The fifth Standard Chartered Mumbai Marathon, to be run on the western side streets of the metropolis on January 20, has enhanced its prize-money to US $240,000 and attracted 40 of the world's top 100 marathoners.
Thirty thousand participants are expected to take part in Asia's richest marathon, which has upped prize-money by US $10,000, compared to the previous one, in six categories.
The categories include the full marathon (42.195 kms) and half marathon (21 kms), other than others mainly run for charitable purposes, it was announced at a media conference on Wednesday.
Kenya's John Kelai and China's Xia Yang Feng won the 2007 full marathon for men and women respectively in 2 hours, 12 minutes and 27 seconds and 2:36.16 seconds.
The Mumbai event is also one part of the four-leg greatest Race on Earth, which offers a combined prize pool of US $1 million, involving 53 teams from 34 countries, the other legs being Nairobi, Singapore and Hong Kong .
There are separate prizes for the top finishers among Indian men and women. Ram Singh Yadav was the best performer among the country's male runners while Leelamma Alphonso made it back to back victories by being the best of the women runners in the 2007 event.
Around Rs eight crore was raised for charity, for the benefit of 144 non government organisations, in the previous edition and the organizers said they hope to double it this year.
Eentries for various categories close on December 8. On-line registration, which has already commenced, can be done at http://reg.scmm.indiatimes.com/marathon/marathon.jsp .