The online registrations for the Half Marathon will open on November 17 and physical registrations can be done from November 20, Kochi Mayor Tony Chammany said.
     
"The aim is to give a brand to Kochi," he said.
     
'Flying Sikh' Milkha Singh, 'Payyoli Express' PT Usha and Malayalam superstar Mohanlal are the brand ambassadors. The registrations would close on December 22.
     
Speaking on the occasion, Milkha Singh said other states should emulate Kerala, which had produced world class athletes like P T Usha, Shiny Wilson, M D Valsamma who had done the country proud in the Asian and Commonwealth meets.
     
Kerala was number one in the field of sports, he said.
     
Since the making of 'Bhaag Milkha Bhaag' in which Farhan Akthar had portrayed him on screen, Milkha, who finished fourth in the 400 metres final at the 1960 Olympics in Rome, said he was getting 400 letters a day.
     
"I receive at least 400 letters a day. Every function organisers wants to invite me. But I am aged 85, my eyesight is poor. But still I have come as Kerala has given so much in to the field of sports," he said.

Pointing out that hard work was essential to achieve one's goal, Milkha said, "The person who has discipline, character and works hard can become hero from zero."
     
"The examples of Usha, Milka Singh, Sachin Tendulkar and Hockey legend Dyanchand are there before you," he said.
     
Referring to the match fixing episode during the latest edition of cricket IPL matches, Singh, who was in Kerala after 20 years, said, "Do not weigh the country's pride with money."
     
"We need to move forward in Sports. Wherever six-time Olympic champion Usain Bolt goes, the name of Jamaica is heard. PT Usha's and Milkha Singh's time is over. Other athletes should now bring in gold medals," he said.
     
"Before my death I want or boy or girl to win an Olympic gold for India so that we can tell the world that India can also do something."
     
PT Usha said despite not having enough facilities, the athletes of yesteryears used to put in more efforts which was lacking now. The event is expected to see record participation from Keralites who will run alongside some of the world's renowned long distance athletes and India's best runners, the organisers said.
     
The Half Marathon has been certified by the Association of International Marathons and Distance Races and is being conducted under the aegis of the Athletic Federation of India. The event will offer a total prize purse of Rs 60 lakh.
     
The overall male and female winners will take home USD 5,000 each with the runners-up getting USD 3000. Indian athletes will have a separate prize fund with the fastest man and woman winning Rs 2 lakh each and the runner-up taking home Rs 1.5 lakh each.

(Agencies)

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