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Eldoret City Marathon winners walk away with Sh3.5 million each

ATHLETICS By Stephen Rutto | October 23rd 2021
Victor Kipchirchir, the winner of the men's Eldoret City Marathon receives his Sh3.5 million cheque at the race's award ceremony in Eldoret town. [ Photo by Stephen Rutto]

The fourth edition of the Eldoret City Marathon will be staged on April 10 next year.

Race organisers confirmed the date on Friday as winners of the third edition took home Sh3.5 million each, in prize money.

Top 20 athletes in the marathon that took place in Eldoret town on June 6, this year were feted in colourful ceremony graced by Uasin Gishu Governor Jackson Mandago and Athletics Kenya officials.

Victor Kipchirchir, the winner of the men's marathon and Mercy Kipchumba went back to their homes in Kabenes and Chebulbai, Uasin Gishu and Elgeyo Marakwet counties respectively, Sh3.5 million richer.

The top 20 athletes have been waiting for the prize money for three months following a delay in the release of anti-doping test results.

Kipchirchir said he used the four-month period to plan how to spend the prize money – the highest in his 11-year athletics career.

“I thank the organisers for the Eldoret City Marathon race. It gave me and many other athletes the opportunity to compete during the Covid-19 pandemic period,” Kipchirchir said.

Without disclosing how he would spend the cash, Kipchirchir said: “I spent the long period of waiting for the prize money to plan on how to spend the money well. Now I have been paid, the process of putting it to good use begins.”

Mercy Kipchumba on the other hand was candid with what her Sh3.5 million would do in her matrimonial home in Chebulbai.

“I am going to build a decent house for my young family. Since I got married (four years ago), I have been living with my mother-in-law. It is now time for us to have a house of our own,” an exuberant Kipchumba said.

Race Director Moses Tanui said the race has lived to its billing as the richest marathon in the African continent.

Mercy Kipchumba, the Eldoret City marathon runner-up received her Sh3.5 million cheque at the race's award ceremony in Eldoret. [ Photo by Stephen Rutto]

The two-time Boston Marathon winner thanked the Local Organising Committee led by race chairman Andrew Chelogoi for remaining committed to the event’s climate action theme. He reported that one million trees were planted in areas where athletes train, in Uasin Gishu.

“The 2019 winners proved that Eldoret City marathon is the launching pad for other global races. Martin Kisorio went on to win the Beijing Marathon after topping in 2019. Valary Jemeli Aiyabei went ahead to set a course record in Frankfurt,” Tanui said.

The event was also graced by sponsors such as the Eldoret water and Sanitation Company (ELDOWA), Prime Bank and Kenya Pipeline, among others.

Standard Group, which is the marathon’s official media partner, was represented by Joe Munene, the Managing Director, broadcast.

Governor Mandago assured athletes and fans that the 2022 edition will be better than the last three editions.

His Uasin Gishu County government is the race’s biggest sponsor, contributing Sh18 million annually, for the athletes’ awards.

“Eldoret City marathon is here as long as the county government exists. I thank the county assembly for approving the marathon’s annual budget,” Mandago said.

He added: “I urge all our sponsors to continue supporting us. Next year, we will increase the number of trees we plant from one million to two million.”

Athletics Kenya Chairman of Youth Development, Barnaba Korir congratulated the top winners, noting that the federation was proud to be part of the LOC.

“AK is happy that events of such magnitudes are being organized in Eldoret and neighbouring counties,” Korir said.

What top athlete took home (selected):

Men

Athlete                        Time          Amount (Ksh)

Victor Kipchirchir        2:08:56     3,500,000

Leonard Langat          2:10:49     1,500,000

Emmanuel Bor            2:11:10     700,000

Bernard Kipkemoi       2:12:38     550,000

Emmanuel Naibei       2:12:43     450,000

Titus Kipruto                2:12:44    350,000

Women

Mercy Kipchumba      2:28:10     3,500,000

Judith Korir                  2:28:31     1,500,000

Jackline Chelal             2:29:47    700,000   

Martha Njoroge          2:30:36     550,000   

Jackline Chepngeno    2:31:15     450,000

Joyce Kiplimo              2:31:18     350,000

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