Despite smog peril, record 35,000 participants to run half marathon
NEW DELHI: The national Capital might be reeling under severe air pollution and smog, but the inclement weather condition has failed to stop 35,000 people from participating in the upcoming Delhi Half Marathon.
The 13th edition of the race – one of the most popular marathons in the world – will see attendance of 5,000 more people than last year.
However, the marathon has been mired in controversy, ever since the Indian Medical Association called for its cancellation, on account to the smog blanketing Delhi.
Around 30,000 had taken part in the race in 2015 and the number is expected to cross touched 35,000 this year, according to organisers of the marathon, Procam International.
"It is great to see how event registrations closed much before the stipulated date and we are glad that the Delhi Half Marathon has played a transformational role in bringing communities together," Vivek Singh, Joint Managing Director, Procam International, said.
Among the elite runners are 24 top contestants from abroad, who will vie for the top prize of USD 27,000 each in both men's and women's category, including the likes of reigning world marathon champion Geoffrey Kirui of Kenya and world and Olympic 10,000m gold medalist Almaz Ayana of Ethiopia.
Of the 35,000, 13,216 (elite and amateur together) will run in the half marathon (21.097 km) distance, while the rest will participate in five categories of Great Delhi Run, Timed 10K Run, Senior Citizens Run and Champions with Disability Run.
In 2016, 12,844 ran in half marathon distance while there 13,200 took part in the category in 2015.