The Rotary Rain Run is a much-anticipated event in Goa, and one of the premium marathons in the country, drawing runners from across the world, says Nikhil Shah, secretary, RC Porvorim, RID 3170. Organised by the club annually in August, this monsoon marathon, in its 10th edition, saw a participation of 3,000 runners. The club partnered with Goa Tourism, the Indian Army, and the Indian Navy’s Base Support Facility (Goa) for this event. “It was a proud moment for us to have the Army and the Navy partner with us for this run. They have excellent logistics, which greatly helped in its success,” says event chairman Avinash Parmar.
Shah adds that partnering with the Goa Tourism Department was a great opportunity for Rotary. “There’s something special about a tourist destination like Goa hosting a special event. Everyone, including the non-runners, turned up to cheer the runners and this helped in enhancing Rotary’s public image.”
Funds raised from the registration each year have been used by the club for community development projects in Porvorim. Shah adds that this year’s run was held to support early detection and cure of cervical and breast cancer in women. “Proceeds from the event will be used to develop our flagship initiative — the Prakash Cancer Aid Project (PCAP), which works for women’s health, cancer awareness, and detection. So far, we have conducted over 160 counselling camps through this project, and 3,500 women have taken the PAP smear test.” It supports 20 cancer patients with treatment apart from providing counselling on general healthcare and hygiene for women.
The club tied up with Timing Technologies India which uses the RFID (radio-frequency identification) technology to track the participants’ running time. “They set up the system infrastructure and timing points, coordinated logistics, and embedded timing chips in participants’ bibs, ” explains Shah.
The Rotary Rain Run had three categories, 5, 10 and 21km (half marathon). The 10km and half marathon were timed events. Participants in the 5km, 10km and 21km races were awarded medals and t-shirts. All participants were given breakfast and water. The brand ambassadors for the run this year were Pradeep Kumbhar, a para athlete from Mumbai, and Mariola Mathias, a cancer survivor from Panaji. The marathon was flagged off at the Sports Authority of Goa’s athletic stadium in Bambolim.