MRC: ‘Quit Drug Abuse, Pick Up Your Running Shoes’
MANIPAL: With closed roads and blocked traffic, the Manipal Runners’ Club (MRC) raised awareness amongst the local community about the abuse of drugs in the area by holding a 5K marathon called ‘Run Free, Drug Free’ on Sunday, September 23 at KMC Greens, in close association with the Udupi Police Department, Udayavani, and Syndicate Bank.
With participants that were a mix of both experienced and first-time runners, the 5K run not just had students of the various institutes of Manipal Academy of Higher Education (MAHE) but also those who reside in the local and nearby areas. The marathon was flagged off from the KMC Food Court with the runners passing Manipal College of Pharmaceutical College, Syndicate Circle, the Post Office, Manipal Institute of Technology, and then ending back at KMC Food Court. The local police helped make the run possible blocking roads and diverting traffic from the roads which were part of the running route.
Rahul Konapur, President, MRC stated that the run was conceptualised as an alternative to drugs and to try and lower the demand for drugs in the area by getting people to exercise instead of consuming harmful substances.
“The run was organised to create awareness about drug abuse which has not had any direct action taken by society to curb it and the belief that running will create the same endorphins that drugs do and help those trying to become sober as it helps inculcate a sense of discipline,” said A. V. Sai Harsha, Organiser.
The marathon required no registration fee and gave the participants free food, refreshments upon completion of the course and a free t-shirt. The run saw a participation of 3000 people, exceeding the expectations of the organisers of the event.
“When you exercise, every part of you strives to become the best it can be and beings to work even harder and your mood becomes better and more consistent. A healthy body leads to a healthy mind. The run was amazing and helped me and everyone else who took part to do just that,” said Ashish Shetty, a participant at the event who is also an experienced marathon runner and kickboxer.
First time runners, Gaythri Jotish and Anarghya Kumar, both third year students of Kasturba Medical College (KMC) commented, “The encouragement from the onlookers really gave us the motivation to move on and made us feel alive. It was an amazing start to the day.”
Before the actual run took place, Super Human Gym organised a warm up for all the participants to enable them to participate in the run.
After the refreshments were done, the formal assembly took place with multiple dignitaries, including Dr. H. S. Ballal, Pro – Chancellor, MAHE, the Superintendent of Police and the General Manager of Syndicate Bank, who all expressed their gratitude to MRC for hosting the marathon and initiating and encouraging the discussion on this topic which is usually shied away from. Tokens of appreciation were then distributed to the heads of all the MAHE Colleges which took part in the event.
Featured Image Courtesy: Aradhika Jain
Edited by: Niharika Nambiar