Procam International, promoters of the Airtel Delhi Half Marathon 2012, announced its preparedness to present a bigger and better edition of this unique event with the announcement of various positive developments and the involvement of one of the world’s greatest athletes as Event Ambassador in a Meet & Greet Session at the Le Meridien the Official Host Hotel, on Wednesday.
Present on the occasion along with Dilip Jayram, CEO, Procam International, was Bharat Bambawale, Global Brand Director, Bharti Airtel, the title sponsor and Hitesh Sharma, COO Radio Mirchi, the Radio Partner to the event, along with representatives from other partners to the event.
Over subscription to all race categories, a significant increase in half marathon runners, bonuses for a new world record and course records in the elite category as well as the Indian category, a change in the venue of the Get Active Event Expo and revised start times for some of the races were some of the significant announcements made. The name of David Lekuta Rudisha, the current 800m Olympic champion, who won the gold medal in London and set a new world record while doing so, was announced as the Event Ambassador to the 2012 edition of the world’s most prestigious half marathon.
The Airtel Delhi Half Marathon will see participation from a total of 31,746 participants. The Half Marathon has received 10609 entries, while the Great Delhi Run a whopping 19781. The Senior Citizens’ Run will have 1125 participants, while the Wheelchair Event 231.
The Airtel Delhi Half Marathon is one of the few half marathons from around the world to enjoy IAAF Gold Label Status. The event continues to enjoy the faith and support of the Association of Marathons and Distance Races (AIMS) and International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF), which has maintained the ‘Gold Label’ status of the event.
“Given our focus on youth and the theme of friendship, the Airtel Delhi Half Marathon has given brand Airtel the perfect platform to bring Dilli-ke-friends closer and celebrate their common passion for a fitter lifestyle. Since the last four years of our association with ADHM, we have seen people’s participation in this annual sporting event become bigger and better each year - and the 2012 leg of the race is now set to take registrations to an all new level of 31 thousand plus runners. We look forward to race day on 30th September 2012 and invite Delhi to come and be a part this exciting experience called Airtel Delhi Half Marathon!" said Bharat Bambawale, Global Brand Director - Bharti Airtel.
The decision to hold the Event Expo one week earlier was taken last year, aimed at easing the pressures on the amateur runners coming in to collect their running numbers. This year too, the Event Expo will be held one week earlier, from September 21 to 23, 2012, but at a new venue. The venue for this year’s Event Expo will be the NSIC ground, Exhibition Complex, Gate No. 3 & 4, Okhla Industrial Area Phase-III, Outer ring road, New Delhi-110020; near Govind Puri metro station.
The Expo will be on between 11.00 am to 7.00 pm on all the three days and will also be the venue for all confirmed participants from Delhi and its surrounding to come and collect their running numbers along with the goodie bags. Outstation runners can collect their running numbers and goodie bags on September 29 between 11.00 am and 7.00 pm at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium.
Exciting times at the Expo: The grand finale of the Airtel Treadmillion Challenge will be conducted at the Expo on all 3 days. The zone which clocks the highest number of miles will be the winner. Airtel and Radio Mirchi will then help fulfill one of the demands of the winning zone, chosen/identified by the people of that zone. The winning zone will be announced on the final day (23rd September). The Airtel Marathon Rockers contest too will be conducted at the Expo at the following times: 6.15 pm on September 21; 3.45 p.m., 5 p.m., 6.15 p.m on September 22 and 5 p.m. onwards on September 23.
A limited number of running bibs will be sold at the Expo by Concern India Foundation at their stall, with the proceeds going towards charity. Bibs for the Half Marathon will be available for Rs 2000, and bibs for the Great Delhi Run at Rs 1500.
The Following partners will have interactive stalls at the Expo: Bharti Airtel; BMW Experience Zone; Timex India; Omron Healthcare; Max Healthcare; Radio Mirchi and Concern India Foundation. In addition to the above, there will also be stalls set up by Nike India and ASICS Japan.
David Rudisha as Event Ambassador: David Rudisha, one of the most exciting, young Olympic and World Champions was announced as the Event Ambassador of the Airtel Delhi Half Marathon, 2012. Rudisha, who took the entire sporting world by storm by setting the new World record while winning the 800m Olympic Gold in London, will be in Delhi from Thursday, September 27 to promote the event, meet with the sponsors and partners, the elite athletes, encourage the amateur athletes and later on spread the message worldwide about the event and the running movement in the country.
David Rudisha is the current Olympic and world record holder in the 800 metres, as well as the current World and Olympic Champion at the distance. Rudisha holds the three fastest, six of the eight fastest, and half of the twenty fastest times ever for this event. Just weeks ago at the London 2012 Olympics he astonished the world by breaking the world record for 800 metres with a time of 1:40.91.
Rudisha’s past achievements: In September 2009, Rudisha won the IAAF Grand Prix meeting in Rieti, Italy, posting a new African record of 1:42.01, beating the 25-year old record of 1:42.28 set by compatriot Sammy Koskei. That effort put him in fourth place on the all-time list. On 10 July, 2010, Rudisha ran the 800 m in 1:41.51 at the KBC Night of Athletics in Heusden, Belgium; this new personal record placed him No. 2 all-time in the world for the 800 m.
