NAIROBI, Kenya, November 10- Daegu steeplechase men gold medallist, Ezekiel Kemboi, reigning Commonwealth Games titleholder, John Ekiru Kelai and former New York, Chicago and London marathons champion, Joyce Chepchumba will front this year’s Tegla Loroupe Peace race in Kapenguria.
Speaking on Thursday, event founder and patron, Tegla Loroupe said nationalities from six overseas countries and regional neighbours would also compete at the annual meeting that seeks to promote peace among warring pastoralist communities.
“Up to now, we have more than 2000. We have runners from Monaco, America, Switzerland, Holland, France and Germany as well as those from Uganda and Sudan taking part,” the former world marathon women record holder and renowned global peace ambassador said on Thursday.
Action begins on Friday when warriors from Turkana, Samburu, Marakwet, Pokot, Sebei and the Karamanjoong communities who have waged hostilities among themselves for decades for pasture will drop their weapons to run for peace.
The main 21km races and 2km fun run will be staged on Saturday.
In last year’s edition, Levy Matebo and Pamela Lisoreng won the main 21km half marathon races and Loroupe was non committal on whether the defending titleholders would show up for the ninth edition.
On Thursday, communications service provider, Safaricom gave the event Sh2m ($21,000) in sponsorship with the grateful patron stating;
“I’m overwhelmed by the attention Kenyans both individually and as corporate organisations have given this event. I feel it’s the least I can do for my community and a country.”
“As a company, we are keen to engaging Kenyan communities in projects and programmes that improve their living standards and promote coexistence,” Safaricom general manager Betty Mwangi added.
The company has entered an agreement with the Tegla Loroupe Peace Foundation to sponsor the event over the next five years in a deal worth Sh16m ($168,422).