Relax, Eldoret City Marathon is back like it never left

Women participate in 42 km race during the forth edition of Eldoret City Marathon in Eldoret Uasin County yesterday. Emily Chebet (third right) won the race. [Peter Ochieng, Standard]

Eldoret City Marathon is making a grand return this year after a sponsorship hitch caused the cancellation of the 2023 edition.

The 2024 edition of the marathon that has electrified Eldoret, the City of Championships since the inaugural event in 2018, was officially launched on Monday.

Organisers announced that this year’s competition will be on April 21. The 2024 London Marathon will also be on the same day.

Observers say it would be the most fascinating Sunday because athletics enthusiasts will follow two thrilling athletics actions – Eldoret City Marathon at home and after that, follow the London showdown miles away in the United Kingdom.

During the official launch, new faces, mainly comprising the country’s legendary athletes were introduced as the key players in the preparations of the 2024 Eldoret City Marathon show. Former world 3,000m steeplechase champions Wilson Boit Kipketer and Christopher Koskei, 1988 Olympic steeplechase gold medallist Julius Kariuki and retired road racer Hosea Kogo are among legends expected to team up with two-time Boston Marathon champion Moses Tanui in delivering the 2024 edition.

Tanui, a world 10,000m gold medallist said the organisers are targeting to register 10,000 athletes, including fun runners for this year’s event.

“We are happy to be back on the streets of this great city of champions for yet another opportunity to run with new prospective and renowned champions,” Tanui said during the launch.

He said the winning prize money will remain unchanged. Like in previous editions, winners in the full marathon will walk home with Sh3.5 million each.

Elite athletes will compete in the 42km race while fun runners will take part in the 5km event.

Eldoret City Marathon Director Moses Tanui (forthright) and Deputy Speaker of the National Assembly Gladys Shollei (in kitenge), take photo with retired athletes during the launch of the 5th edition of the Eldoret City Marathon in Eldoret yesterday. The marathon is scheduled for next month. March 11, 2024.[Peter Ochieng, Standard]

“Eldoret City Marathon will continue to give back to upcoming athletes who can’t afford to travel to races happening far away. An athlete borrowed shoes from a colleague and became among athletes who won prizes in a previous edition,” said Tanui.

Kipketer, a former 3,000m steeplechase world record holder and the second man to dip under eight minutes in the distance urged athletes to compete and make history at the April 21 event.

National Assembly Deputy Speaker Gladys Boss Shollei, who is sponsoring the 2024 edition through Gladys Boss Foundation, urged partners to propel Eldoret City Marathon to one of the biggest international races in the world.

“How can we be the city of champions without a marathon. This is another opportunity for our upcoming talents to clock impressive times and get set for bigger marathons,” she said.

Huawei, Safaricom and KCB Bank are among sponsors powering the April race.

Standard Group PLC remains the race’s official media partner. Shollei said she was in talks with the Ministry of Environment in a bid to secure partnership aimed at promoting the race Climate Action initiative.

Eldoret City Marathon race chairman Andrew Chelogoi said the event will live up to its billing.

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