The 6th edition of Colors Pinkathon Bengaluru 2018 was held on Sunday, 18 Feb 2018 at Sree Kanteerava Stadium. Nearly 10,000 women ran at the event– from children to middle aged women and senior citizens, and from students to working individuals. The 21K sprinters hit the street before dawn, alongside their ‘pacer guides’. Participants of 10k, 5k, 3k and numerous different classes trailed them.
Chandan Arya, a student of St. Joseph’s College and a volunteer at the water stations at the marathon, said, “There were a massive number of people who took part, and they were not all fitness freaks. It was amazing to see so many people turn up.”
The Pinkathon, a woman’s – only run, was created with the goal of spreading awareness about womens’ well-being, specifically about breast cancer. It is estimated to witness participation from nearly 60,000 women over 8 cities. At the center of this venture is the run in every city, around which there are meetings through the year, free medical check-ups and mammograms for all members, preparing workshops and advising sessions for different marginalized groups and even planting of 1000 trees in every city.
Bangalore saw the participation from acid-attack victims, simple walkers, sprinters to genuine marathoners; people in T-shirt and shorts and women in salwar kameez and sarees.
At the launch, there was a panel featuring women including the 101-year-old world-record holding athlete Mann Kaur; Dr. Monika Pansari – a consultant oncology surgeon (Apollo Hospitals); Anju Maudgal Kadam – the co- founder of 100 Sari pact; and Bhumika Patel, a marathoner, who was featured among the game changers 2017 in US Magazine’s elite list of 21 women who are transforming the world.
Between running and reaching the finishing line, members made the most of the opportunity by doing Zumba; clicking photographs with their specially created ‘Tsunamika Medals’ and gathering their free health-check up tags given by Apollo. Later they discussed reusable menstrual products. Many got selfies with actor-model and Pinkathon co-founder Milind Soman, on the condition that they demonstrate their fitness levels first by doing push-ups.
Delighted with the growing participation in Pinkathon, Soman said, “Pinkathon is more than a marathon. It is the seed of change and the beginning of a movement that is carried forward by a growing community of empowered women across India. Fitness is liberating. If a culture of regular exercise and fitness must take root in India, our women need to become aware of the benefits of fitness. They need to be able to get out and run, which doesn’t happen enough due to various cultural reasons. We now organize Pinkathon in eight cities. More than 10,000 women run at each of these events. They run in running gear but also in sarees, salwar kameez, hijabs or whatever attire they deem fit and keeps them comfortable.”
The carnival wound up with the declaration of winners – Darishisha Mukhim for 21k, Preenu Yadav for 10k, Sowmya Sawanth for 5K, and Shraddharani Desai for 3K. And, a promise from the participants to make fitness a daily routine.