For the first time in India,Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) tags will be given to each participant in the Vadodara Half Marathon slated for January 23,2011. The decision was taken by the organisers to avoid any discrepancies during the event. The organisers are expecting more than 30,000 entries.
Amit Bhatnagar,Director,Vadodara Half Marathon,said about Rs 21 lakh will be spent on the RFID project. He said: Normally,RFID tags are provided only to the main runners in the marathons. This is for the first time that each runner will be given an RFID tag. As per our plans,we will fix the RFID circuit in the official T-shirt to be given to the participants and it will be a use-and-throw sort of gadget.
As there is only a seven-day gap between the Mumbai and the Vadodara marathons,the organisers have decided to keep the prize money attractive.
As per the rules and regulations of International Marathon,there has to be a gap of 30 days between participation in two marathons. Since the Mumbai Marathon will be taking ahead of ours,we had to make it more attractive. We decided to raise the prize money because the major consideration of professional runners is prize money. In all,we will be giving away Rs 25 lakh in prize money in the different categories, Bhatnagar said.
So far,124 associations from an equal number of countries have agreed to take part in the event.
The residents of Vadodara will witness some of the most successful international runners in the event. Tera Moody,a renowned athlete and runner from the US has already confirmed her entry. Besides her there are 20 Ethiopian runners who have confirmed participation. We will also have a team of officials from the International Association of Marathon visiting Vadodara for technical inspection. They will actually walk the complete 21 km stretch with the gadgets and record the exact distance. Once that is measured we will be given the certificate. Unless we change the route,we will be able to use that certificate, Bhatnagar added.
The organisers have already started the registration process. Individual entries and 9,000 bulk corporate entries have been received so far.