NAIROBI, Kenya, Sep 21 -The Kenyan contingent to the 2018 Sanlam Cape Town Marathon will be out to carry the title when the race will be held on Sunday.
Led by former Hannover Marathon winner, Jacob Chesari Korir and his compatriots Albert Korir, Kipsang Kipkemoi, Rotich Nicholas and Kacherian Philemon, the athletes confirmed plans to provide stiff competition to an elite field of full marathon runners entered for the event.
The Kenyan runners will be gunning for a win, at the event which enjoys pride of place as Africa’s only IAAF Gold label status marathon.
The Kenyan contingent’s confidence has been heightened by the absence of the event’s defending champion, Ethiopia’s Asefa Negewo who will not be taking part this weekend.
Despite his absence, the 2018 line up is arguably the most formidable entry field to date for the event sponsored by the Sanlam Group-Africa’s largest non-bank financial services firm.
The Sanlam Cape Town Marathon which is part of the South Africa Marathon Championships events will also serve as an Olympic Qualifier this year for the country’s elite runners led by Stephen Mokoka.
Attesting to Kenya’s growing importance in the race, the media conference in Cape Town, this morning, was presided over by Sanlam Kenya Group CEO, Patrick Tumbo who expressed Sanlam Group’s commitment to continue nurturing sporting talent in the continent.
“Sanlam is proud to sponsor Africa’s only Gold Label marathon, which gives our top athletes the opportunity to race against the world’s best on home soil. Our partnership in this prestigious event on the IAAF African calendar continues to grow, creating value and inspiration for the people and communities across our continent and a legacy for generations to come by sustainably conserving our environment, encouraging healthy living and bringing people together,” said Tumbo.
Alongside Mokoka and Chesari, Kenya’s Korir will also be gunning for the top prize buoyed by his recent performance at the Otsu Lake Biwa Marathon in Japan earlier this year.
Korir, has previously won the 2017 Vienna Marathon win, in a sub 2:09 time. Kipsang Kipkemoi who boasts a best of 2:08.26 from the Sevilla Marathon in 2017 will also be using the Sanlam Cape Town event to better his performance this year.
With such an incredible amount of depth at the front end of the race, it is no surprise that focus will be on the “racing snakes”.
However, the Sanlam Cape Town Marathon is not only about those who will be chasing titles and prizes and fast times the event clearly caters for those who want to have fun or are chasing their personal goals.
A whopping 22 000 plus runners will run their journey in the trail races, the 10km Peace Run, the 5km fun run and the marathon over the weekend of 22-23 September.
As part of its RUN4CHANGE Legacy Program, the 2018 Peace torch will again be brought to the event by the Sri Chinmoy oneness-home PEACE Run, which has been carried since 1987, visited 155 countries and run more than 632,000 km (395,000 miles).
Throughout race week, the Peace torch will be showcased at schools and will be an intricate part of the start of both the 10km and the marathon on Sunday 23 September.
It will be lit outside the Waterclub and taken up Beach Road to the marathon start by Francois Pienaar wearing a race bib with 46664 as his race number, in honour of Nelson Mandela.
He will be accompanied by various dignitaries, in turn accompanies to a live rendition of Johnny Clegg’s “Asimbonanga”.