Mumbai, Aug 25 (IANS) Delhis Robin Singh thwarted hat-trick hunter Dnyaneshwar Morgha to win the Mumbai Half Marathon here on Sunday.
Robin had to brave a heavy morning downpour and a persistent challenge from Dnyaneshwar to finish the 21 km run in 1:11:43 hours, almost two minutes ahead of the defending champion.
Mumbai's Varsha Namdev Bhawari proved to be untouchable among the ladies, pocketing the title almost in a canter. She completed the roundabout distance to and from Jio Gardens at the BKC in 1:33:38 hours, 4.1 minutes ahead of her nerest rival.
Over 18,000 runners turned up for the start in three different categories despite heavy rain in the morning. IDBI Federal Life Insurance brand ambassador Sachin Tendulkar flagged off the marathon and also honoured the winners.
Interestingly, many youngsters made the most of the opportunity, promptly turning right back to take selfies with the cricketing maestro. That didn't, however, deter the dream-chasers as they adroitly stepped past them in their quest for glory.
Robin broke away from the pack early on and calmly kept widening the gap between himself and the rest. Dnyaneshwar, however, stayed within striking distance for the most part and made a final dash but could only manage time of 1:13:44 hours to finish second.
Dnyaneshwar probably had to worry more about the man breathing down his neck than the crown that was slipping away from his fingers. Last year's runner-up Parshram Bhoi almost pipped him at the post, coming in third just 1 second behind him.
The women's contest too turned out to be intriguing. Varsha was the undisputed queen even though last year's runner-up Sayali Kupate gave her a run for her money. They were almost shoulder to shoulder for about 15 km before she lost some steam and settled for the silver.
Nayan Balasaheb Kirdak clocked 1:38:24 hours to win the bronze.
In the 10K timed-run, Rohit Yadav claimed the top prize in men's category by clocking 32:38 minutes. He was followed by Kamal Kumar (33:10 mins) and Arif Ali (33.17 mins).
In the women's category, Rishu Singh won the gold by posting a timing of 39:57 minutes, followed by Sayali Kokitkar (40:45 mins) and Shilpi Yadav (42:51 mins).