Category: Marathon

World’s greatest diver Greg Louganis the International event ambassador of Tata Steel Kolkata 25K graces the city of joy

13th December 2018, Kolkata: Four-time Olympic Games gold medallist and diving legend Greg Louganis, International Event Ambassador of Tata Steel Kolkata 25K this year has graced the City of Joy today.

“It’s very exciting. I admire the people who are here and going to be a part of the 25K race. Fitness is a part of life. Whether it’s diet or exercising you need to take up,” Greg said about the spirit of Tata Steel Kolkata 25K.

Greg will flag off India’s only international 25K on 16 December which also celebrates Vijay Diwas as well.

Greg can boast a total of 17 global gold medals to his name; including four from the Olympics, five world championships, six Pan American titles and two from the World University Games.

The 1988, Seoul Olympic is famous for Greg’s commitment to the game and fighting spirit. During the qualifying, he hit the back of his head on the diving board requiring several stitches, an accident that should have been competition ending. However, he came back to sweep gold in the 10m platform and also in the 3m springboard, leaving global audiences dumbstruck.

About the Seoul Olympic incident and what motivated him to for the next dive Greg said: “My inspirations were Ryan White and my coach who just been there and been supportive. When I hit my head on the springboard there was so much going on. I was diagnosed with HIV positive, my coach’s mother was in coma and he didn’t know whether to stay or go home. He decided to stay with us. Both of us were rather distracted and I was the favourite but in split second after hitting the board I suddenly became underdog. I was focused and tried to do my absolute best.”

With gold medals at the 1984 (Los Angeles) and 1988 (Seoul) Summer Olympics, on the springboard and platform, he is also the only male diver to sweep both diving events in successive Olympics.

Being a diver how Greg feels about distance running which is an event based on timing he said: “In a road race where you have the camaraderie of the people around you, you have the similar goals and aspirations, so that can be inspiring. But if you are way ahead then that shouldn’t limit you as to how successful can you be. Rather than looking at the clock feel within your body, your heart, your soul so I think that there are many elements of competition, a performance however you want to look at it. Because maybe a competitor that’s right next to you that you will never beat in your life but you are there as companions to help each other through. So it really does become a community effort and it can be such an incredibly special moment to share that with someone because not everybody can run like that.”

“You have to train for it, you work and all of a sudden your work pays off and you gotta feel good about what you are doing. That’s why when I mentor USA diving, swimming and many different sports it’s not so much about the end result. It’s about am I better today than I was yesterday? And if you can honestly say that then everyday is different. We all have bad days. Those bad days are the days where you learn a lesson. Don’t be so close that you don’t use that lesson. Not my every competition was stellar but what happened was there’s always something I could take away from that whether successful or not. That enables me to do better and move forward to the next time,” he added.

After his retirement from competition in 1989, the 58-year-old American has donned many hats and always continued his commitment to excellence. He has become a mentor and coach to many top divers including members of the 2012 and 2016 US Olympic teams, a motivational speaker, author, actor, LGBT rights activist, humanitarian and an HIV/AIDS awareness advocate and designer.

AFI selects six ultra-runners for 100km World Championships

New Delhi. Six Indian ultra-runners will take part in the 30th IAU 100km World Championship to be held at Sveti Martin na Muri, Croatia on 08th September 2018. This is the first time an Indian team will participate in the 100km World Championships.

The Athletics Federation of India (AFI) has selected Vikash Malik, Lt Cdr Abhinav Jha, Sandeep Kumar, Lallu Lal Meena, Binay Kumar Sah and Suman Kumar Mishra to represent India at the ultra-marathon race.

Earlier last month, AFI invited applications from Indian nationals to represent India in the competition. The cut-off timing for Men in 100km was nine hours 45 minutes while for Women it was ten hours 45 minutes. The ultra-runners who have completed a 90km race in past one-year were also eligible for selection with a cut-off time of eight hours 30 minutes for Men and nine hours 30 minutes for Women while a distance of 115km (Men) and 100km (Women) in a 12-hour race was also considered as a selection qualification.

Out of a total 42 applications received by AFI, Vikash Malik, Lt Cdr Abhinav Jha, Sandeep Kumar and Lallu Lal Meena met the cut-off timings while Binay Kumar Sah and Suman Kumar Mishra are considered for the team on the basis of their timings which were very close to the selection criteria set by AFI.

Lt Cdr Abhinav Jha, said, “I am very excited and would like to thank AFI for sending team to this competition. I will try my best,”

Adille J Sumariwalla, AFI President said, ”I am really glad that sport of ultra-running is catching up fast in India and we are now having athletes who can represent India in World Championships. In the years to come, we will start organizing National Championships in ultra-events so there is more participation across the country.”

