9th Standard Chartered Mumbai Marathon Registrations is open, added cash bonanza for Indian athletes

The marathon experience for the Indian runners, professional as well as amateur, will be that much bigger and greater at the Standard Chartered Mumbai Marathon. An increase of USD 10,000 in the separate prize fund for Indian professional athletes and, for the first time, financial gratification for the top three finishers among the amateur marathoners, were among a host of initiatives announced by promoters Procam International as they launched registrations for the marathon and half marathon categories of the 9th edition of Asia’s Largest and Richest Marathon, scheduled to be run on January 15, 2012.

The preparations for the ‘Race to the Finish Line’ for thousands and thousands of serious athletes, running enthusiasts and fitness conscious Mumbaikars will kick off when the registrations open on July 21, 2011.

Buoyed by the success of the phased registration process introduced last year, it has been decided to continue with the same for the ninth edition of the event.

Registrations for the Full Marathon and Half Marathon in Mumbai’s largest and foremost sporting event will open on July 21, 2011, and close on August 20, 2011 or whenever running places are full, whichever is earlier.

Registrations for the Dream Run will open on September 5, 2011 and close on September 10, 2011, while registrations for the Senior Citizens Run and the Wheelchair Event will open on September 12, 2011 and close on September 24, 2011.

Continuing in their constant endeavour to evolve and improve while providing the best possible running experience to each participant, and in order to encourage the participation of serious runners in the full marathon and half marathon, preference will be given to applicants who attach timing certificates with their applications. In deference to their achievements, these confirmed applicants will then be eligible to a priority line up in the half and full marathon depending on their timing.

To give a fillip to women there will be a 250 running places in the full marathon and 1000 running places in the half marathon reserved for women applicants.

The dates for registrations, the new initiatives, along with an overall increase in prize money of USD 15,000 and the continuing windfall for Indian athletes was announced by Mr. Sreeram Iyer, CEO, Standard Chartered, the Title Sponsor, along with Mr. Yajuvindra Singh Bilkha, Head Corporate Affairs, Tata Consultancy Services, the Associate Sponsor in the presence of John Abraham, the Event Ambassador, various dignitaries and representatives from partners to the event.

“Standard Chartered is now in the ninth year of its association with the Mumbai Marathon, and is very proud that it is now an integral part of the social fabric of this vibrant city. Every year, we look to do something new to make the Marathon more relevant. This year we are delighted to offer prize monies for amateur full marathon runners. These are dedicated, energetic, non-professional runners from ordinary walks of life, and this prize is in recognition of their spirit and their passion for running. We wholeheartedly encourage such runners and hope that in the near future these amateurs will cross the line into becoming full time professionals,” said Sreeram Iyer.

“TCS has been actively supporting the Mumbai Marathon for the last four years and we eagerly await the 2012 edition of Mumbai’s largest sporting event. The last edition saw a significant increase in participation among our employees. Through our participation in initiatives like the Mumbai Marathon TCS will continue to encourage its employees and their families across the globe, to make wellness a part of their lives,” said N Chandrasekaran, CEO & MD, TCS.

Over the years, the Standard Chartered Mumbai Marathon has seen the introduction of various initiatives to encourage the serious runner. After the timing chip was made mandatory for all full and half marathoners, various confirmation criteria were then put into place for those desirous of participating in the same.

Going one step further, for the ninth edition of the event, confirmed applicants of the full marathon and half marathon will be eligible for priority line up on race day, based on their finish times.

The full marathon runners will be prioritized in four groups, namely below four hours; four hours to under five hours; five hours to under six hours and six hours and above, while the half marathoners will also be prioritized in four groups, namely under two hours; two hours to under two hours 30 minutes; two hours 30 minutes to under three hours and three hours and above.

Speaking on this latest development, Vivek B Singh, Jt. MD, Procam International said, “These initiatives are being introduced to recognize the achievements of our serious runners, who have used the Standard Chartered Mumbai Marathon to develop into committed long distance athletes, as well as encourage more and more amateur runners to train hard and make a wholehearted effort at attempting the full or half marathon distance.”

Vivek Singh also touched on the impact the early registration window would have on the wonderful exercise of raising money for charity through the event, the biggest positive fallout that has seen close to Rs 55 crores being raised towards charity in eight years.

Vivek Singh further said that 10,500 running places would be allotted to United Way of Mumbai, the official Charity Partner to the event, from which 5,000 running places would be utilized for the Corporate Challenge, a category of charity bibs, and the remaining would be allocated to all the NGOs registered with them. NGOs would be entitled to offer running places to the public or their donor base at a minimum threshold amount of Rs 3,000. “This is a positive move in order to raise more money for charity and give importance to NGOs. The NGOs now have the time frame to maximize this opportunity by picking and choosing the people they give the running numbers to, rather than operate on a first come first served basis.”

CASH BONANZA: Already the richest marathon in Asia, the Standard Chartered Mumbai Marathon 2012 will now offer an enhanced prize purse of USD 340,000, an increase of USD 15,000 over what was on offer in 2011. The increase in prize money is in keeping with the stature of the event, tagged as amongst the top ten marathons in the world.

Special care has also been taken to increase the financial gratification for the Indian athletes and their separate prize fund for the full marathon stands at USD 52,000, an increase of USD 10,000 from last year. The top Indian male and female finishers will now stand to gain USD 7,500 each. For the first time, there will be prize money for the amateur winners in the open marathon, with the men and women winners taking home USD 1,000 each and USD 750 and 500 at stake for the second and third placed finishers respectively.

Steps have been taken to provide various avenues for registration to facilitate a hassle-free process. Online registration can be done through the event website www.procamrunning.in or the duly filled entry form along with the requisite entry fee can be mailed to P.O. Box No. 11017, Marine Lines Post Office, Mumbai 20. Mumbai residents can also deposit their entry form along with the requisite entry fees at 10 selected Standard Chartered Bank branches, details of which are available on the website.

Entry forms will be available at Standard Chartered Bank branches, at the Asian Heart Institute and the United Way of Mumbai office (309 Kewal Industrial Estate, Lower Parel: Mon to Fri: 10 am to 5 pm). More information can be sourced from the event helpline no: +91 2242020200, Monday to Saturday between 10 a.m. & 6. p.m.

3,500 running places are on offer for the Full Marathon, while 11,000 places will be available for the Half Marathon. The Dream Run, including the Corporate Challenge, will accommodate 22,000 participants. 1800 entries will be permitted in the Senior Citizens’ Run, while 200 entries will be accepted for the Wheelchair Event, putting the total number of entries accepted at 38,500.

Growing in all parameters for the past eight editions, the Standard Chartered Mumbai Marathon has now become the focal rallying point for the city of Mumbai because it espouses causes and values that touch every citizen, whatever the age group and regardless of their financial status and social standing. Promoters Procam International, along with the sponsors and partners, will not cease in their efforts to innovate and evolve in order to provide the ultimate running experience to the participant. It’s a collective task and owes its success to the constructive support of all involved.

The countdown begins on July 21!

Title Sponsor:             Standard Chartered Bank

Associate Sponsor:     Tata Consultancy Services

Promoted by:             Procam International