Chennai, December 11, 2022: Chennai stood as one with paediatric cancer patients from poor socio-economic backgrounds, when over 6000 of its men, women, and children, including those with disabilities, took part in Chennai Runs, the charity marathon, organised by Madras Round Table1 (MRT1), to raise funds for Mahesh Memorial Trust’s paediatric oncology ward in Adyar Cancer Institute.
Conducted with MRT1’s characteristic professionalism and inclusiveness, Chennai Runs featured four race categories: 21 km, 10 km, 5 km and 3 km with Olcott Memorial High School Ground, Besant Nagar as the start and finish point. Special arrangements were made for people with disabilities including the visually-impaired to participate in the races.
Actors RJ Balaji and Krishnakumar flagged off the 5 km and the 3 km races respectively. Managed by YouTooCanRun, India’s leading race management services company, the event supported the participants with aid stations, hydration points, medical facilities & ambulance services, route markers, and post-race refreshments. Runners were treated to a scenic view of Chennai as the run route covered famous locations and landmarks such as Adyar Bridge, Shri Ayyappan Temple, Santhome Church, Lighthouse, and Vivekananda House. A chip based timing system was used, and winners were given medals and cash prizes.
Talking about the charity marathon, Dr. Ashvin Agarwal, Chairman, MRT1, said, “We organised Chennai Runs as part of our annual charity fundraiser. Our objective is to support Mahesh Memorial Trust, which is running a world class cancer care facility for children. The run will make a big difference to paediatric cancer care, as the funds raised from the event will go towards early detection of cancer among children in poor socio-economic backgrounds in the local communities, and for their treatment at the paediatric cancer ward of Mahesh Memorial Trust. We are a zero-overhead organisation. This means, every rupee we raise goes entirely to the cause. The contributions will also help boost the level of awareness about medical breakthroughs in cancer treatment, thus raising hopes of a cure, and eliminating misconceptions about the disease among the public.”
In his comments Mr. Chirag Gupta, MRT1 Fundraise Convenor, said, “MRT1 believes in community service through the fellowship of its members. We have consistently been raising funds over the past 65 years for various charities and welfare institutions. We are extremely happy that the inaugural edition of Chennai Runs attracted over 6000 people from all walks of life. The marathon attracted a large number of children from 8 years of age, women, and senior citizens. It also demonstrated a great degree of inclusiveness as special arrangements were made for ‘Champions with Disabilities’ to take part in the races. We could also fulfil the promises made to the runners in terms of safety, support, and comfort. The run route, spanning from Besant Nagar to Marina beach, offered runners a visual treat and inspired them to complete the run enthusiastically.”
A highlight of Chennai Runs was the two-day expo on paediatric cancer organised on December 9 and 10 featuring awareness talks from experts. The race kits comprising T-shirts and BIB numbers were distributed at the expo, two days before the event.
Mahesh Memorial Trust was established in the memory of Mahesh Mahadevan, a past member of MRT1, respected composer and music director, who passed away in October 2002 after battling cancer for 13 years. In recent times, the efforts of the trust have been geared towards the building of the Mahesh Memorial Paediatric Oncology Centre at the Adyar Cancer Institute to provide the tiny tots here a cheerful ambience for their treatment and recovery.