Mutunga and Mweu to lead top stars at StanChart Nairobi Marathon today

42KM women winner Valentine Kipketer cutting tape to win the race during the Standard Chartered Nairobi Marathon on October 31st 2021[Boniface Okendo,standard]

Nairobi city comes alive this morning when more than 25,000 participants battle at the 19th edition of the Standard Chartered Marathon run.

The contest, which is billed as the biggest marathon show in the country, will kick off at 6am at Uhuru Gardens along Langata Road.

StanChart race has emerged as a take-off point for local talent to flourish, where budding athletes are nurtured and sanctified to conquer the world.

Athletes use the scenic route on the southern bypass for the physical marathon thus experiencing a great view of the Nairobi National Park.

Some of the world beating stars in action include former World Youth 3000m silver medallist Patrick Mutunga and 2022 Durban 10K bronze medallist Fridah Mweu.

Dennis Samoei from Nyahururu who is currently enjoying a high level of fitness ahead of the competition, is hopeful to carry the day in the men's 10km category.

Samoei has been buoyed by his recent victory in the third edition of the Standard Chartered Warm Up Race at the Karura Forest held early this month.

Former Africa Paralympics 1500m women's wheelchair champion Caroline Wanjira is also out for a sixth consecutive title in the women's 21km wheelchair category.

Others are Asbel Kipruto, Bravin Kiprop, Prisca Jeptoo, Shyline Jepkorir Toroitich, Ezra Kipketer Tanui and Asbel Kipsang.

Organisers will spend Sh10.6 million in prize money. Over 172 elite athletes have registered for the marathon with winners in full marathon receiving Sh2 million each.

Participants can choose to take part in different categories namely: 42km, 21km, 10 km, 21km Wheelchair Race, Corporate Relay and 5km Family Fun Run.

Irene Jerotich, who delivered Kenya's women's maiden Commonwealth marathon title in New Delhi in 2010, is perhaps the only athlete basking in exceptional shows at the Standard Chartered Marathon race. She won in the 2006 edition and finished runner-up twice in 2005 and 2008 editions.

Peter Gitau, Chairman, Local Organising Committee, said: "To protect the integrity of the event, the organising committee is also collaborating closely with the Anti-Doping Agency of Kenya (ADAK). This will complement the services of the Race Technical Director, Route Marshals and CCTV cameras along the course to deliver a world-class marathon and experience to all participants."

All marathon proceeds go towards the Futuremakers initiative.

"We are working with disadvantaged young people - especially girls and persons with disabilities to gain new skills and expertise to improve their chances of getting a job or starting their own business. Futuremakers empowers the next generation to learn, earn and grow by focussing on education, employability, and entrepreneurship," said Gitau.

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