Pune event to be called Asian Marathon Championship

Pune : In its silver jubilee year, Pune International Marathon has been elevated to the status of the Asian Marathon Championship, which will be held here on December 5.

The Asian Athletics Association has decided to name the Pune International Marathon as the 12th Asian Marathon Championship, which will have a total prize money of Rs 45
lakh, general secretary of the Pune International Marathon, Pralhad Sawant told to reporters.

"For the first time, the Asian Marathon Championship will be held here in Pune... This is really a matter of pride for us," Sawant told to reporters.

The top runners of the Pune Marathon will get a chance to qualify for the World Marathon Championship, he added.

The registration process for the event begins on Thursday and the forms will be available online at their website -- www.marathonpune.com.

Another added attraction will be women`s full marathon and men`s half marathon, Sawant said.

"Every year we organise men`s full marathon (42.195km) and women`s half-marathon (21km). But this being the 25th year of the Pune International Marathon, we are also organsing the full marathon for women`s and half-marathon for the men`s," Sawant, who is also the joint secretary of the Athletic Federation of India (AFI), said.

About 35,000 athletes are expected to take part in the event.

"We have also raised the total prize money by Rs 15 lakh," Sawant said.

The forms are also available at Pune District?s Amateur Athletic Association K block, Nehru Stadium office.

The deadline for submission of form is November 10.

There will also be a race for juniors and AIDS Charity run and the entry will start from November 10.

Pune, incidentally, hosted India`s first marathon -- Deccan Gymkhana hosted it in 1918 -- and the Indian side for the 1920 Antwerp Olympics was selected from that race.

The first edition of Pune marathon was held in 1983.