New millionaires to be minted as 25,000 athletes battle for Stanchart Marathon glory

Elias Kemboi Chelimo (L) is awarded by Sports CS Ababu Namwamba after he won the men 42km marathon race during the 2022 Stanchart marathon.[Kelly Ayodi]

All roads lead to Uhuru Gardens on Sunday for the 20th edition of Standard Chartered Nairobi Marathon that will be staged in the Kenyan capital.

The race, that will start and end at the historic Uhuru Gardens on Langata Road, will snake along the Southern Bypass route.

The competition has attracted 25,000 participants who will be out to make history on the scenic route that will give them a great view and experience of the Nairobi National Park.

The women's category, to be defended by highly spirited Sheila Chepkoech, has attracted some of the best runners across the globe.

They include former Kuala Lumpur and Bangkok Standard Chartered Marathon champion Frida Lodepa who was upping her training in Iten.

Other title hopefuls are Edna Kimitei, Dorcas Chepkorir, Naomi Chelangat, Joyce Kemboi, Caren Barsosio, Carolyn Kigen, Bency Cheruiyot among others.

The men's category also has star studded cast who are silently praying to dislodge Elias Kemboi from the crown.

Some of the inform talents salivating for Kemboi's crown are David Oloisa, Stephen Gitari, Julius Ndiritu, Wilson Kiprop, Samuel Korir, Abel Kaboci, Daniel Rotich among others.

“We trust that the event will continue with little or no hitches. We have also ensured that the start times and finish times are well managed.

"The Race Technical Director, Route Marshals and CCTV cameras along the course will ensure delivery of a world-class marathon and experience to all participants as we celebrate our 20th year anniversary," Peter Gitau, Local Organising Committee Chairman said.

The contest is expected to churn new generation of millionaires as the marathon has promised a total kitty of Sh11 million for champions in the various categories.  Winners in the full marathon will receive up to Sh2 million each. 
Proceeds from the race will go toward the bank's Futuremakers program.

This is an initiative that aims to tackle inequality and promote greater economic inclusion for young people in local communities focusing on three pillars; Entrepreneurship, Employability and Education.

Previously, the proceeds from the race were used to carry out the Seeing Is Believing Initiative which transformed the health industry in Kenya as far as children's eye sight were concerned.

To effectively support this year's race, the Nairobi Traffic Department has created a schedule of road closures and detours that will redirect traffic to and from the Southern Bypass to alternate routes between 12:00am (Saturday midnight) and 1:30pm on Sunday.

This year's marathon aims to raise Sh40 million from the Sh38 million netted last year.

Unlike the two previous editions which were affected by the Covid-19 pandemic, there will be no virtual races alongside the physical marathon this year.

Instead, the virtual contests will be substituted with physical runs in Standard Chartered network branches in Mombasa and Kisumu which will also be held on Sunday.

As a way of celebrating the 20th edition of the race, the marathon organisers will issue 30,000 tree seedlings to participants to promote sustainable actions on climate change.

Various sponsors, including Standard Group PLC have supported this year's race to a tune of Sh178 million.

Since it's inception, more than 270,000 runners have participated in the Marathon and over Sh750 million have been raised to support various impacts and initiatives.

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