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Tergat and Makau spearhead UNEP marathon

NAIROBI,Kenya February 7 – Top local athletes are scheduled to join runners in a historic half marathon set to celebrate four decades of the United Nations Environment Organization UNEP globally.

The marathon, set for the 19th February 2012 will see world marathon record holder Patrick Makau and the legendary Paul Tergat lend their support to the event.

Tergat who held the world marathon record from 2003 to 2007 lauded the event and underlined the sports and environment factor.

“The relationship between sports and environment has been growing steadily so much, so that the environment is a key consideration in almost all sports planning activities. most importantly every athlete requires a clean environment for optimum performance in his or her career.Its for the above reasons that i wish to applaud UNEP for this inaugural environment race coming up. We are going to have it in a very scenic and beautiful environment near Gigiri.”

Tergat went on to reassure the involvement of athletes in being a part of such initiatives.

“Athletes will lend a hand to efforts towards building sustainable environment for generations to come. I wish therefore to assure UNEP on behalf of the Kenyan athlete of our unreserved commitment to the environment.”

The top athletes will participate in the half-marathon, while dignitaries and officials from 150 countries attending the special session of UNEP’s Governing Council will participate in a shorter 5 km run.

Speaking after the launch of the event, Acting Director of the UNEP Division of Communications and Public Information and UNEP spokes man Nick Nuttall, highlighted the history of the organization.

“The marathon in many ways is the starting gun for the global celebrations of UNEP’s 40th anniversary, which appropriately will take place in Nairobi. It was in 1972, at the UN Conference on Human Environment in Stockholm, Sweden, when governments agreed to set up UNEP and later that year chose Kenya to be its home, making it the first UN headquarters to be based in the developing world.” he said.

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The half-marathon, scheduled for 19th February 2012, aims to raise public awareness on protecting the environment and the future of the planet.

UNEP is the custodian and champion of what is at the heart of every athlete —a healthy environment that allows every athlete to excel and reach his or her potential.

The upcoming half-marathon will act as a tool to promote environmental awareness and cement the symbiotic relationship between sports and the environment.

The event will coincide with the convening of the 12th Special Session of the UNEP Governing Council/Global Ministerial Environment Forum (GC/GMEF).

Dignitaries and officials from 150 countries attending the meeting are being invited to participate in a shorter five-kilometre run. The two events are expected to attract 1,000 registered participants.

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