Delhi readies for 'Hutch' marathon in October

MUMBAI: Come October and Delhi will have its first marathon when the Hutch Delhi Half Marathon kicks off on 16 October, 2005.



The announcement was made by Hutchison Essar managing director Asim Ghosh today in the presence of Member of Parliament and Athletic Federation of India president Suresh Kalmadi, Jindal Stainless (associate sponsor of the marathon) director N C Mathur and other representatives of the event partners and various dignitaries.



The Hutch Delhi Half Marathon will provide a platform for everyone to run on the same track for a cause they believe in. It also will be a test of fitness and endurance- both physical and emotional.



Ghosh said, "Marathons are always associated with the city that they are run in. Hutch is delighted to be associated with the first Delhi Half Marathon. We have a long standing relationship with Delhi and this is a small way of giving back to the community that we serve. I hope that many will participate in this run and make this an annual event that all look forward to."

Kalmadi said, "Between now and the Commonwealth Games 2010, there will be one major sporting event in Delhi every year. To me, the Hutch Delhi Half Marathon is that major event and will be the ideal leadup to the Commonwealth Games 2010."

The event is being organised under the aegis of the Athletic Federation of India, supported by the Government of Delhi, promoted by Procam International and partnered by leading brands and corporates in their fields, critical to the fabric of the event.

Partners to the Event:

    Prasar Bharati Corporation - telecast partner

    Escorts Heart Institute - medical partner

    Standard Chartered Bank - financial services partner

    New Balance - official sportswear

    The Times of India - print partner

    DHL - logistics partner

    Kingfisher - water partner

    Radio Mirchi - radio partner

    Indiatimes - Internet partner

    Give India - official charity

Over 25,000 people are expected to be a part of this event on 16 October. The event is divided into three runs:

The Half Marathon: The main draw of the day would be the half marathon, beginning at 7.30 am and to be run over 21.097 kms. With $150,000 as the total prize money, the event is expected to attract the cream of professional long distance talent from around the world, with at least 40 runners from among the top 100 expected to take part. To encourage the homegrown talent to participate and compete, there is also a separate prize fund for Indian athletes.

Senior Citizen Run: Supported by Harmony, this race begins at 7.45 am, to be run over 4.3 km. Procam International is working closely with the Spastics Society of India to involve physically challenged individuals, in wheel chairs, in the event as well.

Great Delhi Run: The Great Delhi Run at 9 am over 7 km, will see people from all walks of life, age groups, celebrities from different fields, all coming together to showcase to the world the spirit and zest for life.

The action will be beamed live on Doordarshan terrestrially and a satellite network.

Registrations for the Hutch Delhi Half Marathon open on 20 August and close on 30 September or until running places are full, whichever is earlier.

'Hutch anytime Kiosks' at select Hutch shops in Delhi have also been put up and also through SMS by sending REG to 111, a facility available to Hutch subscribers only. Registration forms will be available at all Hutch Galleries, partner outlets and Standard Chartered Bank branches in Delhi.

The entry fee for participants living in India, will be Rs 50 for the Half Marathon, Rs 100 for the Senior Citizens Run and Rs 100 for the Great Delhi Run, while for international participants, the fee will be $20 for the Half Marathon, $10 for the Senior Citizens Run and $10 for the Great Delhi Run.

The dedicated Event Helpline 9899977777 (10 am to 7 pm, from 20 August onwards) as well as the website will provide information on all aspects of the event. Further one can also SMS RUN to 123 to get event information directly.

Athletic Federation of India secretary Lalit Bhanot will be the race director.

Drive for charity: The Hutch Delhi Half Marathon provides a unique platform for raising money for charity. Tens of thousands of individuals, many novice runners and celebrities take up the running challenge in order to raise funds for charities close to their hearts. With each passing year charity efforts gain momentum. Mumbai raised Rs 10 million for charity in the first year and over Rs 40 million in the second. Give India, the official charity partner, will be driving the entire exercise.

The Hutch Delhi Half Marathon will offer various options to those running for charity. The Dream Team will comprise celebrities, sportspersons, executives and others who will raise a minimum of Rs 100,000 for charity. The Corporate Challenge is for corporates that put together teams of 30 runners and agree to match the pledges they raise. The Pledgers' United is for everyone who would like to do their bit and support a cause of their choice.

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