In November 2010, at the age of 21, he became the youngest ever athlete to win the IAAF World Athlete of the Year award. He also won the Kenyan Sportsman of the Year award.
In August 2011 he managed to win the World Championships in Daegu, Korea in a time of 1:43.91, just some ten days before running 1:41.33 in Rieti.
With a time of 1:41.74, Rudisha set the US all comers 800 m record at the 2012 Grand Prix at Icahn Stadium in New York City. He guaranteed his selection for the Kenyan Olympic team for the first time with a win at the Kenyan trials, running a time of 1:42.12 minutes – the fastest ever recorded at altitude.
David Rudisha’s association with the event is in line with Procam International’s efforts to bring to India some the world’s most accomplished sportsmen to raise the profile of the sport of distance running. Some of the luminaries who have been event ambassadors in the past include names like Richard Hadlee, Allan Border, Jackie-Joyner Kersee, Daley Thompson, Catherine Freeman, to name a few.
“I am delighted to be the Event Ambassador for the Airtel Delhi Half Marathon. It is so vital, that besides the amazing competitive field, which also includes some of my fellow-Kenyans, there is also the average runner who participates for health and fitness, charity and also for self belief. This event has always been very much of an anticipated event every year and 2012 is no exception. I am honored to be a part of it and encourage everyone to be a participant in whatever way possible. I am looking forward to my visit and my best wishes to the organisers, sponsors, runners, and most of all the city of Delhi,” said Rudisha in his message from Kenya.
Super fast elite athlete field: The world’s most prestigious half marathon, with its prize fund of USD 210,000 and bonuses of USD 25,000 for a new world record and USD 10,000 for a course record has once again attracted a super fast field of elite men and women, with 12 male athletes having sub-60 timings and eight female athletes with sub-70 timings.
Leading the men’s field will be the world’s fastest half marathon of the year, Ethiopian Atsedu Tsegay, who has confirmed his participation with the sole aim of attempting to lower the world record of 58.23. The 21-year-old Tsegay clocked 58.47 when wining the Prague half marathon in March 2012.
Tsegay will lead a talented field of fellow Ethiopians, among them defending champion Lelisa Desisa and course record holder Deriba Merga.
The Kenyan challenge will be spearheaded by Ezekiel Chebii, who clocked 59.05 while winning the Lille Half Marathon early this month. Running alongside him will be Gilbert Masai, who clocked 59.57 while finishing 4th at Lille. Leonard Langat, with a personal best of 59.52 and Peter Kamais, with a personal best of 59.53 are the other notable Kenyans. Moroccan Abdellah Fathi, Tanzanian Dickson Marwa and South African Lucky Modike are the other names to watch out for.
The women’s race too will see a battle between the Kenyans and Ethiopians, with Namibia’s Helalia Johannes, who finished 12th in the marathon at the London Olympics, emerging as the dark horse. The Kenyans will be led by Helah Kiprop and Caroline Kilel, with Helen Kimutai and Irene Mogaka also names to watch out for.
The Ethiopian challenge will be spearheaded by Aselefech Mergia, twice winner here and winner of the Dubai Marathon 2012, and Belaynesh Oljira, winner of the Houston Half Marathon 2012.
Revised start times: Keeping in mind the possibility of the weather being hot on September 30, it has been decided to start all the races earlier. Accordingly the Half
Marathon for Elite men will start at 6.30 am, followed by the Half Marathon for Elite women at 6.35 am. The Open Half Marathon will start at 6.40 am, followed by the Wheelchair Event at 7.30am, the Senior Citizens’ Run at 7.35 am and the Great Delhi Run at 8.45 am.
Strong response to Inter-Collegiate Sporting Challenge: The Inter-Collegiate Sporting Challenge, now in its second year, has received entries from 21 teams, representing 18 colleges. Among them are 15 men’s teams and 6 girl’s teams.
Following are the colleges that have confirmed participation: P G DAV College (Lajpat Nagar); Deendayal Upadhyaya College; IIT, Delhi (Hauz Khas); JIIMS – Jagannath Int Mgt. School (Vasant Kunj); Delhi Technological Univ (Bawana Road, 2 teams); Amity Univ (Gurgaon); Bhaskaracharya College of Applied Sciences (Dwarka); Lady Sri Ram College (Kailash Colony, South Delhi, Girls College); Jamia Hamdard (Sangam Vihar, 2 teams); Vivekanand College Shri Guru Teg Bahadur Khalsa College; Shyamlal College; Laxmi Bai College (Girls); Dayal Singh College; College of Vocational Studies (Seikh Sarai); Miranda House (Delhi Univ Girls College); IGIPE & SS Indira Gandhi Institute of Education & Sports Science (Vikas Puri, 2 teams); ITS Group of Institutions (Ghaziabad)
Since its inception, the Airtel Delhi Half Marathon has been embraced by the city and its citizens as its very own, the sense of ownership and belonging strengthening over the years. This year the event was oversubscribed much before the last date and it is this commitment from the participants that propels promoters Procam International, backed by the powers that govern, to deliver an even better event on September 30, 2012.