About Ultra-marathons- Ultra running, Trail running and Mountain races are events that are growing world wide especially in Europe, America and Asia. The International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) has recognized these sporting events. The International Association of Ultra runners (IAU), the international governing body of ultra distance running and the International Trail Running Association (ITRA) conduct World Championships. The Athletics Federation of India (AFI) is a member of the IAAF, IAU and ITRA. Through the AFI, Indian ultra runners have the opportunity to participate at the World and Regional Championships.

Indian Achievements- Ultra running as a sport began in India around 2007-08. Since then it has grown rather rapidly, with more and more runners venturing into this field each year. The year 2007 saw mere 65 finishers in India’s only ultra race at that time. Today more than 1500 runners (and counting) participate in about 18 ultra races being organised across the country. The AFI sent a team comprising Ullas Narayan and Kieren D’Souza for India’s first ever participation at the Trail World Championships, Italy in June 2017; and, Meenal Kotak, Aparna Choudhary, Ullas Narayan and Kieren D’Souza represented the country at the 24 Hour World Championships at Belfast in July 2017. The participation of Indian athletes had provided athletes the much need exposure to the international arena and has also fueled the passion of ultra-running among others.

Bekele, Degitu win first international edition of TSK 25K

Kolkata: Multiple times world champion Kenenisa Bekele kept his reputation intact cantering past the finish line in the maiden appearance of TSK 25K in its international avatar with a timing of 1.13.48 , even as over 13700 participants took to the streets on a nippy winter morning.

In the Elite national section winner Avinash Sable set a course record of 1.15.17 breaking the previous course record set by G Lakshmanan who came third with a timing of 1.17.13 which is also better than his mark set last year. Kalidas Hirave came second with 1.16.18. Thus all three bettered last year’s record of 1.17.23.

The Ethiopian world champion earlier paced his race brilliantly staying in the mix till the 21st kilometer when he broke loose and by the time he was across the finish line his closest competitor was nowhere in sight.

The leading group went through the 7.5km checkpoint in a sluggish 24:24. Just before halfway, Bekele briefly went through a bad patch and drifted off the back of the leaders, with his compatriot Asefa Diro leading at 12km in 39:09 and Bekele seven seconds adrift in fifth place.

However, the multiple world champion and world record holder soon got back up with the group containing Diro, Eritrea’s Tsegay Tuemay, Tanzania’s Augustino Sulle and India’s Avinash Sable before surging away with just under seven kilometres to go. His move almost immediately splintered the leading group with nobody able to stay with him once he moved into a higher gear. Tuemay eventually crossed the finish line on Kolkata’s historic Red Road in second place in 1:14:21 with Sulle third in 1:14:41.

Later Kenenisa said: “The race was very nice. The course is nice and flat all through. I have been training hard and the results showed. This was my first 25 K and it feels good to have won it. It was a tactical race and I paced myself depending on the kind of competition I faced.”

“The weather was good, though a little smokey in certain parts. But it was not difficult to manage. I had a great race and would like to come back here next year. Kolkata has been very warm and hospitable and I would like to laud Procam for organizing such a well managed race,” he continued.

The Ethiopian however wished he had a pacemaker to push down his time. “In a race like this you need a pacemaker, who sets you up for a fast finish. I was pushing myself, but that was not enough. I would have pushed my timing by 90 seconds at least had I a pacemaker,” Bekele rued.

Avinash Sable said: “I am concentrating for steeplechase. That is my event. The only reason I am running in the 25K is to increase my endurance. The fact that I have come first here goes to say that I am on the right track. My aim is the Commonwealth Games and a podium finish there in my pet event.”

In the elite women group the first place was taken by Ethiopian Degitu  Azimeraw with a timing of 1.26.01, followed by Kenyan Helah Kiprop with a timing of 1.26.04 and Tanzanian Failuna Matanga with 1.26.11.

In the Indian women’s L Surya won with 1.26.53 timing beating Sudha Singh’s course record of 1.27.31 . Manju Yadav came second at 1.32.51, while Jhuma Khatun came third with 1.32.58. All three ladies were from Railways.

The race was flagged off by Hon’ble Gobvernor of West Bengal Kesari Nath Tripathi, H H Shri Shri Ravishankar, General Abhay Krishna, GOC&C Eastern Command, Arup Biswas, Minister PWD and Sports, T V Narendran, MD Tata Steel.

Event Ambassador Sourav Ganguly and International Ambassador Mike Powell were at the starting line to encourage the runners. Later Ganguly said: “This is amazing to see the number of people come out and run in the morning. The world Champion running here and a world record holder long jumper watching the race makes TSK 25K really special.”

