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Sep 23, 2010 at 01:49pm IST

Airtel Delhi Half Marathon launched

New Delhi: The third edition of the Airtel Delhi Half Marathon was launched in New Delhi on Tuesday by Sanjay Kapoor, CEO-India, & South Asia, Bharti Airtel.

The marathon is an IAAF 'Gold Label' event and will have Bollywood star Bipasha Basu as the ‘Face of Event’. The marathon was launched in the presence of Hugh Jones, General Secretary of the Association of International Marathons and Road Races (AIMS) and a member of the IAAF Road Running Commission.

The event, to be conducted under the auspices of the Delhi government, is scheduled for November 21, 2010.

Airtel Delhi Half Marathon launched

The marathon is an IAAF 'Gold Label' event and will have Bollywood star Bipasha Basu as the 'Face of Event'.

While online registrations for the event were already on, physical registrations opened on Tuesday (September 21) and will close on November 4, or whenever running places are full, whichever is earlier.

"We are delighted to bring the third edition of the Airtel Delhi Half Marathon to the city of Delhi. This epic and inspirational event, hosted by the warm and hospitable citizens of Delhi, has become both an iconic sporting occasion for the nation and a special day full of endeavour, fantastic stories and fundraising. We invite all Delhiites to participate again in large numbers to make this the biggest and best year for the Half Marathon," said Sanjay Kapoor.

It will be the world's richest half marathon with a prize money of $ 210,000 and is expected to attract 40 of the world's top 100 male and female long distance athletes. The event will also witness the presence of some of the biggest names from the world of sport as event ambassadors.

Ten thousand running spaces have been reserved for the Half Marathon category, while the other categories on race day include 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.

Ethiopia's Deriba Merga, a two-time winner in 2008, 09 and one of the world's leading distance runners, is expected to return for an attempt at a hat-trick of titles and a shot at his own course record of 59.15, set in 2008. The women's title was lifted by world champion Mary Keitany of Kenya, a convincing winner in 1:06.54.

Competing against world class performers and for a separate prize fund has also improved Indian performances, with Deepchand Saharan clocking 1:04.00 to shave 48 seconds from the 2008 mark of 1:04.48 set by Sandeep Kumar.