By Gilbert Koech
World Marathon record holder Patrick Makau and 2010 Hong Kong Marathon champion Cyprian Kiogora will join over 500 athletes expected to compete in this year’s Safaricom Imenti South road race.
The Safaricom Imenti South road race will be held on December 15 in Nkubu area, which is in Meru.
The duo together with World 3,000m record holder Daniel Komen and Benjamin Limo are among the elite athletes invited for the race.
They will also give moral support and inspiration to the budding talents keen to curve a niche in the discipline from Meru region.
Makau, fresh from winning last month’s Frankfurt Marathon, will also bring along 18 young and local talents, whom he is breeding at his training camp in Ngong and in Machakos.
Speaking to journalists during the official launch of the race, Makau said he was glad to utilise his recovery time after the epic Frankfurt marathon to encourage upcoming athletes.
“It is always good to see young people coming up and we can only help by inspiring and supporting them to go through the process. I want to see athletes from my area put on running spikes as they plan to launch their athletic career,” he said.
Makau will decide in January if he will compete at the word championships.
“Am bringing about 18 athletes to Meru next month and being an offseason for me I will decide come January whether I will take part in next year’s world championship,” he said.
Kiogora who had been out for over one year due to ankle injury said he will grace the event with the aim of giving young runners support as he is preparing to defend his title in next month’s Macau Half Marathon race in China.
Eastern athletics branch chairman Joseph Kinyua, while receiving a sponsorship of Sh750,000 from Safaricom acknowledged the accolades to the country from the current and former athletes.
The event organising committee chairman Kimathi Mutueranda said the race, which will start at Igoji and end at Nkubu, will be run smoothly after the organisers resolved a traffic hitch that was witnessed last year.
Winners in main event will take home Sh50,000, second and third place will pocket Sh25,000 and Sh20,000. There will also be events for children, primary, secondary students and veterans.
Patron and Minister for Energy Kiraitu Murungi gave out Sh100,000, while Kiraitu Murungi Foundation will give Sh200,000.