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One of the most difficult races to run is a marathon. Over the course of 42km, several contestants run in a course designed to be both exciting and excruciating at the same time. But that is exactly what over twenty-one thousand runners did on August 26. The Airtel Hyderabad Marathon held its eighth edition over the weekend. For those who are familiar with marathons in India or in general, will know that this particular marathon is one of the largest in the country. No wonder then, that it is also known as the 'toughest city marathon'. It also has one of the most picturesque routes out of all the city marathons, taking runners from the heart of the city to the western zone. The runners start with a loop around the Hussain Sagar Lake after passing by the adjoining state secretariats of Telangana and Andhra Pradesh. They then run in front of the Governor’s official residence and close to the official residence of the Chief Minister of Telangana. The course then takes them through Somajiguda, Punjagutta, Banjara Hills, KBR Park, Jubilee Hills, before entering the Cyberabad Police jurisdiction into Madhapur. The extremely difficult course then the Hitech City, the IT District, the Financial District, the villages of Gowlidoddi, Gopanapalli, and through the campus of the University of Hyderabad. They finally finish in the GMC Balayogi Stadium in Gachibowli. Over the weekend, running this course were about 21,250 competitors, who competed in the long and intense race. The 8th Airtel Hyderabad Marathon also was divided into various categories, inviting the biggest crowd ever for this particular event. There are several types of runners in such marathons. Some run competitively, with the sole focus at winning the gold medal. Others run in a more relaxed fashion, with their focus being fit rather than fast. However, there are also those who run for a certain cause. The Airtel Hyderabad Marathon saw more than 1300 runners run on behalf of fifty charity organizations. When the dust settled, the people of Hyderabad had collected over Twenty Lakh rupees for the same. There were three categories, which were contested in this year's Airtel Hyderabad Marathon - Full Marathon (Over 42 Km), Half Marathon (Over 21 Km), and Ten Km Run. Both Male and Female winners were awarded separately for this one. Starting with 10km, Monika Athare and Anil Kumar Yadav finished as the champions in women's and men's race respectively. Athare finished with a timing of 36:08 minutes to win the top prize, while Yadav completed the same objective in 32:19 minutes. In half marathon, Swathi Gadhave was the winner amongst women, while Tirtha Kumar came first amongst the men. Gadhave and Kumar both took over an hour to complete the course, with Gadhave completing it in 1:24.22, while Kumar taking 1:08.41. Finally, Pascalia Chepkoech and Karam Singh won the full marathon amongst women and men, respectively. Chepkoech ran over 42 km in 2:51.47. Singh did the same in 2:30.20. The aforementioned runners will be more than pleased with their performances. They will also have something to be extremely proud of, as the Airtel Hyderabad Marathon Course was recently certified by the Association of International Marathons an Distance Races. As a consequence of that, the runners who participated can qualify for the major world marathons. Nevertheless, it was not about the prize money or qualification to big marathons for the people of Hyderabad. It was always about turning up and representing a city that is continuing to progress. It is fair to say, that the people of Hyderabad did the same, as they turned out in record numbers over the weekend. (Fast&Up represents the latest innovations in sports nutrition from around the world being available to every Indian who aspires to maintain an active lifestyle)