Running

Behind the scenes of the TCS World 10k

tcs world 10k

As the 12th edition of the IAAF gold label race – TCS World 10K draws near, the city is abuzz with excitement, Deepthi Velkur catches up with the Procam Team to understand what it takes to organise a world class race.

On the 19th of May 2019, one of the world’s premier 10K run’s will see the participation of several elite athletes (National and International) and amateur runners alike.

The interest for the race is ever growing as evidenced by the staggering numbers this year.

  • Number of registered runners stands at 24,570
  • In the Open 10K category, there are 16,046 registered participants (an increase of over 800 participants from last year)
  • The elite start will boast of 95 of the World’s best
  • To celebrate the pride of running in Namma Bengaluru will be 6,595 participants in the Majja Run category
  • 873 Senior Citizens and
  • 720 participants in the Champions with Disability category (a 100% increase from previous years)

Talking about the primary objective of the expo, Head-Registrations- Procam International, Prathik Acharya has this to say, “The primary objective is to ensure all confirmed participants come to collect their bib numbers. Apart from that we also showcase brands which specialize in the industry such as health and lifestyle segments so that people could come and experience brands associated with this particular industry. We also have competitive brands for e.g. ASICS as our sports apparel partner for our finisher T’s for this event, we also have competitive brands like Nike, Skechers etc. also taking part at this particular venue. We don’t restrict it to only to our sponsors”.

Creating a social change that impacts the lives of millions

Beyond a globally acclaimed sporting event, the TCSW10K has created a phenomenal impact in terms of social change and prides itself as the largest sporting charity platform in South India. It’s this sense of pride that inspires Bengaluru to put its best foot forward every single time.

Along with the event’s philanthropy platform India Cares, 150 CSOs have collectively raised INR 39.19 crores supporting numerous causes since the event’s inception in 2008. This year as well the event continues to create a significant difference in the number of people/organizations contributing towards charitable causes to which VP- Procam International, Arati Kakatkar says, “For this edition alone the event has already raised INR 4.25 crore benefitting 60 CSOs. 26 companies with 50 teams, over 125 fundraisers and more than 2,500 donors have led the change”.

Eco-Stride – A step forward for a clean and green environment

The event is committed to putting the environment first and has successfully undertaken projects such as the Madiwala Lake Urban Forest and Cubbon Park Water Rejuvenation. In the last few years, the event has also proactively been implementing sustainable measures to mitigate waste generation in a mass participation event. Talking about the initiatives this edition, Arati Kakatkar said, “They primarily focus on the reduction of Plastic, Waste Segregation & Management and Distribution of Food Waste in partnership with the BBMP and Hasiru Dala Innovations, a social enterprise- focused on creating better livelihoods for waste pickers”.

Some additional initiatives taken by Procam  – bring your own bottles(BYOB), medals for Majja run made from recycled leftover medals and drop off buses to reduce carbon emissions. Commenting on its 12th edition, Joint Managing Director – Procam International, Vivek Singh shared, “As we move into the twelfth edition of this run, we are delighted that the TCS World 10K holds a place of pride in the city. With some of the most respected runners gracing this run, this race truly is a favourite among champions. Today, the event has transcended sport and positively impacted the city with our Cubbon Park Rejuvenation project and the Madiwala Lake Urban Forest. Our efforts towards being a 100% waste managed race are bearing fruit and we are constantly working on sustainable options.

He goes on to say, “As always, we are grateful to for all the efforts the civic authorities put into the race to ensure that this race is executed in a world-class manner. The team at Procam International, our partners, and all our enthusiastic participants are thankful for their support.”

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Official TCSW10K 2019 Pacers

TCS World 10K Bengaluru constantly works on reinventing itself and coming up with path-breaking initiatives. An example of such an initiative was the introduction of an all-women pacer squad in 2018 in the Open 10k category aimed at showcasing women empowerment. This initiative was so well received that they decided to do it again this year, with 15 women Pacers across 9 pacer buses that will lead over 16,000 amateurs to clock their personal best.

The main idea behind choosing a pacer as VP-Business Development, Procam International, Kevin Pereira, said, “To choose a pacer, we need to select someone who is better than the bus time and someone with an altruistic attitude to give up an opportunity to do a PB.  It was hard to find someone with the right fitment, the right background scrub, the right personality trait with regards to their chatter on social media and what makes them stand out as individuals”.

Procam recently conducted two sessions at the TCS campus in Bangalore where the Pacers did a chat show and the employees got to interact and ask questions. 90% of those who showed up for the event were women. “It was sensational the way it was received. We had Pacers from outstation come down, share and inspire them with their stories. The goal is to pass the message that ordinary people can lead extraordinary lives. It was all about taking that story forward and inspiring others”, says Kevin Pereira.

