NAIROBI, Kenya, October 27- Fourteen thousand participants will take part in Sunday’s Standard Chartered Nairobi marathon up from 13,000 runners who participated last year.
National Steering Committee chairman Geoffrey Githinji said that runners had responded very well and all registration was closed promptly on Tuesday after the expiry of the extension deadline.
“Registration has been very efficient and we managed to close on Tuesday as scheduled and we are happy to report that the numbers have gone up to 14,000 participants,” said Mr Githinji.
The runners will take part in the six categories. These are 42km full marathon, the 21km half marathon, the 10km roadrace, the Family Fun Run, the wheel chair and the Tricycle races.
Athletics Kenya (AK), the organisers of the event confirmed that the marathon will take the same route as last year’s.
This route will see participants start at traditional Nyayo National Stadium, tackle Uhuru Highway and turn at the University Way round-about into Kenyatta Avenue, Harambee Avenue and Haile Sellassie Avenue, back to Mombasa Road and finish inside the stadium.
This route was unveiled last year and saw a course record of 2:10:12 set by last year’s winner Moses Kigen.
All proceeds from the Nairobi marathon go towards Seeing is Believing, a Standard Chartered Bank Charity aimed at eradicating avoidable blindness. Last year, Sh14.5 million was raised and went into funding cataract operations in Sabatia, Kikuyu, Tenwek, Kwale and Lighthouse for Christ Eye Centres.
The Nairobi marathon has indeed been a talent development opportunity with world beaters like Luke Kibet, the World Championships marathon hero, having discovered their prowess in the Nairobi marathon. As usual, the marathon is expected to unearth fresh talent. Last year, debutante Moses Kigen set a course record of 2:10:12 to win the men’s marathon dethroning the 2008 winner Moses Tuiyange who came in second.
In the women’s race, Irene Jerotich became the first second-time winner in the history of Nairobi Marathon with a course record of 2:28:47. Jerotich erased the previous route best by four minutes and 56 seconds set by Emma Muthoni in 2008.
Organisers ensured that registration went closer to the people as they partnered with supermarkets, malls and leading gyms in the country. Registration was also at the point of registration making it even faster and efficient.
The organisers partnered with 30 health clubs to facilitate adequate physical preparation of the participants. The participating health clubs, to mention just a few, are Nairobi Hilton, The Sarova Stanley, Premier Fitness Centre, Hotel Intercontinental, Silver Spa, Muscle & Tone Gym, Serena Hotel, The Arena Health & Fitness Centre, Fairmont Hotel, Fitness One, Safari Park Hotel, Gym & Tone-It Fitness Studio, Body n Soul, Flex Fitness Place and Image Health Fitness.