Sponsors of Eldoret City Marathon have been assured of a well-staged race on April 10, with organisers predicting a bigger number of participants this year.
Yesterday, a number of sponsors presented cheques in support of the fourth edition of the marathon that will once again electrify Eldoret town, 22 days from today.
Eldoret City Marathon director Moses Tanui said budding athletes who have been competing without managers will be spotted during the April event.
Tanui, a two-time Boston Marathon winner and the first athlete to run a half marathon under one hour, told athletics fans to prepare to watch a more thrilling race this year.
He said the race will be full of surprises as it has been in the last three editions.
“To our sponsors, this is a good cause. We want to make this marathon one of the best in the world and we should grow together. I know a race like the Boston Marathon started some 130 years ago. We are four years down the line and we should achieve that 100 years. Let us walk together on this path,” Tanui told sponsors.
He continued: “Last year, an athlete who had no running shoes borrowed a pair from a training partner. The one who had no shoes promised the partner that he would share half of the prize money with him. The athlete who borrowed shoes finished among the top ten and the one who gave him the shoes did not finish the race. Those are some of the stories that make Eldoret City marathon full of surprises.”
Race Chairman Andrew Chelogoi said the race’s Climate Action plan, through tree planting will help in shaping the training bases across Uasin Gishu into areas conducive for preparing races.
“We want athletes to run in an environment with clean air and shades when they are training. This marathon should outlive us,” Chelogoi said.
Uasin Gishu Athletics chairman Joseph Boit said the marathon has gained global recognition and thanked Uasin Gishu County government for supporting and sponsoring the race.
The county is the race’s biggest sponsor, allocating Sh18 million, which is the total prize money of the marathon.
Boit lauded the race’s technical team, under Moses Tanui for staging world class races since the inaugural marathon in 2018.
Uasin Gishu Trade Executive Emily Kogos said Eldoret town is ready to host the expected huge number of athletes and enthusiasts before and during the of the race.
Eldoret Water and Sanitation (ELDOWAS) Managing Director Peter Biwott said the company will host a Climate Action conference ahead of the race.
ELDOWAS, Paramount Bank and a host of hospitals such as Mediheal, Reale and St Luke’s Orthopedic and Trauma are among sponsors of the marathon. Standard Group PLC is the main media partner and sponsor.
Head of corporate affairs and sponsorship Charles Kimathi said the Standard Media Group has increased media sponsorship from Sh5m in the last edition to Sh8m this year.
“We are proud to have been part of the marathon since inception. It’s already causing traction across Africa because it is the highest paying in the continent,” Kimathi said.