NAIROBI, November 11 – Olympic 800 metres champion Wilfred Bungei, World Marathon Majors Series winner Martin Lel, Joyce Chepchumba and Vivian Cheruiyot will grace the sixth edition of the Tegla Loroupe Peace Run scheduled for Kapenguria on Saturday.
Race organizer Tegla Loroupe said on Tuesday that over 400 athletes including warriors and elite are expected to take part in the annual race aimed at promotion of peace and development in marginalized areas.
“We hope the race will spur economic empowerment in the region and also ensure that warriors are able to focus on community growth through peaceful arms disarmament that will unite the society,” Loroupe said.
Loroupe added that the peace race has facilitating reconciliation with reduction in armed conflict levels thus promoting peace among pastoral communities since it was initiated in 2003.
Mobile phone service provider Safaricom will sponsor the event to the tune of Sh1 million.
Safaricom Chief Human Resource Officer Joseph Ogutu said the partnership with the Tegla Loroupe Peace Foundation and other stakeholders will help curb violent conflicts involving pastoralists in the North Rift region.
“As a corporate we are proud to present this cheque in support of development projects to invest in our communities after Tegla proved herself a true people’s champion by promoting peaceful co-existence between our people,” Ogutu stated.
United States Agency for International Development representative John Langlois appealed to communities living in the North Rift and indeed all Kenyans to embrace initiatives that would help in addressing the linkage between regional development, peace building and conflict resolution with such peace races.
Tegla Loroupe Peace Foundation (TLPF) chairman Lucas Laikuni said that creating peace forums in the region would stop conflicts between the fighting communities and be able to stop cattle rustling.
There will be three categories of races including a 2km children race, a 2 km dignitaries’ nad the 10K elite and warrior races.
Prime Minister Raila Odinga, Minister for Information and Technology Samuel Poghisio and United States Ambassador Michael Ranneberger will participate in the dignitaries event.
The warriors category will attract competitors from Karamoja and Sebei from Uganda,Pokot,Turkana and Marakwet.
Other guests that have also confirmed participation includes athletes from Italy, and envoys from various embassies and high commissions.