All set for Nakuru City Half Marathon
What you need to know:
- Keino said among the big names expected to grace the race include defending champions Daniel Simiyu and Catherine Relin who won the inaugural race last year
- The race will start outside Stanbic Bank along Kenyatta Avenue and end at Rift Valley Sports Club
- The Sh10 million Stanbic Bank-sponsored event is a joint partnership between Nakuru County and Nation Media Group which is the official media sponsor
The stage is set for Stanbic Nakuru City Half Marathon which marks its second edition on Sunday.
According to race organisers, unlike the inaugural event, this time it will be "bigger and better."
"I urge runners and fans across the country to turn out in large numbers to watch and participate in one of the most scenic half marathons in Kenya. It will be more fun and exciting," said Martin Keino who is the race coordinator.
"There's no doubt Nakuru City Half Marathon is not just another half marathon. It's the most scenic half marathon in Kenya today which gives you a bird's eye view of how beautiful Kenya's newest city is from the top of Menengai Hills. You will also view Lake Nakuru from one of the best vintage points ever.
"No other local half marathon can give you such a spectacular and memorable view. The fans and runners will get value for their money from a well-organised event that is expected to be exciting," added Keino who is a sports marketing strategist.
There was heightened activity at Rift Valley Sports Club on Friday as athletes made a last-minute attempt to register. Keino said the number of participants was steadily growing ahead of the race.
"I'm happy numbers are growing and so far about 1,300 runners have registered. I know a lot of runners will register before the deadline on Saturday and hopefully we shall have a good number of athletes on stage," said Keino.
He confirmed that registration fees remain at Sh1,000.
"These are hard times for all but again the cost of putting this event together is not cheap as we want to manage it to international standards," explaiend Keino.
Keino said his team has inspected the route which is similar to last year's and was satisfied with it. The race will start outside Stanbic Bank along Kenyatta Avenue and end at Rift Valley Sports Club.
The 10km race will take the runners to Afraha Stadium, Bondeni slums and Section 58. There will also be 5km race.
In the 21km race, the runners will pass through Afraha Stadium, Bondeni, Kingdom Seekers, Section 58, Sarova Woodlands and then head to Upmarket Milimani Estate through part of the Nakuru-Nairobi highway before finishing at Rift Valley Sports Club.
"The route is very nice and certified. It will be marked today [Saturday] evening. We have no issue with it. We have involved the security who have identified hot spots that could be problematic and assured us there will be no issues," said Keino.
Keino said among the big names expected to grace the race include defending champions Daniel Simiyu and Catherine Relin who won the inaugural race last year.
The 27-year-old Simiyu clocked 59 minutes and 03 seconds to pocket the Sh500,000 prize money.
Relin clocked 1:07:21 to finish ahead of Gladys Chepkurui who timed 1:07:32.
The runners-up in the 21km race will pocket Sh250,000 and the third-place finisher will get Sh100,000. In the 10km race, the winner will take home Sh100,000, runners-up Sh75,000 and the third-place finisher Sh50,000.
There will be cash prizes for the first 15 finishers.
Other runners who are expected to give Simiyu a good run for his money include Godfrey Kipchumba who finished second last year in 59:42 and Felix Kibitok from Nandi who timed 60:00.
The Sh10 million Stanbic Bank-sponsored event is a joint partnership between Nakuru County and Nation Media Group which is the official media sponsor.
This year's event is unique as it will be held a day before the cosmopolitan City celebrates its first anniversary since it was elevated to City status.