The Eldoret City Marathon’s course, with nearly 60 turns, will not be changed ahead of the 2022 edition scheduled for April 10, organisers have said.
Last year, despite the many turns, coupled with Eldoret’s 2,095m elevation, Victor Kipchirchir emerged victorious in a course record of 2:08:56, after a glorious solo run. He sliced more than three minutes from Kisorio's 2019 time of 2:12:38.
Race director Moses Tanui said the route, which starts at University of Eldoret and ends near Zion Mall in Eldoret town, will remain unchanged this year.
The course criss-crosses at least 15 estates, including the leafy suburb of Elgon View.
“The route will not change this year, but with the expected completion of the Eldoret bypass, we are looking at a possible change of the course early enough for next year’s marathon,” Tanui, a two-time Boston Marathon winner, said.
He said the Local Organising Committee, in collaboration with traffic police officers in Eldoret, are exploring ways of ensuring that doctors and ambulances have access to major hospitals during the Sunday race.
If the course will be changed next year, Tanui, former three-time Boston Marathon champion Ibrahim Hussein, will take charge of the measurements.
“In future, we want the finish line to be in an iconic location within town,” Tanui said on Wednesday.
Hussein is among five certified World Athletics course measurers. He is the only Kenyan in the African ‘top five’ certified marathon course measurers.
The legendary athlete accepted the technical request to be in charge of the marathon’s course during the race’s launch on Friday last week.
The Chicago Marathon’s flat course has 31 turns, while New York City has 26 corners. London and Berlin flat courses have 19 and 17 turns respectively.
Hussein, who was inducted to the New York Road Runners 2021 Hall of fame, said he was grateful to be part of the team that will offer technical advice in the Eldoret City Marathon preps.
He said he was lucky to work with Tanui, who conquered Boston Marathon in 1996, nearly a decade after he (Hussein) won the race.
“After we retire (from active running), it is always the wish of an athlete to remain in athletics forever. So, I am the luckiest, so is Tanui. I am in athletics administration and in top position at World Athletics as a course measurer," said Hussein.
“For a course to be certified and placed in the world ranking, it must be certified. It is my duty to come and support the richest marathon in Africa. I have already certified the course and I am ready to do it again,” added Hussein, who is the Agnes Tirop World Cross Tour course director.