Kochi: Cricketer Harbhajan Singh and Malayalam actor Mohanlal will be the brand ambassadors of the second edition of Kochi Half Marathon, to be held here on December 7.
Speaking at the function held to announce their names, Harbhajan said he was happy to be part of the event. "I will be running with Kochites. Let's make Kochi healthy."
Mohanlal, who continues to be the brand amabassador this year also, said that the 2014 edition would see around 30,000 athletes participating and the half marathon would catapult Kochi to internationl marathon map.
Online and physical registration for the half marathon will open on October 1. The event is expected to see record participation from Keralites, including professional athletes, serious runners, health and fitness enthusiasts who will run alongside some of the world's renowned long distance athletes and India's best runners to celebrate their common passion for running, Kochi Mayor Tony Chamanny, said.
He hoped that the Half Marathon will promote communal harmony and will showcase the heritage and culture of the port city. V A Sreekumar, Managing Director and CEO of Push Integrated Communication, promoters and executors of the event, said the prize money had been raised to Rs 65 lakh, which includes a separate prize fund for Indian athletes. The event will see the participation from around 20 foreign athletes, representing various countries and most of India's high profile men and women distance runners.
"There has been an increase in the overall prize money with the male and female winners taking home USD 5500 each, with the runners up getting richer by USD 3250. There is overall prize money up to eight places for men and women. Indian athletes have a separate prize fund with the fastest man and woman winning Rs 2 lakh each and the runner up athletes taking home Rs 1.5 lakh each.
"A new addition this year is the introduction of performance bonuses," he said.