Expect a world class Eldoret Marathon, technical team says
ATHLETICS By Stephen Rutto | March 2nd 2021
Expect top class Eldoret Marathon, Tanui says
Clock ticks towards richest marathon race in Africa set for Sunday April 11
Registration starts Friday and at least 50,000 fans to follow the action on the streets of the North Rift town.
With 39 days to go, the technical team of the Eldoret City Marathon is leaving nothing to chance as it seeks to stage a world class race on April 11.
Billed as the highest paying marathon in Africa, the third edition is expected to attract big guns.
The technical team led by two-time Boston Marathon winner Moses Tanui yesterday reported that preparation was at 70 percent complete.
Tanui said planning for the country’s biggest race, which will take place under strict Covid-19 protocols is proceeding smoothly.
“Everything is going according to plan and I can promise that this year will be better than previous editions,” the race director said ahead of the official launch of registration on Friday.
Tanui said the technical team has assessed the marathon course, noting that security will be enhanced along the route, with the police enforcing Covid-19 protocols.
The retired athlete urged corporates and tertiary institutions to register for the 5km fun run.
He expressed optimism that the race will secure a World Athletics label from next year, a step he said, would attract global registration.
This after the race earned global recognition from the Abbott World Marathon Major (WMM) series and into the diary of key races in the world.
“Expect a more advanced race this year. We expect corporates and institutions to participate in the 5km fun race,” he said.
“We are now at an advanced stage and we are taking each step at a time in the preparations.”
The organisers said former Beijing marathon champion Valary Aiyabei, who is also the reigning Eldoret City Marathon champion will grace the official launching of registration.
Aiyabei cruised to an impressive victory in 2:27:17 to pocket the race’s Sh3.5 million prize money.
Mathew Kisorio won the men’s category in 2:12:38.
Chairman of the organising committee Andrew Chelogoi said the team is working closely with sponsors to deliver a world class race.
“Our aim is to make this important race better every year. We are glad everything is falling into place,” Chelogoi said.
He said more than a million trees will be planted in Uasin Gishu and surrounding areas as the race seeks to live up to its Climate Action theme.
The registration is spearheaded by the Uasin Gishu County government - the key sponsor of the race.
The technical team also comprises legendary athletes – Leah Malot and Japheth Kimutai.
Malot has the longest career in 10,000m.
She started her international career by winning a gold medal at the 1987 All-Africa Games, aged only 15.
Kimutai on the other hand is a former world 800m junior record holder and African Junior champion.
His 1997 world junior record was smashed by Abubaker Kaki of Sudan in 2008.
Akuei’s journey from dodging bullets to starring in rugby fields