NAIROBI, Kenya, November 2- Participants in the upcoming Kenya Commercial Bank (KCB) National Cross Country series stand to win a jackpot of Sh150,000.Athletics Kenya (AK) chairman Isaiah Kiplagat said on Monday that the move is aimed at retaining the best athletes for each of the seven legs of the series that starts this weekend in Machakos.
“The jackpot makes athletes continue participating in our events because if you win four legs out seven you stand to win the jackpot,” said Kiplagat.
The finals which also double up as the national trials have been shifted from its traditional venue in Ngong to Uhuru Gardens on Langata.
Other venues for the series include Kericho, Meru, Kisii and Eldoret as the sports governing continues its quest to enhance more talent from the grassroots ahead the 2010 World Championships in Bydgoszcz, Poland.
An extra leg has been added to the calendar which will lengthen the series to seven legs.
“Kenyans and East Africans in general have been dominant in the cross country to an extent that the world championships will be held every two years with a continental event in between,” said Kiplagat.
Kiplagat was speaking when he received a Sh5.2 million sponsorship from KCB who are sponsoring the series for the third season in a row.
“It is through this series that AK has been able to identify good runners who ultimately compete for a place in the national team to the World Cross Country Championships,” said KCB chief executive Martin Oduor Otieno.
Out of the total sponsorship, Sh1.5 million will be given away as prize money for the meets while Sh560,000 will go to the winners at the national championships.
At each of the meets, prize money will be awarded from the winner to the sixth runner across the finish line.
Twenty thousand shillings will be awarded to the winner while Sh15,000 and Sh10,000 will be awarded to position two and three.
At the national championships, winners stand to receive Sh200,000 while positions two and three will receive Sh120,000 and Sh80,000 respectively.