August 27, 2009 : It's that time of the year, when Delhi gears up to come together and run on a common platform. Come November 1, Delhi will experience the joy of running while celebrating the 2nd edition of the Airtel Delhi Half Marathon.
Prize money of USD 210,000 on offer, some of the biggest names from the world of sport as Event Ambassadors, all half marathon participants to be chipped, free training packages offered by Reebok, exciting initiatives to give every participant an unforgettable experience on Race Day and a commitment from the Official Charity Partner, Concern India, to attempt for a significant increase in the monies raised towards charity are some of the exciting features heralding the arrival of the 2nd edition of the event.
This was announced by Shri Suresh Kalmadi, MP and President, Indian Olympic Association, in the presence of Shireesh Joshi, Director Marketing Bharti Airtel, Dr. L K Bhanot, Secretary General, Organising Committee Commonwealth Games 2010 and Secretary, AFI, various partners to the event and officials from various governing bodies of the Delhi Government at a press conference to launch the event at the Official Host Hotel Le Meridien in New Delhi on Thursday, August 27.
The first edition of the Airtel Delhi Half Marathon in 2008 was an enthralling experience for the capital city, to say the least. After the entire country was mesmerized by the magical racetrack composed by music maestro A R Rehman, Race Day saw a glittering galaxy of sports stars, Bollywood super stars and personalities from all walks of life join thousands and thousands of Delhiites to experience the magic of running..
"With the 2010 Commonwealth Games around the corner, the 2nd edition of the Airtel Delhi Half Marathon is the ideal precursor. I have watched the event grow tremendously and consider it the ideal platform to get the entire city of Delhi fit in time to welcome the Games. The IOA is proud of this event and wishes it all the very best in the years to come," said IOA President Suresh Kalmadi.
Said Shireesh Joshi, Director-Marketing, Bharti Airtel "Bharti Airtel is proud to bring to you the second Airtel Delhi Half Marathon - an event that has resonated with the people of Delhi. This city is well on its way to becoming a destination of choice for international sporting events, not only because of its superior infrastructure but also because of the spirit of the Delhiites. This marathon is dedicated to the joy of running and I am sure that Delhiites will participate again in large numbers this year to make this community event a grand success."
TIMING CHIPS MANADATORY: It is evident from the number of people registering for the half marathon, that the Airtel Delhi Half Marathon has helped inculcate the culture of running and fitness among the populace of Delhi. Last year around 8,000 people registered for the half marathon and the figure is expected to be much higher this time around.
To encourage runners to attempt this distance seriously, it has been decided from this year onwards to make the timing chip mandatory for all half marathon participants. Promoters Procam International are working towards the day when every participant in the Airtel Delhi Half Marathon will be running the 21.097 km distance competitively.
FREE TRAINING BY REEBOK: Helping people in their efforts to progress from the 6km Great Delhi Run to the 21.097km Half Marathon will be the free training programs conducted by the Official Training Partner Reebok, whose trainers have been coached by the world's leading distance runners, under the guidance of elite athletes' coordinator Ian Ladbrooke. Airtel Delhi Half Marathon merchandise will also be available at all Reebok stores.
Besides the Half Marathon, which occupies pride of place, race day has been packed with features like the Great Delhi Run, the Senior Citizen's Run and the Wheelchair Event, giving every Delhiite above the age of 12 an opportunity to emerge winners in their own right.
The Half Marathon has helped bring Delhi together like never before as people from all strata of society come together in a celebration of the human spirit. Every participant who crosses the finish line on Race Day and even those who don't, but give it their best shot, are winners. Be it the professional athlete, the serious runner, the fitness enthusiast, the senior citizen or the wheelchair bound, they all break barriers on that day. Physical barriers, mental barriers, social barriers come to naught before the magic of sport, whose power to push boundaries and help battle one's physical and mental limitations is unparalleled.
GLOBAL ICONS AS EVENT AMBASSADORS: Procam International takes pride in announcing two of the biggest sporting icons as Event Ambassadors for the Airtel Delhi Half Marathon. Cricketing legend Alan Border and athletics great Cathy Freeman have confirmed their presence in the capital during event week to promote the event and come together with the thousands of Delhiites to celebrate the 2nd anniversary of the event.
ATTRACTIVE PRIZE MONEY: The Airtel Delhi Half Marathon continues to remain the world's richest half marathon with the prize money standing at USD 210,000. Ratified by AIMS and recipient of the IAAF Gold Label, the already much talked about event on the international circuit will attract the leading long distance runners from around the world. A separate prize fund for Indian athletes will also ensure that our home grown elite runners are assured of their moments in the spotlight.
The male and female winners of the Airtel Delhi Half Marathon 2009 stand to gain USD 25,000 each, with prize money percolating down to the first ten places. The male and female Indian winners stand to gain USD 4,000 each, this separate prize fund also extending to the first ten places.
Dr. Lalit K Bhanot, Secretary, Athletics Federation of India will be the Race Director of the Airtel Delhi Half Marathon 2009 and Britain's legendary marathoner Hugh Jones will be the technical director of the event, jointly responsible for all the technical and logistical aspects of the event.
About Bharti Airtel Limited: Bharti Airtel Limited, a group company of Bharti Enterprises, is Asia’s leading integrated telecom services provider with operations in India and Sri Lanka and an aggregate of over 108 million customers as of end of July 2009, consisting of 105.18 million mobile customers. Bharti Airtel has been ranked among six best performing technology companies in the world by BusinessWeek.
Bharti Airtel is structured into three strategic business units - Mobile services, Telemedia services and Enterprise services. The mobile business offers services in India and Sri Lanka. The Telemedia business provides broadband, IPTV and telephone services in 95 cities. The Enterprise business provides end-to-end telecom solutions to corporate customers and national and international long distance services to carriers. All these services are provided under the Airtel brand. Airtel’s national high-speed optic fibre network currently spans over 104,540 Rkms covering all the major cities in India. The company has two international landing stations in Chennai that connects two submarine cable systems - i2i to Singapore and SEA-ME-WE-4 to Europe. For more information, visit www.bhartiairtel.in