NAIROBI, Kenya, February 19 – Former world marathon record holders, Tegla Loroupe, and two-time world champion Catherine Ndereba, will run alongside President Uhuru Kenyatta’s spouse, Margaret, during the inaugural First Lady’s Half Marathon set for March 9 at Nairobi’s Uhuru Gardens.
Race organisers on Wednesday announced they will use the Sotokoto Half Marathon course that starts at Uhuru Gardens through Mbagathi way, Lang’ata and Mombasa roads before turning back at General Motors for the to finish at the starting point to run the event.
“Preparations are going on well and we might get some officials from other regions to assist in making the race a success. At least 20 elite athletes will be turning up to participate alongside Loroupe and Ndereba who will run with the First lady until the end of the 21km,” Athletics Kenya (AK) Nairobi branch chairman, Barnaba Korir, who will co-ordinate the event said.
AK vice-president in charge of administration David Okeyo said all IAAF rules will be observed, with doping control in place with plans afoot to make the event an annual affair.
“We are liaising with relevant authorities to ensure all goes well with the first edition before we make it bigger next year. This is a charitable event and money collected will be used to develop health facilities in the country.
“We invite everybody to turn up since there will be a lot of activities going on,” Okeyo added.
Nairobi Area Traffic commander, Senior Superintendent Musyoki Mutungi, assured tight security in line with arrangements in place for mass activity, not because of the involvement of the First Lady.
“On the Marathon day, we will close Lang’ata road from Uhuru Highway up to Southern by-pass junction. Mombassa Road will also be closed from City Cabanas up to Lusaka Road round about from 5am to 1pm.
“The event will be secured since we will not take any thing for granted, there will be thorough screening before entering the venue and we advice motorists to park at Carnivore grounds,” the police boss outlined.
Registration has opened and will close March 2 with individual participants paying Sh1,000 (USD11.6) while corporate teams will be levied Sh100,000 (USD 1,158.1) to participate.
Funds collected from the race will go towards purchasing a well equipped mobile clinic in all 47 Counties.The First Lady will use the event to prepare for April 13th London Marathon in her effort to raise awareness and Funds.
Half Marathon winners will pocket Sh200, 000 (USD 2,316.2) while 10km champion will receive Sh100, 000 (USD 1,158.08).