Madras Round Table 1 organises a run in aid of paediatric cancer treatment. Here’s how you can participate

Children at the Mahesh Memorial Trust

Children at the Mahesh Memorial Trust
| Photo Credit: Special Arrangement

A bunch of eight-year-olds are excited. They are all set to participate in their first run for a cause. Their enthusiasm is so infectious that they have even managed to rope in their parents to join them. Along with them, on December 11 a bunch of enthusiastic runners, first timers, and do-gooders will line up together to be part of Chennai Runs 2022, an initiative by Madras Round Table 1 (MRT1), in aid of paediatric cancer treatment.

The funds will go to Mahesh Memorial Trust and will be used to detect and treat cancer in children. “The late Mahesh Mahadevan was also a member of MRT1. He fought cancer for 13 years before passing away,” explains Dr Ashvin Agarwal, chairman of MRT1.The trust was formed by Mahesh’s wife and friends in 2002. In 2004, it formed a partnership with Adyar Cancer Institute. In 2009, The Mahesh Memorial Paediatric Ward was inaugurated at the Cancer Institute (WIA) Adyar.

Members of MRT1

Members of MRT1
| Photo Credit:
Special Arrangement

The 65-year-old MRT1 is said to be India’s first Round Table. Over the years, it has championed various causes and organised diverse fundraising programmes right from golf tournaments to a fireside chat with Shah Rukh Khan.
This is the first time that a run is being organised. “This is a health-based event for a health-based reason,” says Ashvin, adding that through this they also want to inspire a healthy lifestyle. This is the third cause that the table is taking up this year and is one of its bigger causes.
“We are trying to financially take the burden off parents. A mile of yours can go a long way for these kids,” he adds.

“By and large, marathons are the number one charity event not just for raising funds but also awareness. It builds camaraderie among the participants and does not require any training or gadgetry to be a part of it. And you are not competing with anybody else but with yourself. That element creates a lot of positive energy,” says Ashvin.

The run is open to all aged eight and above. So far, the oldest participant is a 75-year-old. There are different age categories and also a category for the disabled. Participants can choose from 3km, 5km, 10km and 21 km. The run starts at Olcott Memorial School and the route for the 21 kilometre run includes Besant Nagar beach, Marina beach and Vivekananda Illam.

A lot of corporates, schools and organisations such as the National Association for Blind and Spastic Society of India have also signed up for the event. “So far we’ve received 3,000 registrations. We are aiming at 5,000,” he says. Winners will get medals and a cash prize. 
Other than the run, on December 9 and 10, MRT1 is organising a two-day event to distribute the bibs, T-shirts, and goodie bags. A host of activities have also been planned on these days, including talks from health experts and celebrities.

December 2 is the last date for registration. Fee starts at ₹700 for 3km and goes upto ₹1,350 for 21km. The run is from 5am onwards. For details, log on to www.chennairuns.com

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