NAIROBI, Kenya, Aug 31 – The 2020 edition of the Nairobi Standard Chartered Marathon, initially scheduled for October 25 has been cancelled by organizers due to uncertainties brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic.
With a ban on public gatherings in force in the country as a containment measure to mitigate the spread of the virus, sponsors Stanrard Chartered have made the decision to call off the annual race for the first time in 17 years.
“Our consultations with Athletics Kenya and the Ministry of Sports clearly indicated that we would not be able to plan for a physical event with any certainty. We have therefore made the difficult decision to cancel the 2020 edition of the Standard Chartered Nairobi Marathon,” Chairman of the Standard Chartered Nairobi Marathon Local Organising Committee, Peter Gitau said.
He added; “This was not an easy decision to make. We have held the marathon annually for 17 years, and 2020 was to be no different. However, the depth and scale of COVID – 19 is unprecedented and remains hard to predict.”
Gitau also mentioned that they had thought of organizing the event virtually, just as it happened with the cancelled Lewa Marathon in July, but could not implement it as its success still required the majority of participants to leave their homes, a move that could compromise COVID-19 preventive measure protocols.
Last year, the Marathon attracted over 17,000 participants and raised over Sh30mn towards the community investment programme, FutureMakers, which provides youth in need with education, employment and entrepreneurship opportunities.