Harpal Singh Bedi / New Delhi
Country’s only Gold Label athlete Gopi T and defending champion Nitendra Singh Rawat will headline the Indian challenge in the Airtel Delhi Half Marathon (ADHM) to be held in the capital on 21 October.
The USD 2,80,000 event will witness participants running in four race categories – Half Marathon (Elite & amateur), Great Delhi Run, 10K Run, Senior Citizens and Champions with Disability
Asian Marathon Champion Gopi T and course record holder Nitendra Singh Rawat ran a thrilling race at the 2018 Tata Mumbai Marathon where Gopi pipped Rawat only in the last 200 metres to win the title. Avinash Sable, who stood third in 2017 ADHM, will also add further teeth to the competition.
In the recently concluded Open National Athletics Championships in Bhubaneswar, Sable clinched the gold in Steeplechase 3000m erasing the 37-year-old national record in the process.
Sanjivani Jadhav and Monica Athare will lead the Host’s Elite Women’s category. Jadhav, who finished on top in the Half Marathon category at Tata Mumbai Marathon earlier this year, also won a bronze at the Asian Cross Country Championships in China. She also won the TCS World 10K Bengaluru.
Athare, on the other hand, is the winner in Indian Elite Women’s category of the ADHM in 2016. She came second to Jadhav in the Half Marathon category at Tata Mumbai Marathon.
According to the organisers the presence of legends like Sanya Richards-Ross and Jonty Rhodes will add that extra zing to the participants.”
South Africa’s former cricket great Jonty Rhodes will be present at the ADHM as a PUMA athlete, motivating all the participants.
Commenting on the countdown towards Race Day, he said, “India is my second home and my love for the country has no bounds. In my years spent here for various assignments, I have seen how people’s attitude to sport has changed and it has become part of their lifestyles.
Running, is the basis of any sport and perhaps the most natural way to stay fit. To have over 34,000 runners pounding the streets of Delhi not only to test their limits but also to support a cause through an iconic event like this is truly amazing. I look forward to inspire and be inspired by all the participants.”
The organisers also announced various steps they will undertake to make it an pollution free event.
Much before the start of the Race ,entire course will be washed with a safe and eco-friendly agent mixed with effluent treated water to reduce the suspended particulate matter over the ADHM course. It will be followed by spraying of the course with jets and mist fans reaching upto 20 feet to ensure that the SPM on the course is tackled.
Dust hot spots adjoining / near proximity of the course have been pre-identified, and will be sprinkled twice prior to the course being opened for runners.
As ascertained by multiple experts, the eco-friendly agent binds with the dust and reduces the volume of suspended particulate matter and when the water which has been sprayed on the roads starts vaporizing, it creates a safe and clean channel for runners to run.