He exchanged a few words with Bekele once he crossed the finishing line breasting the tape held by the Prince of Calcutta and the man with a record that stands over quarter century Mike Powell.

Powell said: “I am thrilled to see so many people come out and run. And the standard of the elite field is also great. The race is competitive and fun to watch.”

Photos: Ajay/SportsIndiaLive

Airtel Delhi Half Marathon celebrates 10 glorious years in the capital

New Delhi, September 13 2017: Procam International, the pioneers of the distance running movement in India, today announced that the registrations for the world’s most prestigious half marathon scheduled for November 19 is now open. With a total prize money of USD 275,000 this year’s edition is expected to witness over 34,000 participants, pound the wide long stretches of the capital on the third Sunday of November.


When Procam International conceptualised and introduced the Delhi Half Marathon in 2005, little did cynics believe that the people of Delhi would embrace running as a lifestyle and turn up in great numbers to set a new bench mark year on year. Today, the event is not only the biggest sporting event in the city, but also one that has created a legacy of breaking barriers – be it at an individual level or impacting the country as a whole.


In this endeavour, it is a matter of immense pride for all, that the telecom giant, Bharti Airtel has been a visionary sponsor, who has relentlessly backed the event in Delhi, into its tenth successive year.


Ravindra Singh NegiCEO-Delhi/NCR, Bharti Airtel said,“Airtel began its journey in Delhi and today it is not only Delhi’s but India’s preferred network. As a brand connecting millions, we are both proud and excited to motivate Delhiites to come together and run for their loved city. This year is also special for us as we complete 10 years of our association with India’s most prestigious half marathon.” 




Procam International continues to remain the catalyst that continuously re-invents the paradigm of running in India. By providing a platform to achieve one’s own goals and blending elite performance with a sporting extravaganza, ADHM remains at the forefront of social change.


•       GOLD LABEL RACE: ADHM this year has received the merit of a Gold Label Race – a rare distinction from the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) classifying the half marathon as one of ‘leading road races around the world’. This new status comes as a jewel in the crown for the country’s most preferred half marathon.


▪               TIMED 10K RUN: Keeping in mind the popularity of the Great Delhi Run and to give a fillip to the emerging runner community, for the first time, there will be a 10K timed run exclusively via charity. This Timed 10K Run is available only for participants above 15 years of age, who want to make a difference by running for charity. The application form for charity running places will be available with the NGOs registered with the Event’s Philanthropy Partner, India Cares. Charity running places will not be available after 13th October 2017 or as soon as running places are filled, whichever is earlier




▪               WOMEN RUNNER CRITERIA in TIMED 10K RUN: For all the women participants, who do not have a timing certificate and are eager to join the running bandwagon, a limited number of seats are also reserved for them via charity.


▪               YOUNG RUNNER CRITERIA in TIMED 10K RUN: To encourage young aspiring runners, within the 10K category, there are a limited number of running places reserved for applicants, between 15 years and less than 18 years of age. The Charity Criteria will not be applicable to this section and these running places will be accepted on first come first served basis via online registration on


▪               NEW SPONSORS: To make any sporting event a grand success, it is imperative to have like-minded sponsors on board and this year two new global brands have extended their association with the event. India’s leading mineral water brand Bisleri has come on board as the hydration partner and Jet Airways, India’s premier international airline, as the airline partner.


Jayaraj Shanmugam, Chief Commercial Officer, Jet Airways said, “Marathons not only test the spirit of human endurance, but also reflect the power of resilience as well as the strength of faith and self-belief. Jet Airways is proud to associate itself with the 10th edition of the Airtel Delhi Half Marathon – one of India’s iconic running events. It is our endeavour to spur our employees and participants to push and go beyond their limits, in the pursuit of excellence.”


“With consumers increasingly realising the importance of active lifestyle, Bisleri would like to emphasise the importance of water for leading a healthy lifestyle. Hydration as a subject is neglected in sports until now in India. Associating with Procam International gives us an ideal platform to connect with the consumers, educate them about the importance of right hydration and let our consumers know that we care for their health. It is important to adopt a correct hydration strategy, especially during endurance runs as not just dehydration, even over hydration is a serious problem and can adversely impact runner’s health and performance.” –Anjana Ghosh, Director, Marketing, Bisleri                                                   International Pvt. Ltd.


