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The Delhi Half Marathon Was an Astounding Success

Airtel Delhi Half Marathon
Written by Ankkit Siingh

The Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium was the place to be if running gets your heart racing. The place was buzzing with runners from all over the globe at the 10th Airtel Delhi Half Marathon. The city of Delhi has been struggling with a severe air pollution issue but that did not deter the participants of the Half Marathon. An astounding number of people signed up for the event.

With a 35,000-strong crowd, the event was a success in every sense of the word. But the same cannot be said about Delhi’s ongoing battle with air pollution. Although the air quality has improved a little, it is still not safe. The PM2.5 and PM10 levels of Delhi were still 2-3 times the standard that is considered safe during the event. But, the silver lining is that there has been some improvement from the previous week which saw the levels hit 7-8 times the safe standard.

Airtel Delhi Half Marathon People
Source – Bal Utsav

Almaz Ayana of Ethiopia won gold in the race while Berhanu Legese won the men’s event.
Ayana, a leading long distance runner and clocked the race in one hour, seven minutes and 11 seconds, emerging as the champion in her very first half marathon race.

Almaz Ayana Marathon
Source – Athletics Weekly

Legese scored a gold in the men’s elite race and clocked the race in 59 minutes and 46 seconds while his fellow Ethiopian Anadamlak Belihu came in second at 59:51. Leonard Korir from the United States came in third, finishing the race in 59:52.

Berhanu Legese
Source – The Indian Express

The prize money for both the men’s and women’s winners was USD 27,000. The race was exciting and eventful but both Ayana and Legese failed to break the course record of 1:06:54 and 59:06 respectively.

L Suriya won the gold in course record time of 1:10:31,in the Indian Women category, and distance runner Sudha Singh and Parul Choudhary came in second and third respectively.

L Suriya Delhi

The Indian men’s race was won by Olympian Nitendra Singh Rawat who clocked in an impressive record time of 1:03:53 along with G Lakshmanan who also clocked the exact same of 1:03:53. He was declared second after the timing was broken down to decimal seconds.

Nitendra Singh Rawat Delhi
Source – The Indian Express

Thousands of runners, mostly Delhiites, participated in the marathon unperturbed by the chilly weather which was at 15 degree Celsius at the time of the start of the race. All in all, it was everything the organisers and the participants would have wanted it to be.

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Ankkit Siingh

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