NAIROBI, Kenya, Nov 22 – Third finisher at last year’s Standard Chartered Nairobi Marathon, Hillary Kiplimo headlines a deep field of elite athletes for the 2017 edition that will take place on Sunday in the capital city.
Kiplimo returns to the annual Kenya’s biggest marathon, hoping to improve from his third position of 2:14:25 to taking the honours that comes with Sh1.5mn for the winners of both the men’s and women’s category.
The 15th edition will have stiff competition after the County Governments of Nandi, Uasin Gishu, Elgeyo Marakwet and Kericho –where most successful athletes in the country come from, sending athletes.
“This year we have a very heavy presence of teams from Nandi, Kericho, Elgeyo Marakwet and Uasin Gishu counties. Our decision to work with coaches and county officials has heightened interest among athletes within those regions,” Peter Gitau, who is the Local Organising Committee Chairman, said.
Kiplimo will also face strong competition from 2015 winner Joshua Kipkorir as this year’s race promise to be the toughest since most of the elite athletes boast of international exposure.
Since winning the 2015 race in Nairobi, Kipkorir has posted impressive results winning the Wuson and Tiemen races in China and coming second in the Standard Chartered Mumbai Marathon in India.
This year’s course has changed with the start and finish moving to the Nairobi Railways Club from the traditional Nyayo National Stadium that is under renovation.
The full marathon will start on the Haile Selassie Road outside the Railway Club with the athletes taking the Haile Selassie roundabout then head to Museum Hill all the way to the University Way roundabout.
The athletes will then take on the Mombasa Road loop twice to Lusaka roundabout and back to Lusaka before heading to Bunyala roundabout then run all the way to the finish line that is at the Nairobi Railway Club.
With registration closing on Friday, over 20,000 participants are expected to pound the tarmac around Kenya’s capital for top honours in the 42km, 21km, 10km, 5km family run, and the 3km CEO challenge.
Several roads within the Central Business District will be closed to allow participants easy movement along the course.
Traffic to and out of the city will be mainly diverted to alternative roads as the roads along the designated marathon route will remain closed between 4am and 1pm.
One lane along Uhuru Highway will be closed while traffic between Railways Club and Railways Golf Club will be diverted to processional way through Uhuru Park.
On Sunday, traffic from the City Centre to Westlands, Kileleshwa, Muthaiga, Kiambu and Thika will also be affected.
Motorists heading to the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport, Machakos and Mombasa from City centre will be diverted to Landhies Road, Jogoo road, and connect to Mombasa road via Outering road.
Those heading to Karen from City Centre will also have to go round Kipande and Ojijo roads, Waiyaki Way and James Gichuru Road.
The Kenya Urban Roads Authority will also close the City Mortuary roundabout from valley Road from Friday due to the ongoing phase 1 upgrading of Ngong Road to a dual carriageway.
Motorist wishing to access Daystar University and Nairobi Hospital through the upper gate will however not be affected.