ELDORET, Kenya, Sep 2 – The Ndalat Gaa Cross Country has been renamed after the fallen Athletics Kenya (AK) Chief Isaiah Fundi KIplagat who was laid to rest on Friday at his Kapseret home, Uasin Gishu County.
The first event to be called Isaiah Kiplagat Cross Country race to held in Ndalat in Nandi county, will be staged on October 15.
The event, entering its eighth year, will be held at Ndalat Gaa Girls High School in Eldoret, inside the newly gazetted Ndalat Gaa pre-historic site.
AK President Jackson Tuwei said they are naming the race behind the late Kiplagat who was the brainchild behind the race which is held annually in his ancestral home area.
Tuwei said he will meet the AK executive to formalize the process of changing the name before the next edition of the race.
The president made the proposal during Kiplagat’s burial ceremony that was attended by government officials and the athletics fraternity.
AK Central Rift chairman Abraham ‘Solo’ Mutai welcomed the development and said it will be a great honour for a race associated with Kiplagat to be named after him.
“This event marks the epitome of grassroot talent development. We are happy to be associated with the event since it provides enough exposure to the young runners who take part.
Sports Kenya acting Director General Gordon Oluoch asked AK to change its headquarters name from Riadha House to Isaiah Kiplagat House.
“There is need of a landmark like Riadha House which the late Mzee Kiplagat to imortalise the fallen sports administration hero can be immortalized so that his name and legacy lives for decades to come,” said Oluoch.
The International Athletics Associations Federation (IAAF) technical advisory committee veteran Kenyan sports journalist Elias Obanyi Makori challenged the Eldoret County government to name a road or a landmark in North Rift region in honour of the late Kiplagat.
Kiplagat’s funeral service was conducted by the retired Anglican Church of Kenya Eldoret Diocese head Bishop Cornelius Korir.
The burial was attended by over 10,000 mourner and attended by prominent leaders including Uasin Gishu Governor Jackson Mandagor and Bungoma Senator Moses Wetangula among others.