34,000 runners prepare to charm the running world in the 8th edition of Airtel Delhi Half Marathon 2015

World & Olympic record holder Kenenisa Bekele to be Event Ambassador

Two new partners onboard; Nestlé India – Nutrition Partner, Puma -Sportswear Partner

On Sunday, November 29, India’s capital will host the eighth edition of the world’s prestigious Airtel Delhi Half Marathon (ADHM), an event the city owns with its body, mind and spirit. The finest long distance athletes from across the world along with amateur runners will converge in Delhi to put their best foot forward and in doing so, accomplish great missions, achieve new goals and contribute to enriching lives across a country of 1.2 billion.

The sport of distance running is engulfing the nation and a testimony to this has been the overwhelming response ADHM 2015 has received. For the first time, half marathon registrations for the event closed more than a month before the cut-off date.

The Half Marathon has received 13,200 entries, the DHL Corporate Champions have 200 teams (600 runners), while the Great Delhi Run has 19,000 entries. The Senior Citizens’ Run will have 800 participants, and the Champions with Disability event will have 400 participants. A total of 34,000 runners from different corners of the world are participating.

“Over the years, the Airtel Delhi Half Marathon has emerged to become an outstanding platform that celebrates people’s passion for running. Be it professional runners, fitness enthusiasts, the elderly or children in Delhi – ADHM sees the overwhelming participation of people from difference walks of life – all coming together to run for a social cause. ADHM has been growing exponentially every year and is indeed a strategic association for brand Airtel. As proud title sponsors of this amazing annual sporting event, we at Airtel are excited to inch closer to Race Day and invite people across the city to step out of their homes on 29th November to cheer the participants of the 8th edition of Airtel Delhi Half Marathon,” said Sarang Kanade, Hub CEO – Delhi NCR and Rajasthan, Bharti Airtel.

Vivek Singh, Jt. Managing Director, Procam International said, “As we enter the 8th edition of the Airtel Delhi Half Marathon, we are all set for another great race. This year, half marathon registrations closed a month prior to the closing date, reflective of the growing running culture in the Capital City, and the enthusiasm with which people take running now. We are pleased to be spreading the message of health and fitness. We welcome and thank our runners and partners for supporting the event and helping it grow to this level.”

Event Ambassador: One of the greatest champions and hailed as the Usain Bolt of distance running, Kenenisa Bekele will grace the eighth edition of ADHM as the Event Ambassador.

He holds the World and Olympic record in both the 5,000 metres and 10,000 metres events (indoor and outdoor). He won a double at the 2008 Summer Olympics in both these events and also won the 2004 Olympic title over 10,000 m.

Bekele participated in his first Half Marathon, The Great North Run in 2013, in which he beat both Mo Farah and Haile Gebrselassie and emerged on top. Thereafter Bekele did the impossible – on April 6, 2014, he produced the sixth fastest marathon debut ever on a record-eligible course with his victory at the Paris Marathon, in a course record time of 2:05:04.

Bekele, is the most accomplished runner in IAAF World Cross Country Championships history, with six long (12 km) course and five short (4 km) course titles. He won the 10,000 m title at the World Championships in Athletics four times running from 2003 to 2009 (matching Haile Gebrselassie’s win streak). Kenenisa was unbeaten over 10,000 m from his debut in 2003 until 2011.

At the 2009 World Championships in Athletics, he became the first man to win both 5000 m and 10,000 m title at the same championships. Over 5000 m, he has also won an Olympic silver (2004), World Championship bronze (2003), two African Championship titles and one All-Africa Games gold medal. He also won the 3000 metres title at the World Indoor Championships in 2006.

New Partners: Over the years, the most respected brands have partnered Airtel Delhi Half Marathon for the transformational role it plays in bringing individuals, organizations and institutions together. This year, the event has two new sponsors onboard:

PUMA, the Fastest Sports brand in the World, as the Sportswear Partner and Nestlé India, world leaders in Nutrition, Health and Wellness as the Nutrition Partner.

Chandrasekar Radhakrishnan , Head of Communications and eCommerce , Nestlé India said, “Nestlé is ‘100 years and running’ in India. We are honoured to have Fauja Singhji, the iconic 104 years old marathon runner as the ambassador and symbol of Nestlé India’s ‘100 years and running’ campaign. As we celebrate this long and valuable association with the people of India, we are also happy to partner with Procam and Airtel Delhi Half Marathon 2015.”

Talking about the ADHM countdown to race day, Abhishek Ganguly, Managing Director, PUMA India said, “We are really excited to see the way in which things are shaping up for the big day! We see immense potential in the running category in India and with our association we are all set to IGNITE the run. PUMA has always been very invested in running as a sport, and as a partner our constant endeavour is to grow the sport of running in India.”

Nestlé Mirchi Get Active Expo is a one-stop destination for enthusiasts of health, fitness and wellbeing to come together under one roof. The Nestlé Mirchi Get Active Expo will go on for three days from 20th – 22nd November 2015 from 11:00 am to 7:00 pm at NSIC Grounds, Okhla. One day before the race, on Saturday, 28th November 2015 out-station runners can collect their bibs from NSIC Grounds, Okhla from 11:00 am to 7:00 pm.

All the three days of the Nestlé Mirchi Get Active Expo will see a host of activities like the finale of Cigna TTK Treadmillion Challenge, Runners meet to motivate runners for the big day and help them get tips from the experts, trainers, doctors and more. There will be interactive stalls of partners like Airtel, Nestlé India, Puma, Seiko, Enerzal, Cigna TTK, Volini, in addition to brands like Sennheiser, Sony and Aashiana Builders who are also associated with the event and will have their stalls at the Nestlé Mirchi Get Active Expo.

The Nestlé Mirchi Get Active Expo will give participants ample time to study in detail, race day instructions, familiarize themselves with security arrangements, traffic restrictions, road closures and other arrangements that will come into force on race day.

Start Times: The Half Marathon for Elite men will start at 6.40 am followed by the Half Marathon for Elite women at 6.50 am. The new 10K, 5K and 3K for Indian Athletes will be flagged off at 6:54 am. The DHL Corporate Champions race will start at 6.55 am, followed by the Amateur Marathon (Categories A to F) at 7.10am.

These will be followed by the Champions with Disability at 7.35am, the Senior Citizens’ Run at 8.00 am and the Great Delhi Run at 9.35 am. All flag-offs will be through Gate 1 of Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium. Gate 1 will serve as the Finish Area for all categories apart from the Champions with Disability and the Senior Citizens’ Run, which will conclude at Gate 2. The 10K, 5K and 3K for Indian Athletes will finish at 10, 5 and 3km points on the route respectively.