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Hunt for Diamond: New York City marathon champ Mutai targets win at Nairobi race

By Chris Musumba | August 4th 2014
Geoffrey Mutai wins the 5,000m race during the National Championships at the Nyayo Stadium. [PHOTO: FILE/STANDARD]

New York Marathon Champion Geoffrey Mutai, is the latest elite runner to confirm participation in the inaugural Nairobi Diamond 10km Run, which will be held on August 17.

Mutai, 32, is not made up his mind if he will be defending his New York title in November or will race at the Chicago Marathon in October. However, he wants to use the race to test his speed as he focusses on the fall marathon season.

“My main aim to run in Nairobi is to help boost the profile of the race. Many times, we go abroad to run and sometime we are not able to win. But here, even if I don’t win, I want the race to continue being there and top athletes coming to run here.

“I will bring alone several athletes we train together with them in Kaptagat and am sure other elite runners will be coming here too. I am not running because I target the prize money, far from it. We just want support it, make it more lucrative,” said Mutai.

Mutai’s best time over the 10km event is 27:19 minutes and he wants to run as close to it as possible. But he will not be alone as Leonard Komon, the world 10km record holder and Kenneth Kemboi, former African Champion in the distance are among athletes who have confirmed participation.

Barnaba Korir, Nairobi County Athletics Kenya chairman who is also the Race Director, said over 2000 people have confirmed participation in a race which will see the top woman and man walk home with Sh250,000. Second finishers will have Sh200,000 while third place will fetch Sh150,000.

The prizes trickle down to the tenth finisher, who will receive Sh10,000.

“It is promising to be a big event. We will also have the fun race. It will be a unique race starting and ending at Uhuru Park. The athletes will run through the streets in the central Business District. Basically we aim to enhance the image of the Nairobi City and promoting the metropolis as the hub of Africa,” said Korir.

Lap Trust is the main sponsor of the event. Others are County Pension Fund, Export Processing Company, Brand Kenya Board, Hilton Hotel, Nairobi County, International athletics Management Company Golazo and Nike.

“When you look at the calibre of races in the country, this is one of the best for a 10km race. The prize money is good and we have athletes of international stature. This will be one of the most lucrative races and biggest in the region,” said Korir.

Registration is done at Athletics Kenya offices at Riadha House, Nairobi Region AK offices at Nyayo Stadium, Lap Trust offices countrywide, in Kapsabet, Kaptagat, Eldoret and Iten’s Keelu Hotel.

Korir said with the fall marathon coming in from September – Berlin, Rotterdam, Chicago, New York – most athletes in the country should use the event as a gauge of their speed a the focus on the bigger event.

“We have big names signing and the sponsors will get real value of their money,” he said.


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