Stanchart marathon cancelled due to Covid-19

The Standard Chartered Nairobi Marathon scheduled to take place on October 25th, 2020 has been cancelled.

This is the first time the annual competition will not be held in 17 years.

Making the announcement on Monday, chairman of the Standard Chartered Nairobi Marathon Local Organising Committee, Peter Gitau said the uncertainty presented by COVID-19 and the containment measures required created a set of unprecedented challenges.

He said even after weighing several options including holding the event virtually following consultative meetings with stakeholders, the protocols in place to fight the virus would still be compromised.

“Our consultations with Athletics Kenya and the Ministry of Sports clearly indicated that we would not be able to plan for a physical event with any certainty. We then considered a virtual marathon event and consulted other stakeholders, amongst them, running clubs, coaches and past corporate running teams.  After benchmarking with local and international virtual races our conclusion was that this format promoted improved safety but for it to be successful it still required the majority of participants to leave their homes in order to cover the race distances; a move that could compromise COVID-19 preventive measure protocols.”

“This was not an easy decision to make. We have held the marathon annually for 17 years, and 2020 was to be no different. However, the depth and scale of COVID – 19 is unprecedented and remains hard to predict.”  Gitau said.

Mr. Gitau added that the consultations had provided the Bank with useful insights that would be taken on board for future marathons.

“For instance, across the country, people are taking up running to support their health and wellbeing, from running tracks, to neighbourhood pavements and even their own compounds. Additionally, digital and virtual communities are gaining momentum fostering new interaction, connection and spaces for running enthusiasts, to gather and support each other.

He noted the resilience and optimism to rise above the challenges of the pandemic are a testament of the collective hope to create a better future for ourselves and others.

“These insights will help us in planning our marathons in the future.”

Last year, the Standard Chartered Nairobi Marathon attracted over 17,000 participants and raised over Ksh.30 million towards the community investment programme, FutureMakers which provides youth in need with education, employment and entrepreneurship opportunities.

In 2019, the fundraising efforts supported over 4,400 girls with life skills and economic opportunity training and the Bank also invested Ksh 15 million to support women-led start-ups.

Additionally, more than 650 youth and SMEs received financial literacy training.

The bank has been helping communities tackle COVID-19 and we have already donated over Kshs 120 million to support vulnerable children, as well as the provision of primary and secondary health care for COVID-19 emergency response.

He thanked all its participants, volunteers and partners for their continued support and ongoing cooperation.

“We hope to be back next year, healthy, strong and ready to run for a reason,” Mr Gitau said.


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