Two-time 5,000m world champion Muktar Edris of Ethiopia and Kenya’s Felix Kipkoech are among the top names in a strong men’s elite field for the Delhi Half Marathon race on October 16.
Reigning world 3,000m indoor champion Lemlem Hailu of Ethiopia, this year’s TCS World 10K Bengaluru winner Irine Cheptai of Kenya and 2018 Commonwealth champion in 10,000m Stella Chesang, headline the women’s elite field.
The USD 268,000 prize money World Athletics elite label road race, to be flagged off from the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium on October 16, will see thousands of amateurs join the best global elite runners in one of the fastest courses in the world.
The international elite winners in the men’s and women’s categories will take home USD 27,000 each and the prize fund includes the top 10 finishers in both. There is also an event record bonus of USD 12,000 as an incentive. Edris finished fourth on debut in Delhi in 2020 with an impressive 59:04 as the top four broke the previous course record in a sensational race that saw just four seconds separate the podium finishers.
“Naturally, I want to be in the top 3 this time around. I’m in good shape and have prepared specifically for Delhi. I’m excited and looking forward to the challenge,” he said.
Kipkoech won the 2021 Berlin Half Marathon in an impressive 58:57 and is an exciting prospect as the course record looks under threat again with a dozen runners under the one-hour mark.
Promising Ethiopian Chala Regasa, who clocked a personal best of 59:10 for second place at this year’s Barcelona Half Marathon, was one of the pacemakers in Eliud Kipchoge’s successful 1:59 Marathon Challenge in Vienna in 2019.
Cheptai will hope to be third-time lucky this year after two successive fourth-place finishes, including her personal best of 66:43 in 2020.
Hailu will be making her half-marathon debut. The 21-year-old is a dark horse for the title after consistently finishing on the podium in international meets in the 1500m and 3000m over the last two seasons.