NAIROBI, Kenya, June 8 – Over 200 runners on Saturday gathered to take part in the official launch of the running trails at Tatu City that will see celebrated Olympian Lorna Kiplagat construct a 100km of the same.
The construction that is set to begin immediately is a joint venture by Tatu City and renowned Kenya athlete Kiplagat.
The facility targets residents and employees in the mixed-use facility that lies between Kiambu and Ruiru towns on the outskirts of Nairobi city.
It will be welcome addition to investments in health and sports that are designed to promote personal fitness and wellbeing and to fight back lifestyle diseases blamed on sedentary occupations among other causes.
By partnering with Lornah, Tatu City that plans to host over 6050 homes and businesses, hopes to tap into her sports brand name and her vast experience in designing and construction of sports facilities locally and abroad.
Among her better-known facilities is the High Attitude Training Center in Iten, Elgeyo Marakwet County that is a popular training ground for elite athletes drawn from all over the world.
Speaking at the event, the long-distance runner who also owns the Lorna Sports brand said Tatu City was an ideal location for running facilities.
“Tatu City’s ample green space is ideal for runners and health enthusiasts,” said Kiplagat. “The opportunity to plan the trails and fitness areas of an entire new city is thrilling, especially because Tatu City is open to all Kenyans.”
Tatu City currently has more than 6,000 homes under construction and advanced development. Two schools – Nova Pioneer and Crawford International – with a combined population of 1,500 students are among the 50 businesses local and international businesses housed in Tatu.
“Lornah will play a pivotal role in the design of health-centric connectivity between homes, offices, schools, health facilities and businesses, as well as in the broader recreational amenities at Tatu City,” said Chris Barron, Kenya Country Head for Rendeavour, Tatu City’s owner and developer. “We are honoured to partner with a living legend like Lornah, whose records endure to this day.
The World Health Organisation, among others, has raised a red flag over ballooning numbers of overweight and obese people in sub-Sahara Africa including Kenya.
Lack of regular exercise is linked to weight gain, which, in turn, is considered an important catalyst for Type II diabetes, and high cholesterol levels associated heart-related diseases.
At the launch of the inaugural Tatu City Fun Run to kick off the partnership between Tatu City and Lorna Kiplagat, Christopher Kemei clocked 23:55 to win the 7km run. Hot on his heels was Clement Pariono in 24:20 with Geoffrey Kapelo rounding off the podium in 24:40.
“The race wasn’t exactly easy like I expected. I didn’t make my target time but I think It is because of the weather. I am using this race to prepare for for the national championships. This is such a moral booster for me,” Kemei.
Long-distance runner Lornah Kiplagat was born in Kenya and became a Dutch citizen in 2003. She has several world records to her name, including four world titles and one European title.
In 2007, Lornah won the World Cross-Country Championships in Mombasa, Kenya. She participated in three Olympic Games: Athens (2004), Beijing (2008) and London (2012).
She won the marathons of Los Angeles (twice), Amsterdam, Rotterdam and Osaka, was second in Chicago and third in the New York City Marathon. Lornah is also the founder of the High Altitude Training Centre (HATC) in Iten, Kenya, which she runs together with her husband, Pieter Langerhorst.
Lornah is renowned for her powerful, offensive running style that evokes associations with a lion. Her nickname is Simba, Swahili for lion. The lion is therefore inseparable from the sports brand, Lornah Sports.