Last updated 7 months ago | By Washington Onyango
Defending champions Silas Ngetich and Maureen Chepkemboi will be looking forward to defend their gold medals during the 13th edition of the Safaricom Series Kisumu City Marathon.
The duo will be among 350 athletes that have so far confirmed participation for the 2019 Safaricom sponsored race has that been shortened from the usual 42km marathon owing to the reduction of the money pumped in by the sponsors.
Safaricom, who are the main sponsors of the race, have pumped in Sh1 million into the event, Sh1.5million short of the usual Sh2.5million annual sponsorship.
Speaking to the Standard Sports, Nyanza North Athletic Kenya Chairman Joseph Ochieng confirmed the shortage but said despite the reduction, everything is set and ready to go in the 10KM category.
“From the money we have, we can only cater for the 10km race where the top three winners of both the men and women category will walk away with Sh100,000, Sh50,000 and Sh25,000 respectively.”
“This is different from last year where Sh2.5 million was spent and we had a full marathon. We know athletes have been preparing well for the 42KM race but now we have to reduce it for reasonable prize money,” he said.
Ochieng, however, said that all the top 10 winners of the marathon will also be awarded gift hampers and medals.
“We will also provide gifts to the top ten athletes in each category despite the challenges. The weather in Kisumu is quite favorable for the race and we hope that the registration for the race will go higher than 350,” said.
In addition to the 10km race, three new categories have been introduced, namely; 8km junior men circuit race, 6km junior women circuit race and 2km veterans.
“These new categories are strictly meant for athletes from Kisumu, Siaya, Homabay and Migori counties only, the rest can compete in other races,” added Ochieng.
The 10km race will be un around Milimani Estate in Kisumu.