friends. All hotels in Vasco and the southern coastal belt get fully booked in the recent years while in the early editions, only the Vasco hotels were full. Now the participants are even staying in Panaji."
Goa Athletic Association provided technical support to GRM. This is one of the best organised events at par with the best in the country and I congratulate Vasco Sports Club team for putting up a marathon event of high repute, said secretary Paresh Kamat.
The Skechers Performance Goa River Marathon's special features include an official recognition by the Association of International Marathons and Distance races (AIMS) and the course distances are marked for accuracy by the International athletics body, the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF).
The next river marathon event will be held on 17-Nov-2019 which is a departure from the usual year-end schedule. The change has been done to not only avoid clashes with other marathons being organized at the same time, but to also make it easier for out-station participants to book accommodation.