What you need to know:
- Location good test for athletes as it stands at a high altitude of 2,100m.
- AK director Korir urges runners to start early preps.
Athletics Kenya have introduced a new cross country meet to their calendar: the Great Chepsaita Cross Country Championships.
The new event will be held on December 2, at the border of three counties and will offer an opportunity for exposure to athletes at the grassroots level.
The cross country race will be held at Chepsaita that borders Kakamega, Nandi and Bungoma counties.
Many athletes will no doubt be looking to fight for a place in the Kenya team for the World Cross Country Championships that will be held in Belgrade, Serbia on March 30 next year.
Said Athletics Kenya Central Rift chairman Abraham Mutai Monday about the upcoming Chepsaita race: “This place is a high altitude region and the environment is so good for the athletes. It will be exciting to see how they will be competing in such a challenging course which I can term as one of the toughest on the calendar.”
Chepsaita stands 2,100m above sea level.
Athletics Kenya Youth Development Director Barnaba Korir urged athletes to start early preparations because the upcoming season was packed with events.
Korir said that cross country events are good for athletes to build up for the new season.
He said that in future AK planned to hold more events at the grassroots to be in line with the government’s policy to monetize talents.
One of the international events set for the new season in Kenya is the Sirikwa Classic Cross Country Gold Tour in Eldoret on February 3.
The World Athletics Indoor Championships will be held in Glasgow, Great Britain on March 1-3 and the World Cross Country Championships in Belgrade, Serbia on March 30.
Other international meets coming up are the Kip Keino Classic Gold Continental Tour in Nairobi on April 20, World Athletics Walking Race Team Championships in Antalya, Turkey, World Athletics Relays Championships in Bahamas, World Secondary Schools Cross Country Championships, Africa Games in Accra, Ghana and the Olympic Games.
“We have a good number of athletes who are looking forward to a better season and the right time to start training is now because competitions start as early as January next year and go on all the way to August, climaxing with the Olympic Games,” said Korir.
He added that those who want to gain a place in the World Cross Country Championships should not miss the local events because it helps an athlete rectify and work on their weaknesses ahead of the national trials.
“The AK weekend meets are special. Athletes will be able to work on their weak areas,” said Korir.
The fourth weekend meet will be held at the Olkalau in Nyandarua County on Saturday.