Technical teams upbeat ahead of another big marathon in Eldoret

Women participate in the 42km race in last year's Eldoret City Marathon. [Peter Ochieng, Standard]

The stage is being set for one of Africa’s highest-paying races – the Eldoret City Marathon, 25 days from today.

According to organisers, the ground is being prepared for the most breathtaking racing extravaganza in the fifth edition on Sunday, October 1.

Four days after the marathon’s major sponsors; Economic Global Holdings, Gulf Royal, and Supreme Cosmetics made commitments, technical teams announced plans to produce a bigger 42.195km showdown in Eldoret.

As time ticked towards the contest, Uasin Gishu County which has been the major sponsor until last year said it would sponsor 1,000 marathoners for the race that exhilarated the City of Champions since the inaugural edition in 2018.

Yesterday, the race’s technical team comprising race director Moses Tanui said they were finalising preparations for the new course.

“We are progressing well. Our local sponsors are also responding positively,” the two-time Boston Marathon winner said.

Top coaches comprising former Olympic and world 3000m steeplechase silver medallist Patrick Sang, 1993 World Half Marathon champion Joseph Cheromei, and 800m winner of the 1998 Commonwealth Games Japheth Kimutai as well as Richard Metto assured athletes that all the race’s technical aspects are being handled.

The technical teams said international practices will be applied at the finish.

They added that, like the course, the finish and the start will be prepared in a manner that will ensure operations are seamless.

A number of other events including cricket and skating have been lined up during the period and are expected to further electrify Eldoret.

“We assure the organisers that Uasin Gishu County will sponsor 20 athletes from each of our 30 wards, and that will make six hundred athletes. The remaining 400 athletes will be enlisted randomly from across the county,” Uasin Gishu sports executive Lucy Ng’endo told Eldoret City Marathon Local Organising Committee (LOC).

LOC chairman Andrew Chelogoi said registration of participants was progressing ‘smoothly’ ahead of the race.

“We thank Uasin Gishu County for pledging to sponsor 1,000 of its athletes for this edition. They have been part of the race since inception and we value their participation,” said Chelogoi.

Winners of the full marathon will walk away with Sh3.5 top prize.

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