Talking about how they come up with their decision on pacer timings and the number of buses, Kevin says” It is based on two things, first there are a set of international standards and norms that we follow and secondly analyzing finishing data for the last 2 years (16-17 & 17-18) every 5mins. We also run algorithms to understand and analyze scientific data and over the years keep refining our data. One way is to see how many runners finished between 60 and 65 mins and in the next year finished between 56 and 60mins. We see if there has been an improvement in the timing and check to see which buses require support.

Procam International’s tryst with distance running began way back in 2004 and since then they have been successful at organizing races in India such as TMM, ADHM, TCSW10K, and TSK. Attracting new runners and developing a fitter community has always been a top priority for Procam.

When we think of large scale events such as this, meticulous planning and organization are of paramount importance. The teams that drive this and work tirelessly around the clock to ensure smooth execution on race day are the Core management team and other areas include Venue, Course, Branding, Parking, Course Motivation Head, Course Facilities Head, Security, Event Expo, and Medical. These zones are further divided and managed by extended Procam Team, which include consultants Heads, Sub-heads with their respective teams/volunteers.

To understand how Procam handles the scale of this event and how different teams come together to make this event successful, Head-Operations-Procam International, Mandar Pandya, says, “The biggest strength of Procam is the Team. Nearly 95% of the core team of Heads and Sub-heads has been a constant and travel for the event, which ensures perfect execution”. He further adds, “Systems and processes are set, trial drills are conducted and put in place by every core team and the rest of the team follows the path to execution. Since the workforce is almost the same for various areas and across multiple events,  it makes coordination very easy and accurate. We also empower the extended team to make decisions and hold them accountable for success and failures. This motivates the team to perform to perfection and ensured that everything is planned to the T”.

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Runners experience and Safety

Safety is the next big crucial thing in an event like this and Procam has never failed in living up to the expectations of the runners to ensure they have a safe run. “We believe in safety first and hence we take every possible worst case scenario into account and have a solution for it. This is what makes us prepared for any situation and have measures in place”, says Mandar Pandya.

Procam takes necessary steps towards ensuring they offer the best experience to the runner and they have access to some of the best facilities on course. To this effect, Mandar Pandya says, “The Runners experience is the ultimate goal of the whole team at Procam and at every stage, we engage with the runners. Procam events offer world-class facilities and experience to the runner be it registration, bib collection, race day itself and post the event. There are numerous facilities for an enhanced running experience for a runner, i.e. a clear sanitized course, Bisleri water station / Fast&Up stations, nature valley zones, mist zones, Volini recovery zone, nutritious breakfast, specialized medals, ASICS Finishers Tee, Race day photos among others”.

Having hosted the event for the last 11 years in Bengaluru has equipped the team well to handle any last minute changes. “We had to deal with many situations like elections, oath taking ceremonies in the event week which lead to delays and we had to do things in almost 50% of the time, experienced rains and thunderstorms the previous day of the event which caused trees falling down inside the venue as well as on the course, water logging, etc. But thanks to the support we get from BBMP and other authorities, we were able to overcome these situations and today we are better equipped” says Mandar Pandya.

An event like this entails managing large crowds and to ensure all goes well, the operations team works alongside industry expert Hugh John, a London Marathon winner and Race Director for the TCSW10K who assists and guides them through various course enhancements. They ensure all race categories have a clear and stress-free run, with each race having staggered start timings. The open 10k event being the first race starts early so the race is done in good time since they have 16000 + runners registered. To offer the best experience to the Elite men and women 10K categories since they come from across the world they plan for separate start timings for each category.

Procam along with their Medical Partner, Fortis, ensures certain medical arrangements are made available to respond to any medical emergency that may arise on race day –

  • A Fully equipped Medical Base Camp, with 70 Doctors, Physios, Nurses, and support staff ready to attend to all problems of runners. Total of 219 staff will be deployed on race day.
  • 2 Small Aid Stations inside Kanteerava Stadium to attend to any emergency. And 1 Team with the Senior Citizens and Champions with Disability
  • 3 Medical Stations on the Course
  • 6 Ambulances ready for any emergency between the medical stations
  • 5 Medics on Bikes who keep patrolling the route for runners safety
  • The last 2 Km has medical team spotters stationed at every 100 meters, who keep a vigil on the runners’ behaviour
  • At the Finish line, there is an army of medical staff who are ready to pick up any runner who needs attention and move him or her to the Medical Base Camp.
  • Apart from this, Vitthal Mallya hospital is on standby for an emergency as it is the nearest hospital to the event venue

The countdown to the race day has begun and we wish all the best for a safe and successful run at the 2019 TCS W10K run this Sunday, May 19th.

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Deepthi Velkur

Deepthi Velkur

Deepthi Velkur is a former sprinter who is trying her hand at various sports today. A tennis fanatic, who believes that sleep should never be compromised.