Khadki, 16th January 2024: Before the sun graced the horizon, over 8000 runners gathered at the Poonawalla Fincorp Bombay Sappers Soldierathon, held at The Bombay Sappers, Dighi Hills, to partake in the trail run. The atmosphere was charged with emotion as proud Indians sang the national anthem in unison, honoring the soldiers who sacrificed their lives in the service of the nation.
The event, organized by Fitistan – Ek Fit Bharat and presented by Poonawalla Fincorp, was nothing short of spectacular. From the impeccably managed race expo, race entry, and parking to hydration and energy points, breakfast arrangements, quality and design of T-shirts, Zumba sessions, the motivating speech by Army Commander Lt Gen A. K. Singh, and most importantly, the spirit of the soldiers and runners injected adrenaline into the air itself. The participants could literally feel the enthusiasm!
The soldiers showcased their skills with a Mallakhamba and Gatka show that captivated the crowd. Runners of all ages, from 4-year-olds to 88-year-olds, ran, saluted, commemorated, and inspired others for a healthier and fitter Bharat.
Abhay Bhutada, Managing Director of Poonawalla Fincorp, expressed his gratitude, saying, “It was heartening to see the great response for this marathon. I would like to thank all the Punekars who participated in large numbers in this Soldierathon to celebrate the bravery and courage of our soldiers. We are forever grateful for the selfless contribution and sacrifices made by our bravehearts.”
Esteemed personalities like Upendra Rai, CMD and Editor-in-Chief of Bharat Express News Network, Lalit Pophale, Sanmati, Blade Runner Col DD Goel, and Blind Runner Asif were present throughout, cheering the audience and supporting the runners.
Brig Patwardhan, Commandant of Bombay Sappers, and Abhay Bhutada, Managing Director of Poonawalla Fincorp, awarded prizes and congratulated all the participants for making the event a huge success.
Shilpa Bhagat, founder of Fitistan, expressed her joy, saying, “I am truly overwhelmed that we managed to pull off our first two back-to-back marathons in the military campus of CME and Bombay Sappers successfully in a short span of 25 days. It wouldn’t have been possible without the support of the Indian army, our esteemed sponsors, and our participants.”
Major Surendra Poonia, VSM, the visionary behind Soldierathon, seemed proud and satisfied that his mission of bringing civilians closer to the army and supporting the martyr’s family has taken a long stride.
Krissh and Yassh Somani, 15-year-old twins of the S.K. Somani trust, contributed INR 10 lakhs to Bombay Sappers for the welfare of soldiers.
It was not just an ordinary run; it was a symbol of human grit, sacrifice, and resilience. Each stride elevated the spirit, taking the Soldierathon to new heights!