More than 200 elite athletes will compete for the Kenyan shillings eight as prize money at the Standard Chartered Nairobi Marathon this weekend.
Among the stars are three past winners led by 2015 winner Joshua Kipkorir.
The 15th edition of the Standard Chartered Nairobi is promising to be the toughest as most of the elite athletes’ boast of international exposure with impressive timings.
“This year we have a very heavy presence of teams from Nandi, Kericho, Elgeyo Marakwet and Uasin Gishu counties. Our decision to work with coaches and county officials has heightened interest among athletes within those regions,” said Mr. Peter Gitau, Local Organizing Committee Chairman.
Since winning the 2015 race in Nairobi, Kipkorir has posted impressive results winning the Wuson and Tiemen races in China and coming second in the Standard Chartered Mumbai Marathon in India.
Other athletes to watch include last year’s second runners up Hillary Kiplimo who had an impressive outing in China earlier this year posting 2:14 and Arnold Kibet who has recorded impressive performances on the road in Italy this year. The highlight of the 42Km women race will be Mercy Jemutai who recently posted an impressive 2:31 time in China.
This year’s event has been moved to Railway Club since the traditional Nyayo Stadium venue is undergoing renovations. 20,000 athletics enthusiasts are expected to take part in the event which will feature five race categories; 42Km, 21Km, 10Km, 5Km family fun run and the 3Km CEO challenge.
Several roads within the Central Business District will be closed to allow participants easy movement along the course. Traffic to and out of the city will be mainly diverted to alternative roads as the roads along the designated marathon route will remain closed between 4am and 1pm. The affected roads include sections of Mombasa road, Uhuru Highway, Upper Hill and Forest road. Within the CBD Kenyatta Avenue and sections of Haile Selasie and University Way will remain closed until 11.30am.
There has been a slight change on the course occasioned by the relocation of the start and finish points from Nyayo Stadium to Railway Club.
The 21KM wheelchair race will be flagged of first at 6.50am followed by the 42KM race at 7.00am. The half marathon is scheduled for 7.20am followed by the 10KM race at 8.30am. The popular 5KM family fun run will be the last event of the day taking place from 9.25am.
Mr. Gitau, Chairman Local Organizing Committee said registration will close tomorrow (Friday).
All the funds raised from the registration will be channeled to Seeing is Believing, Standard Chartered Bank’s flagship CSR program that focuses on addressing avoidable blindness among children below 15 years.
Since the marathon was launched in 2003, more than KES 180 million has been raised with 10,000 children benefitting from corrective surgery.