NAIROBI, Kenya, April 4 – Following embarrassing confusion last year where some athletes covered 52km instead of the standard 42.195km, organisers of the fifth Kericho Tea Board of Kenya International Marathon have been put on notice to employ certified route measurers for the forthcoming edition that runs on May 10.
The 2013 edition was marred by some athletes running way past the recommended distance after they were allegedly misled by some route officials and during the launch of this year’s event on Friday, Athletics Kenya (AK) cautioned the organisers against a repeat.
“Organisers must ensure they have qualified technical officials. We don’t want athletes to be misled and the route must have proper signings that indicates turning points to guide runners.
“All the IAAF rules will be followed with Anti-Doping being conducted after the race and all athletes must be examined properly health wise since we don’t want to risk their life so nothing will be left unturned,” federation vice-president in charge of competitions and administration, David Okeyo, said.
Former Boston Marathon and world 10,000m champion, Moses Tanui, is the event ambassador with AK South Rift chairman, John Wachira, the chair of the organising body that begs the question how such an awkward oversight would occur.
In his remarks, Wachira, said they might consider changing the course if the bridge that broke during the previous event is not properly repaired.
“We have already requested one of the factories to repair the bridge where water usually overflow when it rains, so we are hoping to have a good race this time round and if the heaven opens up we have an alternative option so athletes should not worry about that,” the AK South Rift chairman confirmed.
The race that targets over 10,000 runners both local and international will have three categories, 42km, 10km and 5km with winners in both men and women of the full marathon taking home Sh1.5m (USD17,282).
Registration is ongoing and participants will set aside Sh500 (USD5.8) for entry fee that will cut across the board.
Former world 10,000m champion Moses Tanui, is the marathon’s ambassador with organisers setting ‘this is where the world athletes meet with tea’ as the theme for this year.
Okeyo did not specify what action would be taken if the course is not properly measured as per the guidelines of world body, IAAF.