NAIROBI, July 2- Nanning World Half bronze winner, Peninah Arusei is the latest elite runner penned for the third Sotokoto Safari Half marathon that will be staged at Nairobi’s Uhuru Gardens on Sunday.
Arusei will battle 2006 Commonwealth 10000m winner and Dubai Marathon runner-up Lucy Kabuu and Japan based Philes Ongori, last year’s Amsterdam Marathon titleholder who won the inaugural Sotokoto race in 2009.
Boston and New York Marathon record holder Geoffrey Mutai and 2009 Standard Chartered Mumbai Marathon runner-up David Tarus who were past winners in the first two editions will highlight the corresponding men’s race.
Speaking at a press briefing on Monday, technical manager George Kariuki said that all preparations were underway in anticipation of a successful event.
“We have managed to register over 1,040 athletes among them 46 foreigners with more expected to come in before the July 7 deadline.
“The response has been slow compared to last year due to the packed schedule with the various marathons that have been held like the Lewa and Kabarak over the weekend,” he added.
Kenya’s Minister for Sports, Dr. Paul Otuoma, who is among the chief guests, will flag-off the main 21km races.
At the same time, organisers have stepped up security arrangements for the event in light of recent terrorist attacks blamed on the Al Qaeda affiliated Al Shabab group.
“We are fully aware of the Al Shabab terror threat with the crowds expected but we will be vigilant with all attending the race,” assured Leonard Katana, an Assistant Commissioner of Police at the briefing.