Lockdown in town as Eldoret City Marathon show takes place today

By Stephen Rutto: Sunday, April 21st 2019 at 00:05 GMT +3 | Athletics
Uasin Gishu security team led by Deputy County Commissioner Zacchaeus Ng'eno (centre), address the media about the security and the routes to be used during City Marathon on Sunday. With him are the event's officials, Chairman Andrew Chelogei (fourth left) and Patron, Moses Tanui (in blue shirt). [PETER OCHIENG/STANDARD]

Eldoret residents will walk to churches for their Easter Sunday worship as all roads to the Central Business District will be closed for the Eldoret City Marathon show today.

Uasin Gishu Deputy Police Commander Zacchaeus Ng’eno yesterday said all roads leading to the town, including Uganda Highway will be closed from 5am for the race in which about 1,000 marathoners are expected to run through the streets in the CBD and several estates including Umoja, West Indies and Kapsoya.

At least 40,000 fans from the expansive North Rift and Western regions are also expected in Eldoret.

Ng’eno said only ambulances and vehicles listed and branded to aid race-related activities will be allowed in the North Rift town.

He said those using Uganda Highway, from Western Kenya and Uganda, towards Nairobi will branch at the Kamuge junction near Kipkaren area to join the highway near the Moi Univerity Annex campus junction.

Those from Nairobi heading to Western and Uganda, the police boss said, will avoid the Eldoret CBD by branching near Annex Campus.

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“We understand that it is Easter weekend and for many, this will be the climax of activities.

We apologise for the inconvenience and we urge residents to take this move as a sacrifice for the town and the athletes,” Ng’eno said during the final briefing for the race’s preparation outside the Zion Mall, the marathon’s finish line.

The race starts at Ziwa Road, just outside the University of Eldoret towards Eldoret CBD where runners will make several rounds.

Athletes will take the first turn at the Iten Road junction as they head towards Uasin Gishu Veterinary department offices, before turning left towards Coca Cola Company across Uganda Road to the Paul’s Bakery.

POLICE PATROL

“We urge fans and residents not to interfere with the smooth running of the race. A contingent of police officers will patrol the CBD to guarantee runners and fans their security,” Ng’eno said.

He said Kaptagat Road will also be closed at the Kenya Cooperative Creameries (KCC) junction and travelers from Elgeyo Marakwet will have to walk to town.

Eldoret City Marathon Race Director Moses Tanui, up to yesterday, organisers were ready for the show.

“I am glad to report that preparation are now at 95 percent. The course is ready and all the race officials are already here for the final touches,” Tanui, the two-time Boston Marathon champion (1996 and 1998) said.

The 2002 Vienna marathon champion said hot weather conditions might be experienced today, unlike during the last race when Eldoret was cold.

“It will be a bit hot and our medical team will be ready to respond to any emergency. We hope to have the best race,” Tanui said.

At least 1,000 runners have registered for the fun run. 

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