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Mara Marathon attracts bumper entry

NAIROBI, Kenya, September 17- Over 700 athletes have registered for the fourth edition of the Kenya Airways Maasai Mara Marathon set for Saturday at the Lemek Conservancy in Narok County.

Speaking during a press briefing on Monday, race technical director Robert Ouko said they expected more entries before the deadline later in the day.

“We want to limit the number of runners at this event to 1,000 hence we will not be registering in the morning of the event like we have been doing.

“All is set for this marathon, the route is the same as last year and in addition all logistics are ready to hold a successful event,” added Ouko.

Nicholas Kipkemboi won the elite men race last year by covering the half-marathon in 1:01.28 ahead of Joseph Aperumoi and Kaniu Wanjiku.

Jemimah Chelagat scooped the corresponding women race with Emily Mugo and Monicah Wangui completing the podium where the winners bagged Sh250,000 ($2,976) each.

Organisers announced the prize kitty would remain unchanged for the winner with runner-ups and third finishers taking home Sh100,000 ($1,190) and Sh50,000 ($595).

The event was launched in 2009 to raise funds for the conservation within the Mara ecosystem while raising awareness of the plight of the communities living around it.

“We had about 350 runners in the inaugural event and have seen the numbers rise over the years as its profile grows in the country.

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“We opted to shift the date from the usual November to coincide with the wildebeest migration that tales place around this time,” stated John Konchellah, the chairman of the organising committee.

Fairmont Norfork Hotel and Creative Consolidated Systems gave out Sh1.75m ($20,833) and Sh1m ($11,904) to the race in sponsorship on Monday.

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