Iten set for another thrilling marathon in November

Iten international marathon winners receive their awards second edition at Iten town, Elgeyo Marakwet county prsoded over by deputy governor Prof.Grace Cheserek. [Christopher Kipsang]

The third edition of Iten International Marathon will be staged on November 17, organisers announced on Friday.

A day to the race day, a kids run that is set to attract a huge number of children will be held.

On Friday, top 20 athletes in the 42km and 10km races, in each category were awarded.

Winners in the 42km race took home Sh1 million each.

The athletes awarded on Friday took part in the 2023 edition which happened on November 12.

Athletes said Iten International Marathon was important for budding long distance runners seeking to shine in global races.

Ugandan athlete Belinda Chemutai who was third in the 10km contest said the awards were a motivation to upcoming road racers.

“I thank the organising committee. The awards motivate us and enable us to support our families and friends. The awards were delayed but we understand it was because of anti-doping tests,” Chemutai said during the award ceremony.

Naomi Chepkorir who won the women’s full marathon said: “We have waited for too long and we are thankful that we have eventually earned our prizes. We are now preparing for the 2024 edition.”

Elgeyo Marakwet Grace Cheserek said the race Sh7.4 million total prize money was paid to 80 athletes.

“Our target is to pay a total prize money of Sh10 million in the upcoming edition,” Cheserek said.

The Deputy Governor said the county, which is the race’s main sponsor, was impressed that it ran a clean race.

“We have run a clean race and we recognise you as our champions. We want to see you competing in global races abroad after shining in Iten. The race will be on November 17, and it will be preceded by kids athletics,” she said.

She added: “We are geared towards the third edition and we are confident it will be bigger. We are sorry that we didn't pay as promptly as we had promised because of challenges beyond our control.”

Sports executive Purity Koima said 1530 athletes took part in the 2023 edition.

Among the over 1500 athletes, 290 competed in the 42km elite showdown.

“More than 2000 trees were grown in partnership with the National Police Service. The police band made the race entertaining and we hope that they will come in a bigger way this year,” said Koima.

She went on to say: “We are happy to have given athletes the opportunity to compete. It is our hope that the prizes change the lives of the 80 athletes. During the inaugural edition, athletes bought land and built houses.”

Luke Kiprop, the winner of the second edition said the 2023 edition was his breakthrough.

Kiprop, who prefers to speak through his coach Eric Kogo, couldn't believe he could run a marathon.

“I encouraged him that he would win. I guided him well. He doubted whether he would finish the race and I urged him to run up to 30km.

“Daniel Simiu and other training partners cheered him up. I didn't know his parents. It became difficult for him to secure a national ID and passport.”

Race director Boniface Tiren said the course that starts in Chororget in Keiyo South, finishing in Iten has been certified.

Tiren said the kids' athletics attracted a huge number of children.

“We are urging the County Assembly to fully support the sports department during allocation budget appropriation,” he added.

ITEN INTERNATIONAL MARATHON

Inaugural edition – 2022

Winning prize money (42km) – Sh1 million

This year’s edition – November 17, 2024

Races – 42km and 10km

42km course – Choroget to Iten

By AFP 21 hrs ago
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