NAIROBI, Kenya, October 15 – Organizers of Standard Chartered Nairobi Marathon have introduced the tricycle race for this year’s edition.The race will augment the wheelchair race which has run since the marathon’s inception.
This has been made possible by CBM; an international disability and development organization which has donated Sh420,000 as a prize pool.
Speaking during the presentation on Thursday, country coordinator Nathaniel Bascom said he hoped the boost would help provide avenues for the physically disadvantaged to compete.
“We felt the need to introduce a new category because we felt it was important for us to distinguish between two wheels and three wheels since its not fair to have them compete in the same discipline,” he said.
Prize money for both races has also gone up by 233 percent shooting upto to Sh600,000 from Sh180,000 last year.
Under the new prize structure, both the male and female winners of the both the tricycle and Wheelchair races will earn Sh70,000. Runners up will each pocket Sh50,000 while third placed will get Sh30,000.
“We see this as the first step in reducing gap between the wheelchair races and the main 42 kilometre races. There is a need to have the disabled enjoy similarly perks to the able bodied,” he observed.
In addition to the prize money, CBM has also committed a further Sh350,000 which the People With Disability of Kenya will use to purchase 35 wheelchairs.
“The wheelchairs will be given to deserving people and we hope that this will encourage them to enter next year’s race,” he observed.
Meanwhile, over 5,000 people have so far registered for this year’s race. National steering committee chairman Jeff Githinji said that they are still confident of reaching their 15,000 athletes.
“If you compare where we have been in previous years in terms of numbers are well ahead. We have a peculiar habit in Kenya where we tend to wait until the last minute before flocking to register so we are confident that we will get to our target.”
This year’s Nairobi marathon will be held on October 25 starting and ending at the Nyayo national stadium. In addition to the wheelchair and tricycle races, there will be the full marathon for both men and women as well as the 21K and 10k races and a family fun run.
Proceeds from the event are used to treat preventable eye diseases in Kenya.