NAIROBI, Kenya, Feb 1 – The sixth edition of the Mau-Egerton Cross Country will run February 9 at the institution’s ground in Njoro, Nakuru County with organisers targeting over 5,000 participants.
With the World Cross Country Trials set for February 23 in Eldoret, some of the elite athletes will use this year’s Egerton-Mau race as part of their warm up as they seek to earn selection to represent Kenya in the global event scheduled for March in Denmark.
Among athletes who have expressed interest are past winners Bernard Kipkemoi and Caroline Chepkoech who won in 2015 and 16 editions.
The race got a boost following APA Insurance’s partnership for a sixth consecutive year, with the company injecting Sh 300,000 this year.
“We are committed to protecting and conserving the environment and we are happy sponsoring the event since its inception. Our objective is to plant and maintain at least 1,000 trees every year,” said Nakuru Branch Manager at APA Insurance Meena Shah when she presented the sponsorship cheque to Egerton University Vice Chancellor Prof Rose Mwonya.
Participants will compete in senior 10km for both men and women as well as the junior 8km with winners receiving Sh50, 000 prize money.
Others are 4km race for corporate teams, Egerton university alumni and men over 45 years, 2km race for women above 35 years and children between 5yrs and 8yrs and 1km race for class 1-4 pupils and Egerton university staff above 55years.
The Mau-Egerton University Cross country was created to raise funds for rehabilitation of Mau ecosystem and Njoro River which feeds many residents in the vicinity. River Njoro normally christened as Ndarugu River is the main feeder to Lake Nakuru.
The staff together with students of Egerton University will plant the 1,000 Bamboo Seedlings and ensure the after care is maintained.
Over the past five years APA has also partnered with Egerton University to plant indigenous trees at the Ngongeri Park as part of restoration of the riparian forest vegetation along the middle section on Njoro River.
APA has partnered with Egerton University since 2014 in the Mau-Egerton University Cross Country event and has sponsored in cash and sent her teams to attend.