NAIROBI, March 4 – Moses Kosgei will defend the men’s First Lady Half Marathon title when the third edition takes place on Sunday in Kenya’s Capital City.
Kosgei will be joined by Andrew Kimutai, who finished second last year, while 2014 winner in 10km Cynthia Chelagat will be returning to the annual charity event but will face stiff competition from World Military Games 3000m Silver medallist, Agnes Chesang.
“As an athlete, you always prepare to win each race, this is my goal and I’m prepared to win come Sunday at Nyayo Stadium,” Kosgei, who will be looking to better his 1:01:28, he set last year, said.
Over 30,000 participants have so far registered with organisers targeting 70,000 runners, which is double the number of entries last year.
Steeplechase great and four-time World Champion Ezekiel Kemboi will once again have the honour to run along with the First Lady Margaret Kenyatta, who will compete in the 10Km race this year.
Athletics Kenya Nairobi chairman, Barnaba Korir said elite runners registered for the marathon will undergo doping test by the Anti-Doping Agency of Kenya (ADAK).
“This will be the first tests done by ADAK. The samples will be taken to Qatar and not South Africa where we have been taking in the past. We will have the results in three weeks, only then will the prize monies be release,” Korir declared.
Meanwhile, the National Police Service have released a road closure and traffic diversions schedule ahead of the race.
Traffic in and out of the city will mainly be diverted to alternative roads as the roads along the designated marathon route will remain closed on Sunday between 1am and 1pm.
The affected roads include sections of Mombasa Road, Uhuru Highway, Mbagathi Road, Lang’ata Road and Upper Hill.
Nairobi County deputy traffic commandant Musyoka Mutungi asked city residents to cooperate with traffic officers to ensure everything flows on Sunday.
“We are requesting all participants and road users to adhere to the directions which will be given by traffic police officers who will be adequate on the ground. We shall be as efficient as we can, due to the expectation of large traffic in the area,” Musyoki announced on Friday.
The marathon will start with the 10km Wheelchair race at 6.30am before the main 21km event that will be flagged off by the First Lady at 7.00am. The10km, 5km and 2km races will follow thereafter at 9.00am.
Just like in the past, the race will be graced by government officials including Governors, Ambassadors and Cabinet Secretaries.
This year, the flagship event for the ‘Beyond Zero’ Campaign, aims to raise Sh105m from participation entries.
As of Wednesday, sponsorships and donations from both public and private organizations had reached Sh189m
All monies raised are geared towards the purchase of 11 remaining fully kitted mobile clinics, out of the original 47 clinics earmarked for each county in Kenya.
The Beyond Zero campaign has plans to build a specialized hospital for mother and child health care.