The top Indian elite athletes Suresh Kumar Patel, Srinu Bugatha, Pradeep Chaudhary in men`s category and Course Record Holder L Suriya, Parul Chaudhary and Priti Lamba in women`s category are all set to better their respective timings in the Airtel Delhi Half Marathon (ADHM).
Suriya, who created the course record in 2017, expressed that she enjoys running on the route of the ADHM.
"The route at the ADHM is very nice. In 2017, I really enjoyed the run as the weather was also good. Therefore, I put up a good performance that year. I am looking forward to another great experience in ADHM. Hopefully, I will break the course record again," Suriya told reporters here.
The runners of the ADHM will be awarded Rs 1 lakh as a bonus cash prize if they break the course record this year. Parul Chaudhary, who is keen to make an impression this year, is delighted about the bonus cash prize on offer.
"It`s great that the runners will be rewarded with a bonus cash prize for breaking the course record. We are very happy and I will definitely give it my all to achieve a bonus prize this year," Parul said.
Speaking about the conditions, Pradeep Chaudhary expressed that the weather has changed for the better since Friday and hopefully the conditions will suit the runners on Sunday.
"The weather suddenly changed on Friday. It was very windy making the conditions very cool and suitable for runners. I am looking forward to a great run and good weather on a beautiful track will be an added bonus," Chaudhary said.
Bugatha, who has won over 100 medals in national and international running events since he took up the sport in 2010, is also eyeing the course record at the Half Marathon this year.
"Everyone is a tough competitor in the Airtel Delhi Half Marathon. Especially, Suresh Kumar Patel and Pradeep Chaudhary will put up a tough challenge. I have come with the target of setting my best time and will try to break the course record," Bugatha said.
Earlier in the day, Union Minister of Youth Affairs and Sports Kiren Rijiju flagged off the 15th Airtel Delhi Half Marathon from Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium.
Following a countdown, Rijiju fired a pistol in the air to begin the run.
The number of registrations for all categories in the 15th edition of the Airtel Delhi Half Marathon (ADHM) has soared to an all-time high of 40,633 participants, organisers said.
The Great Delhi Run has registered an unprecedented 16,962 runners while the half marathon witnessed a spike of 11 per cent with 13,115 participants.
The 10k run registrations witnessed a jump of 77 per cent to 8,553.
The senior citizen run received 1430 registrations, while the champions with a disability will have 573 inspiring individuals defying all odds to complete the distance.The IAAF Gold Label race has prize money of USD 275,000.
This year ADHM is supported by New Delhi Municipal Council (NDMC), who will lend their expertise to ensure all the waste on the route is efficiently managed.
Also, for the first time ever Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC) has associated with the event to provide special metro services.