NAIROBI, Kenya, Sep 29 – Athletes from Taita Taveta County and its environs will soon have a high altitude training centre that will be constructed by organisers of the Safaricom Madoka Half Marathon.
Plans for the construction of the centre, which will be based in Taita Hills, were unveiled today during the launch of the 11th edition of the race, to be held October 22 in Wundanyi, Taita Taveta County.
“We are happy to announce this new development and our plan to take athletics in the Coast region to the next level. We want to make this region a hub for athletics in the coming years by providing proper training facilities that will see us produce high profile athletes just like Eldoret and other parts of the Rift Valley, which are well known for their training grounds,” said event Chairman and Founder, Major (Rtd.) Marsden Madoka.
Over 2,000 athletes from across the country are expected to take part in the Half Marathon this year, including athletes from Uasin Gishu, Nandi, Elgeyo Marakwet and Machakos counties.
“This event has over the years raised the bar for athletes in the Coast region, and we are hoping to make the region more attractive to the athletes and sponsors by setting up this training centre,” he added added.
The event has received Ksh 2 million in sponsorship from title sponsor Safaricom, and will also receive additional support from Huawei and SportPesa.
“This year’s edition marks 11 years of partnership with the race’s organizing committee, and we’re pleased that the race continues to attract great talent and spectatorship,” said Sylvia Mulinge, Director for Consumer Business Unit – Safaricom.
“We are delighted to be working with the community of Taita Taveta County to support the discovery of fresh athletic talent,” she added.
“We’ve seen what investment in the discovery and nurturing of new talent results in, as evidenced by the exploits of champions such as Conseslus Kipruto, Margaret Nyairera and Boniface Mucheru at the 2016 Olympics in Rio, and are committed to continuing to transform lives by supporting athletics and other sports in Kenya.”
The event will have six race categories, with winners of the 21KM men’s and women’s races receiving a cash prize of Kshs 500,000 each, while runner-ups and third place finishers will get Kshs 250,000 and Kshs 100,000 respectively.
Last year’s winners John Mwangangi and Winfridah Moseti have confirmed their intention to defend their titles.
Among the unique highlights of the event will also be the introduction of the 5KM Governor’s Race, which will be led by Taita Taveta Governor John Mruttu, Uasin Gishu’s Jackson Mandago and Elgeyo Marakwet’s Alex Tolgos, all of whom will run alongside veterans and corporate teams.
The female category of the same race will be led by Taita Taveta County’s First Lady, Mrs. Hope Mruttu.
The Safaricom Madoka Half Marathon is the 7th long distance race in the 2016 Safaricom Athletics Series calendar, and the second in the Coast region after the Safaricom Mombasa International Marathon.