Elite athletes have arrived in the Capital for the 2010 Airtel Delhi Half Marathon that will be run on November 21 on a 21-km route. Geoffrey Mutai of Kenya, winner of the RAK Half Marathon 2010, Moldova's Iaroslav Muschinshi, the top-ranked European, Kenyan Sharan Cherop, who won the 2010 Toronto Marathon, along with last year's winner and two-time defending champion, Deriba Merga, and Aselefech Mergia, who won in 2008, will be the big draws for the winners' spot.
Mutai recently clocked 2:04:55 at the Rotterdam Marathon, the second fastest time of the year. "I will definitely challenge him until the finish. It all depends on how that day goes," said Mutai, who has a rivalry with Ethiopian Merga.
With a number of big names expected to participate in the sixth edition, much will also depend on the weather on Sunday, with temperatures of 14-15 degrees Celsius predicted during the morning. Lydia Cheromei, who finished second in the World Half Marathon Championships in 2004 here, will be hoping for less sunshine and cooler temperatures. "We are looking forward to some good weather and hope it will help us during the day. I will hope to beat my personal best time of 68:14s," she said
With a full marathon personal best of 2:08s, Iaroslav has been training regularly in Turkey. "I hope my experience there helps me in Delhi. It's different running in Europe as it stays dry. India is hotter, but this looks like a good time for the marathon," he said, sounding optimistic.