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Over 1,000 enthusiastic runners braved the heat this weekend to take part in the gruelling IDBI Federal Life Insurance 24-Hour Stadium Run in Mumbai. The unique event, organised at Mumbai University tracks by NEB Sports, saw runners participating in four different categories, including the 24-hour individual, 12-hr individual, 12-hr Open Team Relay and 12-hr Corporate Team Relay. The event which flagged off on Saturday at 5 AM ended on Sunday at 6 PM. Quite similar to the famous Le Mans auto race in France, it required the runners to be on the go for 24 hours with occasional stops. Over 250 relay teams participated in the Run, with 30 being from the corporate sector. A towering figure of 84,756 laps was completed in the event, covering a distance of 33,902.4 kilometres. In the men's category, Delhi's Narender Ram was crowned the champion for the second consecutive year after he clocked a colossal distance of 165.6 kilometres in 24 hours. Priyanka Bhatt from Mumbai topped the women's category after completing a distance of 151.6 kilometres. The runners continued braving the scorching sun, humidity and intermittent drizzles and showcased their endurance. All the participants were cheered on by fans and friends in a carnival-like atmosphere. In the men’s category of the 24-hour run, Amar Shiv Dev completed a distance of 156 kilometres to finish second, while Devi Prashanth Suresh Shetty won the bronze medal with his feat of 153.2 kilometres. In the women’s category, Apeksha Shah ended on the second spot with her effort of 116.8 kilometres. In a conversation with The Bridge, Narender said, "The humid conditions in Mumbai posed a big challenge. However, I kept my mind and heart active and continued running without distractions. Besides, seeing my fellow runners was motivating enough, which kept me going." Narender Ram He further praised the organisers, adding, "The NEB Sports team did a fantastic job in management front and took all the necessary efforts to keep us healthy and active." Priyanka, who had been training for the race for the past three months, said, "Considering the weather, it was pretty challenging. I am happy to perform in such adverse conditions, and I am confident that I will be able to run longer distances in the future." In the men's 12-Hour Run, Geeno Antony emerged victorious with a total distance of 109.134 kilometres, while Sathish Kumar R took home the silver with a total distance of 102.366 kilometres. Rahim KS bagged the bronze medal after covering 91.575 kilometres. In the women’s class, Babita Baruwati topped the list after she clocked a total distance of 80.925 kilometres. Preeti Lala ended with a total length of 78.435 kilometres to come second while Sunaina Patel, with 77.19 kilometres, claimed the bronze medal. Priyanka Bhatt A brainchild of IDBI Federal Life Insurance, the 24-Hour Stadium Run started off as a promotional run in 2016 as a build-up for the Half Marathons it organises every year. Speaking to The Bridge, Kartik Raman, the Chief Marketing Officer of IDBI Federal Life Insurance said, "Though the event started as a promotional run, over the years, a lot of people took an active interest in the event, including the marathoners along with the 12-hour and 24-hour run enthusiasts. Today, people took 24-Hour Stadium Run pretty seriously as it was a qualification round for the 2019 IAU 24-Hour World Ultra Marathon Championship, which will be held in France in October this year." Fast&Up, the Indian sports nutrition brand, were the health partners of the Mumbai event, which ensured all the participants their nutritional needs during the run and were always actively fostering the runners with their assistance. Four of India’s top runners attempted to qualify for the gruelling France event, including Rajasthan’s Lallu Lal Meena and Yamini Kothari. Lallu, who is a popular name in Ultra Running, said, "I have been participating in the Run for the last two years, The Mumbai race was perfectly organised and NEB Sports is taking the race to new heights every year." For Yamini, the race was a test of her endurance level as she added, "This race was a big challenge for me to test my abilities, and I am confident of training harder and complete the challenge next year." The runners will now be looking forward to the Bengaluru 24-Hour Stadium Run, which will be held on 20-21st July at the Kanteerava Stadium.