NAIROBI, Kenya, Mar 7- Preparations for the second First Lady Half Marathon that ends at Nairobi’s Nyayo National Stadium are complete with organisers ready to welcome over 20,000 participants including Ms Margaret Kenyatta, the founder and patron who is aiming to beat her 3 hours, 46 minutes from last year.
Henry Kiprono and Leoninda Mosop took the honours in the main 21km men and women races but attention will be on First Lady Kenyatta who made history as the first spouse of a sitting Head of State to complete the distance before she went further by completing last year’s London Marathon a month later.
Training under former world marathon champion, Douglas Wakiihuri, Ms Kenyatta has clocked the miles to get ready for the event in Nairobi and the high altitude self styled University of Champions, Iten.
The event organized under the Beyond Zero Campaign that aims at raising Sh600 million which will go towards buying 27 fully-kitted mobile clinics to be distributed to 27 counties to help reduce maternal deaths.
This year’s marathon will feature a wheelchair race for the physically disabled as a new component of the marathon to add to the half and 10K road races competed last year.
By Saturday, over 17,000 people had already registered for the marathon, according to the organizers. Registration has been ongoing at a cost of Sh1,500 for individual participants and Sh100,000 for corporate participants of between five and ten individuals.
Event organizers, in conjunction with the Officer Commanding Traffic, Nairobi County have outlined traffic diversions which will seek to maintain flow of traffic during the event.
They have also promised to ensure all roads are clearly marked to avoid any confusion. There will be road diversions and closures which will take place as from 1.00am tonight to 1pm on Sunday.
Some of the closures include Mombasa Road which will remain closed from Enterprise Road to Lusaka Road as well as Lang’ata Road roundabout with those going to city centre through Mombasa Road and Uhuru Highway to be diverted at Enterprise Road and Mombasa Road junction.
At Lusaka roundabout, motorists from Mombasa direction will be diverted to access their various destinations via either City Stadium through Lusaka Road or Haile Selassie Avenue roundabout through Bunyala roundabout wrong side through Baricho road.
Those coming from Ngong Road to the CBD and other parts through Mbagathi Road will be diverted at the City Mortuary roundabout to use Valley Road, Kenyatta Avenue or Mbagathi Road’s wrong side.
Within the city centre motorists who want to take Kenyatta Avenue will be diverted at Kenyatta Avenue and Uhuru Highway roundabout to access Kenyatta Avenue and State House Avenue junction from the wrong side.
The winner of the 21 km race for both men and women will take home Sh750,000 as prize money, with the runners up taking home Sh500,000 and third-placed athlete taking home Sh250,000.
The winner of the 10km race for both men and women will take home Sh250,000 as prize money, with the runners up taking home Sh100,000 and third-placed athlete taking home Sh50,000.