The first major run of Delhi's social calendar, the IDBI Federal Life Insurance New Delhi Marathon, is scheduled to be held on 26 February 2017. This will be the second edition of the event and will be a part of the National Marathon calendar and Indian cricket legend, Sachin Tendulkar, is all set to be the face of the marathon.
In a press release, it was revealed that the iconic cricketer will be the face of the event. One other leading sports manufacturing company, Adidas, that also sponsors Tendulkar, has also come on board as the 'Running Partner'.
The marathon is India's first 'inclusive' marathon which means that differently-abled athletes will run along with the regular participants. At least 20 blade-runners lead by Major D P Singh, India's first blade runner, will take part in the event. More than 15,000 athletes are expected to run in the marathon across the three categories- 42.2K Full Marathon, 21.1K Half Marathon, and 5K Swacch Bharat Run.
The CEO of IDBI Federal Life Insurance Vighnesh Shahane spoke about this year's plans after the resounding success of the previous edition. He was enthralled with the idea of Sachin Tendulkar coming on board and said, "We are also extremely pleased to have Sachin Tendulkar as the face of our marathon across Mumbai, Delhi, and Kolkata. He has been a role model to millions and will continue to be an inspiration for generations to come."
Sachin Tendulkar was himself very excited about bein the face for the marathon and spoke about how running is important for maintaining one's health. He urged everyone in Delhi to participate in the marathon.
Tendulkar said, "I am really excited to to be a part of the IDBI Federal Life Insurance New Delhi Marathon 2017 after the resounding success of the Mumbai Half Marathon. Being a sportsperson, I know the importance and advantage of running and maintaining overall fitness.
"From promo runs to the final race, the participants' enthusiasm was clearly visible. I urge all Delhites to join in and register for the race to experience the same excitement and joy as marathons are a great way to inspire the nation to stay fit and healthy."
He also added, "Running had a positive impact on my fitness. For us it was about speed, the short bursts and recovery to play the next ball. For running between the wickets, it was run, decelerate, touch the crease and accelerate. That's what worked for me.
"There is more awareness today, there are different training methods. It's need of the hour. The Indian team is one of the best in the world. In early 90s it was not to be seen. The infrastructure has improved. Players have learnt how to dive. The guys are particular about what to eat and when to eat.
"I used to spend as much time on field as possible. I would train and play for 12 hours a day, it became a routine. I was happy, it was not torturing. Fielding was a bit of torture. I liked to compete. You can't give excuses."
The race director Nagaraj Adiga said that the organisers themselves being runners understand the sport better. This will help them provide a memorable experience to all runners alike and urged the citizens to come and support the participants.