By ERICK OCHIENG’
Title sponsors Standard Chartered Bank gave out Sh80 million, which will go towards logistics and organisation aspects for the event. There will be six races – 42km, 21km, 10km, 5km, 42km tricycle, and 21km wheelchair.
The events targets to surpass the 20,000 entries mark with 17,000 having registered in last year’s race where Ernest Kebenei (2:10:54) and Margaret Toroitich (2:30:17) emerged victorious each taking home Sh1.5 million.
In its ten year history, the Standard Chartered Nairobi International Marathon has only produced one repeat winner in Commonwealth Games marathon champion Irene Jerotich, who won in 2006 and 2009. She also took silver twice in 2005 and 2008.
However, the event is known for churning out new talents, which included 2005 champion Chemokil Chilapong, a mother of two from Pokot District. Her husband sold three chickens to enable her to travel to Nairobi and take part in the race. She returned home Sh1 million richer.
Apart from Standard Chartered Bank, there were 13 other firms that contributed Sh43.7 million. They are Capital FM (Sh13m), Kenya Data Network (Sh6m), Majestic Printing Works (Sh5.5m), Alpine Coolers (Sh4.9m), G4S (ShSh4.4), Pesapal (Sh2.5m), and SuperSports (Sh2.5m). Others are Jubillee Insurance (Sh1.7m), Lucozade (Sh1.2m), Nakumatt (Sh750,000), Parapet Cleaning Services (Sh600,000) and Subaru (Sh500,000).
The registration deadline is October 21, a week before the race date. Athletics Kenya Secretary General, David Okeyo, praised race organisers saying it is of international standards. He said the ability for the marathon to attract such a high caliber of sponsorship is a clear indication that the event has come of age, and offering real value to sponsors.
“I call upon other sponsors to see the value of this marathon to our community and the country at large. Those who cannot join the sponsorship should enter big teams and rally employees to participate to support the event,” said Okeyo.
Marathon chairman, Reuben Mbindu, was grateful to the sponsors assuring them that their money would be put into good use.
“We are proud that we offer budding athletes a platform on which they can kick-start their careers. The funds raised enable children to regain their sights, be productive, and live normal lives. The rewards revive the participants through unrivaled prize money, which improves their well being and socio-economic status and plays a crucial role branding Kenya,” said Mbindu.
The chairman appealed to sponsors to own the marathon and support it. He said the sponsors in return stand to benefit from the marathon by showcasing their brands through the exhibition of their products and services during the race.