NAIROBI, Kenya, Nov 1- Geoffrey Mutai, a two-time New York and 2012 Berlin Marathon champion will be the star attraction for this year’s Baringo Half Marathon which will be held on Saturday in Kabartonjo.
Mutai leads a list of 250 athletes who have already confirmed participation in the annual event with other big names in the race squad including 2007 All Africa Games silver medalist Josephat Menjo, Japan based athlete Amos Kaptich and former Kass Marathon champion Amos Mibei.
Winners of both the men and women’s races will walk home with Sh200,000, second place finishers Sh100,000 while bronze winners will walk home with Sh70,000.
The race which received a sponsorship boost of Sh3mn from Lotto Foundation and Sh200,000 from the Baringo County Government will for the first time feature a 12km wheelchair race whose winner will pocket Sh30,000.
“We want to see this marathon grow in leaps and bounds and reach the heights of the Stanchart Marathon in Nairobi. That’s why we are ready to invest and see that it grows,” Baringo Sports County Executive Emily Kibet said.
His sentiments were shared by title sponsors Lotto’s CEO Brian Waluchio who said; “We strongly believe that community supported initiatives such as the Baringo Half Marathon can greatly change livelihoods and uplift people through social development.”
The race is run and organized by former marathon world record holder Paul Tergat through his foundation.
Meanwhile, Kibet has disclosed to Capital Sports the county is in the process of putting up two high attitude training facilities in the area with Sh16mn already allocated for the two.
Also in the pipeline are two stadia within the county whose budget is approximated at Sh450mn.
“We are working on two stadia of international standards one in Eldama Ravine and one in Kabarnet. We have secured the two and what we are working on is levelling the ground and before the end of this year, we should have been able to create a football and volleyball pitch,” Kibet said.
The County Executive has admitted the county has missed out on producing top athletic talent in the country because of lack of training facilities and she believes the two stadia coupled with another two high altitude training camps will be a solution.
“We have started by putting up hostels in both of them then next we will look at building a kitchen and catering facilities. We want to build something close to or even better than the camp in Iten,” Kibet added.