By Jonathan Komen
Iten will host the eight Shoe4Africa women’s 5km run today. The event, which is the only exclusive local women’s race, will be limited to 1,100 athletes. Registration is free.
Olympic 10,000m runner Joyce Chepkirui will be back for another shot at the title she won last year.
Chepkirui, who is also the All Africa Games 1,500m silver medallist, longs to become the first athlete to defend the crown.
Last year, Chepkirui scooped the prize for breaking the course record winning in 16:17 on the tough hilly course.
Olympic Silver medallist Sally Kipyego will be at the event holding the finishers tape, along with a host of other international stars who support this race on an annual basis.
The race starts outside High Altitude Training Centre in Iten at 9am. The registration is free but the ladies must sign up before the race day as entries are limited to 1,100.
The race will start outside the Iten High Altitude Training Centre and follows a 5km hilly course across the village before returning to the tape at the starting point.
Toby Tanser, the race director, said Athletics Kenya president Isaiah Kiplagat will flag off the race in which, winners will take home prize money.
There is a $500 for first, $300, for second, and $200 for third then $100 all the way to 12th finisher.
“There will also be a $500 bonus for the athlete who has never competed outside Kenya (the without-passport category) and apart from raffling off 600-pairs of shoes one lucky runner will win an Apple Ipad.
“For the course record there is another $500 bonus at stake. If no one breaks the course record next year it will increase to $1,000,” he said.
Tanser said the race is meant to churn out women athletic talents from the region and expose them to the discipline rigous.
“It is a race that has launched many stars because there is no entry fee and prize money encourages upcomers to try their luck,” said Tanser.
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He said adding that the race also gives out hundreds of free pairs of running shoes each year.
The biggest Shoe4Africa race held had 5,000 runners in Kibera, Nairobi, in 2008 and the Iten race is capped at 1, 100 runners.
On the New Year’s Eve, Shoe4Africa will stage a ground breaking ceremony for construction of a multi-million shilling public children hospital at Eldoret’s Moi Teaching and Referral Hospital.