▪               PUMA Shoe Collection Initiative : In its pursuit to encourage running and PUMA’s endeavour to give back to the community, PUMA announced a Shoe Collection Initiative in association with Goonj. Under this initiative, starting November, 2017, customers can drop their used shoes at PUMA stores across 12 cities. These can be sports/casual shoes of any brand but should be in a condition such that the recipient can use it.  All the collected shoes will be given to Goonj, a social enterprise focused to work on improving accessibility to basic needs like clothing, education and sanitary pads while changing the dynamics of giving & receiving with dignity. Goonj will further channelize these shoes to rural India and eventually help many others set their feet on the ground in comfort. According to various studies and reports, more than half of rural population in India don’t have access to proper shoes. This initiative from PUMA creates a platform to help in this need.   


▪      PUMA Race Day & Finishers Tee: All the half marathon participants will get the exclusive PUMA Race Day Tee, while first 1000 runners will receive PUMA Finishers Tee.


Abhishek Ganguly, MD, PUMA India, said “We are excited to be associated with ADHM for the third time. Running has immense potential in India, and we want to do everything we can to nurture this ecosystem. Associations such as these are in line with our pursuit of encouraging more people to adopt a healthier lifestyle. 


He further added, “As the leading Sportswear Company in India, it is our responsibility to address the basic need of easy access to quality footwear. Our Shoe Collection initiative with Goonj is a step in this direction which has the ultimate aim of shoes for every foot”



▪               CHAMPIONS with DISABILITY (CWD) & PLANET ABLED: To create a necessary stir for CWD and further engage with the community, this category will be supported by Planet Abled, an NGO that provides accessible travel solutions and leisure excursions for people with different disabilities. With their necessary expertise and manpower, Planet Abled is certain to give the category of participants an enhanced and an unforgettable experience from registrations to race day.



Vivek Singh, Jt. MD, Procam International said, “This edition marks a glorious legacy as we set foot into the 10th edition of Airtel Delhi Half Marathon. As sporting entrepreneurs ,who wanted to get the country lace-up for distance running –, it absolutely warms our heart to witness thousands of individuals embrace running, be it competitive or for fun. ADHM has been at the forefront of change and has transcended beyond the boundaries of sport, into a movement with a social conscience.


“The success of an event of this stature and magnitude is not possible without the faith and support of all stake holders. We extend our deepest gratitude to Airtel for their belief and passion and welcome on-board our new partners Bisleri and Jet Airways,” added Singh.


So what are you waiting for? Be a part of the change you want to see. Be a part of the Airtel Delhi Half Marathon – registrations close on October 3




The 2017 edition of the event will have over 34,000 running places across the five different categories.

▪               Airtel Delhi Half Marathon’s online registrations and PO Box entries across different race   

               categories will be accepted as mentioned below:

▪               Half Marathon, registrations open on Tuesday, 14th September and will remain open

               until Tuesday, 3rd October 2017 or when filled, whichever is earlier.

▪               Registrations for The Great Delhi Run, Senior Citizens’ Run and the Champions with

               Disability Run also open on Tuesday, 14th September and will remain open until Friday,

▪               13th October 2017 or when filled, whichever is earlier.

▪               Timed 10K Run registrations will open on Thursday, 14th September 2017 and close on

               Friday, 13th October 2017 or when filled, whichever is earlier.




▪               For online registration log onto

▪               Application forms along with requisite application fees can be deposited in the drop box  

located at: Airtel Stores in Delhi & NCR (between 11 am & 7 pm): (1) A 6, South Ext Part-I,

New Delhi-110049; (2) S- 45, Ground floor, Sahara Mall, M.G. road, Gurgaon- 122002; (3) G 

57, Aggarwal City Plaza, Sector 3, Rohini, New Delhi-110085; (4) SCF 51, Opp. Police station,

Sector 15, Faridabad, Haryana- 121007; (5) M-5, Connaught Place, New Delhi-110001 (6) J-

20, Sector-18, Noida, UP- 201301 

POST filled entry form and requisite entry fee to P.O. Box No. 3634, Lajpat Nagar, New Delhi

– 110 024. 

▪               For further details contact the event helpline number +91 96500 33333, which will be open from 10 am to 7 pmMonday to Saturday. Toll-free for Airtel subscribers and chargeable as per standard call rates for non-Airtel subscribers.


PRIORITY LINE-UP: The Half Marathon runners will be prioritised in six line up sections on race day as per the timing certificate submitted along with their applications, namely under 1 hour 45 minutes; 1 hour 45 minutes to under 2 hours 06 minutes; 2 hours 06 minutes to under 2 hours 33 minutes; and 2 hours 33 minutes to under 2 hours 57 minutes; 2 hours 57 minutes to under 3 hours 21 minutes; 3 hours 21 minutes and above.


The Timed 10K Run will be prioritised in four line up sections on race day as per their timing certificates submitted during registration, namely under 1 hour; 1 hour to under 1 hour 10 minutes;

1 hour 10 minutes to under 1 hour 20 minutes and 1 hour 20 minutes and above.