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Company : Standard Chartered Bank 
Monday, July 18, 2005 2:46PM IST (9:16AM GMT)
Standard Chartered's Greatest Race On Earth Is Back!
Four Challenging Marathons. Four Cities. Largest Prize Pool of Any World Marathon.
Mumbai, Maharashtra, India

The Greatest Race on Earth (GROE), sponsored by Standard Chartered Bank, is back for a second season with a stronger and faster field of elite runners from around the world.

The inaugural 2004/05 season was an unqualified success. Despite the gruelling conditions, including altitude, heat, humidity, and terrain, GROE participants set time records in each of the four marathons, and won three of the four. This season, organisers are expecting again new course records from the start of the first race in Nairobi in October 2005 to the last race in Hong Kong in February 2006.

The GROE is the most unique relay race in the world and the only relay of marathons in existence. Each team comprises of 4 individuals, running one marathon each in Nairobi, Singapore, Mumbai and Hong Kong. Each course challenges runners to reach deep and push harder to make their mark.

The GROE turned conventional wisdom on its head as well - every race saw runners from countries as diverse as Qatar, Taiwan, Bangladesh and other non-traditional marathon countries, matching the times of British, African, and Australian runners.

Mike DeNoma, Group Executive Director of Standard Chartered said, "It takes great teamwork, courage, determination and commitment to participate in a race like this.

The GROE has raised the bar in the four marathons, with GROE runners setting records in all the races. It is an extremely competitive race that makes an individual sport into a team event, with the largest prize pool in marathon running.

In the new season, there will be more teams from more countries running faster times. We are also looking to attract stars of the future --- GROE will be a great platform for up-and-coming runners to break into the international athletic arena."

The GROE 2005/06 series is set to be bigger and better with a total prize pool of US$1.43 million up for grabs:

-- The Main Team Challenge - open to any team of four runners - professional and amateur alike. Total prize pool of $1,125,000, including a new bonus pool of $175,000 for the top three all-women teams. This is to widen participation and encourage more female athletes to join the competition.

-- The Nations Challenge - open to National Athletic Association teams only. Teams are divided into the following regions - Africa, Middle East, South Asia, South East Asia, North East Asia, Americas and Europe & Oceania. The total prize pool is $175,000. Teams in the Nations Challenge are automatically entered into the Main Team Challenge and are eligible to win the associated prize money.

-- The Individual Challenge - run all four marathons as an individual and compete for a prize pool of $130,000.

Henry Wanyoike, the blind runner, who won gold in the 5,000-meter and 10,000-meter events in Athens Paralymics 2004, and who was nominated for the prestigious Laureus World Sports Award 2005, will participate in all four events. He is running to raise funds for the Bank's "Seeing Is Believing" initiative, which aims to raise funds for one million site restorations. Standard Chartered is encouraging public donations tied to the distances that he completes. In return, the Bank will match donations, up to US$1,000, for every kilometre that Henry completes.

To enter the Standard Chartered Greatest Race on Earth either register via the website www.thegreatestrace.com

For further details about the GROE, please contact the Race Office:

The Greatest Race on Earth Office - PRISM,
Greater London House, Hampstead Road
London, NW1 7QP
United Kingdom

Telephone: + 44 207 611 6075
Fax: + 44 207 611 6073
E-mail: run@thegreatestrace.com

About Standard Chartered - leading the way in Asia, Africa and the Middle East

Standard Chartered employs 38,000 people in 950 locations in more than 50 countries in the Asia Pacific Region, South Asia, the Middle East, Africa, the United Kingdom and the Americas. Standard Chartered is one of the world's most international banks, with employees representing 80 nationalities.

Standard Chartered PLC is listed on both the London Stock Exchange and the Stock Exchange of Hong Kong and is in the top 25 FTSE-100 companies, by market capitalisation.

It serves both Consumer and Wholesale Banking customers. Consumer Banking provides credit cards, personal loans, mortgages, deposit taking and wealth management services to individuals and small to medium sized enterprises. Wholesale Banking provides corporate and institutional clients with services in trade finance, cash management, lending, securities services, foreign exchange, debt capital markets and corporate finance.

Standard Chartered is well-established in growth markets and aims to be the right partner for its customers. The Bank combines deep local knowledge with global capability.

The Bank is trusted across its network for its standard of governance and corporate responsibility as well as its commitment to making a difference in the communities in which it operates.

For further information on Standard Chartered Bank, please log into: www.standardchartered.com

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