Iten International Marathon ready to produce new millionaires

Women participate in 42km during the Iten International Marathon first edition held in Iten last year. [Peter Ochieng, Standard]

From the huge number of fans along the course and at the finishing area, Iten International Marathon bears the hallmarks of an exciting contest.

Organisers of the second edition say they are ready to produce another set of millionaires this Sunday.

Athletes will be praying for favorable weather conditions when they will be cruising the high-altitude course that starts in Chororget, ending in Iten where more than 10,000 athletics enthusiasts are expected to cheer and welcome the champions.

Iten Sports Grounds is expected to be packed with hundreds of visitors expected to arrive in the tiny town by Saturday, just a day to the Sunday contest.

From today, a series of activities, and key among them are tree planting events to mark the race's 'Running for Climate Resilience' theme.

Also expected on Sunday is a tough battle for honours, with more than 700 elite athletes eying glory.

The inclusion of a competitive 10km race in the second edition, observers say, is likely to push the number of elite participants, higher.

Race Director Boniface Tiren said the marathon's preparations are going according to plan.
Tiren, a renowned athletics coach said a team working on delivery of an international show is strictly following set rules and guidelines.

He said the nature of preparations will position the race as an International Marathon.

"I thank our coaches for preparing athletes well for the Iten International Marathon. I want to assure all our partners and stakeholders that we will stick to the rules," Tiren said.

He continued: "This is an international race and all measures are in place. All our technical officials are well prepared to deliver a successful race."

Winner of the men's marathon in the inaugural edition last year, Samuel Naibei, has since stated that he was prepared to defend his title this Sunday.

"We are happy to produce more millionaires in the 2023 edition. Our preparation will see minimised hiccups.

"Elgeyo Marakwet Governor (Wisley Rotich) has been working round the clock to secure more sponsors for the race," the Race Director said.

Elgeyo Marakwet Sports Executive Purity Koima described the registration of participants as smooth.

At least 25 Kenya Police athletes training in Iten had last week confirmed their participation in the marathon while others were getting ready to highlight the 10km race.

A 5km fun race for corporate running groups and individuals is also expected to electrify Iten on Sunday.

"Registration has been ongoing in Iten and at all our Ward offices. The numbers are encouraging and more participants are still registering," said Koima.

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