Chikmagalur, Oct 13: The two-day Coffee Day Malnad Ultra Marathon 2018 flagged off successfully from Lalbaug Estate in Chikmagalur in the early hours Saturday.
811 runners from 13 countries and 22 states from across India gathered at the start line for the flag off of the ultra marathon. There were as many as 43 international runners from UK, Poland, France, USA, Maldives, Germany, Australia, Canada, Belgium, Singapore, Colombia, Japan, and Malaysia who participated in the run with USA having the highest representation of 7 endurance runners.
The endurance run also had an incredible number of 143 female runners and also saw participation from people up to 75 years of age.
Coffee Day Malnad Ultra is split into three categories - 50 km, 80 km and 110 km.
The 80 km and 110 km run flagged off at 6:30 am while the 50 km run begun at 7:00 am. 496 participants (111 females) registered for the 50 km run, 96 participants (17 females) registered for the 80 km run and 229 participants (15 females) registered for the challenging 110 km run.
The ultra marathon course will take the runners through the hilly and enchanting terrain of the Western Ghats while offering scenic views of the coffee plantations.
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Indore (PTI): Members of the Pakistan cricket team were on Monday issued Indian visas for the ODI World Cup, the International Cricket Council (ICC) confirmed, hours after the PCB raised serious concerns with the global body over the delay in the national team's travel to Hyderabad.
The visa clearance came less than 48 hours before Pakistan's scheduled travel to India in the wee hours of September 27. They play their first warm-up game against New Zealand in Hyderabad on September 29.
"Visas have been issued to Pakistan," an ICC spokesperson told PTI.
However, confusion remained in the Pakistan camp over the grant of visa.
"We have not got the call from Indian High Commission yet over visa clearance. Member of our team is stationed there," PCB spokesperon Umar Farooq told PTI.
The confirmation from the ICC came after the PCB wrote to ICC CEO Geoff Allardice on Monday over the visa delay besides claiming the anxious wait has adversely impacted the team's preparation for the 50-over showpiece.
Pakistan were supposed to have a two-day team bonding session in Dubai before their scheduled arrival in Hyderabad on September 27 but was cancelled due to the uncertainty over Indian visa.
The Babar Azam-led side plays two warm-up games and as many World Cup matches in Hyderabad starting with the practice fixture against New Zealand.
In the letter addressed to Allardice, the PCB also claimed that its concerns over visa being granted to players, team officials, fans and journalists for the World Cup in India have not been addressed for more than three years. It also added that such inequitable treatment to Pakistan will not be acceptable.
Reiterating those concerns, Farooq added: "There has been an extraordinary delays in getting clearance and securing Indian visas for the Pakistan team for ICC World Cup.
"We have written to ICC raising our concerns about inequitable treatment towards Pakistan and reminding them of these obligations towards the World Cup. It's a matter of disappointment that the Pakistan team has to go through the uncertainty ahead of the major tournament.
"We have been reminding about their obligations from last three years and it has all come down to last two days with our first warm game scheduled on September 29. We were forced to cancel our original plan to organise team-building exercise in Dubai on the way to India. We have had to rework our plan and book new flights, but these plans are subject issuance of visas," he said.
Pakistan last visited India for the T20 World Cup in 2016. The arch-rivals only play each other in the Asia Cup and ICC tournaments due to the tense relations between the two countries.
PCB sources informed that flight tickets of around 35 members have been re-booked now that the Dubai trip is off. The team will now leave for Hyderabad from Lahore in the wee hours of September 27 and reach Hyderabad via Dubai in the night.
"The warm-up game is less than four days away and players are in a state of uncertainty. If the players are having to experience delays, one can only wonder what will happen to visa applications of fans and journalists," a source said.
Visa applications from Pakistan require clearances from three ministries -- home, external affairs and sports.
Pakistan's second warm-up game will be against Australia on October 3, also in Hyderabad.
They will remain in the city for their opening two World Cup games against Netherlands and Sri Lanka on October 6 and 10 respectively before flying to Ahmedabad for the big game against hosts India on October 14.
Only two members from the current Pakistan squad have toured India for cricket -- Mohammad Nawaz and Salman Agha.