Nairobi, Kenya September 13 – The usually serene Ndakaini trading center in the outskirts of Nairobi will be thronged by over 4,000 runners to compete in this year’s edition of the UAP Ndakaini Marathon.
The tenth edition of the event, will have a record turnout with runners tackling a course that will take them around the scenic Ndakaini Dam in Gatanga, Muranga County. The Dam lies about 80 kilometers from Nairobi City at an altitude of 2,040 meters above sea level.
Title sponsors UAP Insurance say that records show that at 4220, registration has already eclipsed last year’s final total which stood at 2700 runners.
The firm’s Managing Director James Wambugu said that more than 1,000 athletes had signed up for the headline 21 half marathon while the corporate 10 kilometer had the largest number of entrants.
He confirmed that the event will also celebrate professional athletes, nine of who will run the 10 kilometer to commemorate the tenth anniversary of the event.
“Lucy Kabuu, who honed her skills here in Ndakaini will be running alongside Catherine Ndereba, William Tanui, Douglas Wakihuri, Jonah Birir and Abel Kirui who is also the UAP Ndakaini half marathon ambassador,” said Wambugu. Other athletes are Henry Wanyoike, and Daniel Komen.
Race Director Dan Muchoki, who is also the Kenya National Athletics coach said that the half marathon had grown in stature, leading to the record number of entries.
“We have designed the course to meet International Amateur Athletics Federation (IAAF) standards as part of an initiative to ensure that the timings athletes post here are acceptable in global races,” he added noting that the half marathon would eventually form a key component of the athletes qualifying times.
He said that the athletes would also pay tribute to the late Samuel Kamau Wanjiru, a one- time Ndakaini Half Marathon champion.
The male and female winners of the half marathon will each take home Kshs 150,000. In total each of the first ten finishers in each of the 21, 10 and five kilometer races will receive a cash prize.
Proceeds from the funds raised at the UAP Ndakaini half marathon event will be channeled towards purchase of indigenous tree seedlings, planting trees around the Ndakaini Dam and taking care of them. The Ndakaini Dam is a key water resource for nearly 4 million people.