India's top runners, including Srinu Bugatha, A Belliappa and Jyoti Singh Gawate, will aim to qualify for the Hangzhou Asian Games later this year when they turn out for the New Delhi Marathon to be held here on February 26.
Jyoti will be defending the title she had won last year with a timing of 3:01.20. Organised under the aegis of the Athletics Federation of India (AFI) and Fit India race, it will start and finish at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium.
The route of the race will cover key landmarks in the heart of the city, like Humayun's Tomb, Lodhi Garden and Khan Market.
The AFI had already announced that the New Delhi Marathon will be an Asian Games qualifying series event.
"The performance of athletes in this National Marathon will be considered for selection/participation in the Asian Games scheduled to be held at China, provided that they achieve the qualifying standards as fixed by AFI," the national federation said.
"The qualifying timing for the marathon to be selected for the Asian Games is 2:15.00 (for men) and 2:37.00 (for women)."
Not everybody can participate in the elite race of the New Delhi Marathon. Only those who has a timing of 2 hr 40 minutes among men and 3 hr 10 minutes among women are eligible to run in the elite race.
Those who are not eligible for elite category may participate in the open age category.
The runners will be participating across four categories of full marathon, half marathon, 10K and 5K.
Organised by NEB Sports, as many as 16,000 participants will compete in Apollo Tyres New Delhi Marathon.
In addition, over 50,000 others will also be running in the virtual marathon from different parts of the world over five days, starting from February 21. The event will also see differently-abled people participating along with the rest of the runners.