Kerala seems to be in a festive mood today as over one crore people get set to run with one mind and aim ahead of the 35th National Games.
The promotional event “Run Kerala Run” will be led by Sachin Tendulakar, who is the brand ambassabor for the games and is likely to lead the runners to the streets.
Kerala Chief Minister Oommen Chandy along with the cabinet ministers and celebrities from different fields will also participate in the curtain-raiser event on Tuesday.
This is the second time Kerala is hosting the National Games since 1987. The National Games will be held from January 31 to February 14 in Kerala at 30 venues across seven districts.
Meanwhile, Kerala’s Sports Minister Thiruvanchoor Radhakrishnan said, “The response is such that when we began planning for this event, it was supposed to have 7,000 starting locations for the run and now that it has crossed 10,000.”
He added, “Kerala Governor P.Sathasivam would be flagging the main run that would take place in front of the state secretariat and would include Tendulkar, Chief Minister Oommen Chandy and numerous high profile people, cutting across various political parties.”
He said that though Sachin was to have run till the Central Stadium, he will stop at the North Gate due to the security reasons and join at the public convention to be held at the stadium following the run.
Each group of runners are likely to cover an average distance of 500 metres. However, in order to take part in the event, the state government has given an hour break to its employees.
Meanwhile, the minister said that the security measures for Tendulkar and other celebrities have been impeccably planned by the state police. There will be traffic regulations between 10 am and 12 pm on the premises.
Thiruvananthapuram City Police Commissioner H. Venkatesh reportedly said that parking of vehicles would not be allowed on the roadsides where the restrictions would be in place.
Adding, he said that the organisers have arranged refreshment for runners. He said, “Bottled water, snacks and t-shirts will be provided to the runners at various venues by the local organisers.”