Kemboi, Cherotich to defend Chemususu Dam Half Marathon titles

Some of the registered athletes, race officials, sponsors and partners during the launch of ninth edition of Chemususu Dam Half Marathon in Nairobi.[Jonah Onyango, Standard]

The ninth edition of Chemususu Dam Half Marathon will be held on November 11, 2023 in Eldama Ravine, Baringo County.

Men and women's defending champions Emmanuel Kemboi and Daisy Cherotich are among the athletes who have confirmed their participation.

Others are Dancan Salaton, Ezekiel Letaya and Felix Lemayan who are all upping their training in Ngong.

Salaton and Letaya are targeting personal bests in the race whose objective is to conserve and protect the expansive Chemususu Dam apart from tapping and developing athletics talents.

Lemayan has already sent a strong warning to Kemboi that he will be the newly crowned king of the men's 21km category this season.

"My target is to win the race, I have trained well, my body is very fit, I'm ready for the challenge," Lemayan told Standard Sports during the marathon launch in Nairobi yesterday.

Already 15 sponsors have come on board to support the race among them the Standard Group PLC, the Kenya Ports Authority (KPA), National Social Security Fund, Lap Fund, Kenya National Highways Authority, Mozzart Bet and the Dairy Board.

Others are Kenya Forest Service, National Government Constituency Development Fund, the Tourism Fund, Skyline Sacco and Boresha Sacco.

Kenya Ports Authority presents their Sh1.5 Million check during the launch of ninth edition of Chemususu Dam Half Marathon in Nairobi on Thursday.[Jonah Onyango,Standard]

Race Director and former Olympic steeplechase champion Mathew Birir said there will be free entry for top three finishers last season in the men and women's categories.

"We are targeting over 1000 athletes, registration has already started today online, there will be physical registration on the day of the marathon at the venue," Birir explained.

Birir clarified that the race prizes remain the same as last year with each of the winner's going home with Sh250,000, each runner up bagging Sh150,000 while third place finishers will each get Sh100,000 in both men and women's categories.

Birir also noted that the route will remain the same as last season, with five water points for participants.

"Anti Doping will be a requirement for all the athletes as our aim is to encourage participants to run clean," stated Birir, who added that half a million seedlings will be planted this season as part of the marathon's sustainability initiative.

Athletics Kenya Baringo County chairman Barnaba Kitilit hailed the race saying the competition has churned out athletes who have gone ahead to conquer the world. He said it's high time the children's category was added into the contest.

Mozzart Bet are the race title sponsors to a tune of Sh2.5 million.

"We are now title sponsors for the race for two years running, we also support football, volleyball and other athletics championships in the country," Mozzart Bet Country Manager Sasa Krneta stated.

While handing over their Sh1.5 million check, KPA Corporate Communication Manager Benard Osero stated: "We are glad to be part of this race, we hope to sponsor several athletes from our organisation to take part in the marathon."
While giving out their Sh800,000 sponsorship, Tourism Fund Director Silas Tochim highlighted that they are proud to be part of the competition which also acts as a platform for talent identification and nurturing to make athletes great men and women in the future.

Ravine Member of Parliament and race patron Musa Sirma assured that the proceeds from the marathon will be accounted for to the last coin.

"We have a committee, no money from the race will be used without their approval," Sirma said.

While encouraging more athletes to take part in the contest, Chemususu Water Company CEO Zephania Kurere stated: "This race also acts as a tourist attraction, as the dam acts as a route for birds who migrate from Europe to South Africa every year."

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