HARPAL SINGH BEDI / New Delhi
The countdown for the 10th edition of the Airtel Delhi Half Marathon has begun with 35,000 running enthusiasts including the crème de la creme in long-distance running gear-up to vie for the top honours at the world’s most prestigious Half Marathon to be held on November 19, 2017.
This year’s race day will witness a supreme battle between the best of Indian and International elite athletes. Getting off the blocks is the Men’s World Marathon Champion Geoffrey Kirui (2:08:27) and Airtel Delhi Half Marathon Defending Women’s Champion Worknesh Degefa (67:42) along with the Women’s 10,000m World Champion Almaz Ayana, who won Gold at the same event in Rio Olympics 2016. Yigrem Delemash, the runner up of last edition of Airtel Delhi Half Marathon, will challenge Geoffrey Kirui for the title in the Men’s category.
The Indian challenge, on the other hand, will be led by ADHM Indian Men’s Defending Champion G Lakshmanan returning to the event who will be challenged by 2015 edition winner Nitender Singh Rawat. The fiercely determined 27-year-old Lakshmanan is in top form and he even gave India a reason to celebrate when he won the double Gold Medal at the recently concluded Asian Athletic Championship in 10000 & 5000 meters.
Meanwhile, the 31-year-old Nitender Singh Rawat’s story is nothing short of a real-life hero. He served as infantry Havaldar of the 6th Kumaon Regiment in Kashmir before running 42kms under 2.19 mark to see himself qualify for the Rio Olympics.
Olympian and Asian Athletics Championship 3000M Steeplechase Gold medalist Sudha Singh will be headlining the elite Indian women’s line up. A star-studded lineup such as this assures pulsating competition on race day.
In an overwhelming response, the event heralded a new high with registrations closing in a record 20 days for half marathon with 13,000 runners signing up for the event. The USD 2,75,000 event will witness 35,000 participants running in four race categories- Half Marathon (Elite & amateur), Great Delhi Run, 10K Run, Senior Citizens and Champions with Disability.
Talking to media persons Vivek Singh, Jt, Managing Director, Procam International said “We are delighted to have entered the 10th edition of this marquee running event.
The presence of sporting legends like Linford Christie and Anthony Ervin makes this edition more special and will provide an extra zip to the participants. We appreciate the support of our sponsors and all stakeholders in helping to make this event possible and look forward to a successful race day on 19th November.”