Kolkata, Feb 5: A day after India won the U-19 World Cup, cricket legend Sachin Tendulkar on Sunday urged youngsters taking part in a marathon here to lead the way.
Stressing on fitness, which Tendulkar has time and again termed the key to India's success in not only the just-concluded ICC U19 World Cup in New Zealand, but also the senior team, the 44-year-old icon motivated the children to run the yards harder as that will take them far in life.
"We are all talking about India's health and future generation being aware of how important it is to remain in good health," Tendulkar said in his opening address with the 10,000-odd participants all ears.
"You guys have been instrumental in spreading the message across, so a big thank you to you. When I saw these kids standing on the front row, my message to all the seniors was catch them if you can.
"They are going to run. It's time to keep up with them. They have got the message. It's important that seniors also respond to that. So far it has been fantastic, let's make it even better," the holder of virtually every individual record on the cricket field added.
Later, tweeting a picture with blade runner Afzal Khan, Tendulkar hailed his spirit saying he is an inspiration to many.
"We all have our days when we look for excuses not to get up, get out and exercise. This young man leaves no room for any. You're an inspiration blade runner Afzal Khan. Keep on running!" he tweeted.
City homemaker Pooja Jain, a mother of two, also took part in the event, running the full marathon in a saree.
Tendulkar was in a relaxed mood wearing a white sponsors t-shirt and black track pants.
The moment the emcee of the event announced his name, the participants halted in their tracks and started queuing up in front of the stage designated for the 'Master Blaster'.
The batting maestro was seen spending time with kids and spotting them from among the crowd.
"Kemon acho Kolkata (How are you Kolkata)?" said Tendulkar to continuous chants of 'Sachin! Sachin!' in the background.
Tendulkar signed on his autobiography "Playing It My way" also as scores of fans halted their marathon run to have a glimpse of their idol.