NAIROBI, September 12 – Reigning champion Bellow Yator will be among 650 athletes who will compete in Ndakaini Half Marathon on Saturday.
Yator who last year set a new course record 1:03:58 will face off against last year’s runners-up John Gwandaru, Phillip Kimutai and David Cheptet who have all confirmed of their participation.
In women’s category, Peninah Arusei who won last year will be challenged by the 3rd edition winner Slyvia Kibet, Janet Suto and Emma Muthoni.
In 15 kilometre race, Nephat Ngotho who clocked 44:52: will face stiff competition from Johnson Muiruri, Kirwa Choge and Elijah Muturi. In the women same race, fourth edition winner Irene Kwambai will have Pauline Wangui, Perris Chanba, Monica Njeri and Lydia Wangui to contend with.
In 10 kilometre race, Samuel Ndungu will defend his title with James Macharia, Sammy Kiplagat and Stanley Ng’ang’a, his main challengers.
At the same time Kenya Commercial Bank has given Sh250,000 towards the annual race.
Speaking to the press on Friday, KCB’s Public Affairs and Communications director Kepha Bosire said the bank hopes that the race will help tap new talent and promote Ndakaini as a sporting tourist avenue.
“The marathon goes around the Ndakaini dam and we are therefore presenting our sponsorship to tap new talent for our youth and eventually make a career in athletics,” he noted.
Chairman of Ndakaini Dam Environment Conservation Association (NDEKA) Professor John Kimura, stated that the half marathon targets the youth by creating awareness to environmental conservation.
“Ndakaini marathon is a discovery centre for the youth and NDEKA has been encouraging sports and athletics in particular in protecting our ecosystem”, he said.
The marathon is aimed towards the conservation of Ndakaini dam catchment area and the empowerment of local community to develop viable social economic enterprises associated with the dam.
There will be a 21 km marathon for athletes of 18 years and above, 15 and 10 km road races for over 14 years, 4km race for veterans and a 3 km fun race for children and family members. The races are also open to the public and corporate teams for participation.
Winners of the 21 km men and women marathon receive Sh100,000 while the winners for the 15km men and women get Sh25,000 each and 10 km men and women will be awarded Sh10,000 each.
Athletes who will set a new course record will get an additional Sh20,000 on top of their prizes.