Kenya hosts Africa’s richest marathon
What you need to know:
- Eldoret Marathon winner Kipchirchir among the athletes to battle for a share of Sh44.8m prize fund in men’s category
- Prizes in inaugural edition of the competition will trickle down to the top 20 finishers
- On Saturday, race director Hussein Ibrahim said the course has been certified and a good number of athletes have managed to register
Kenya will Sunday host Africa’s richest marathon, the Uhuru Classic Nairobi City Marathon, which has attracted more than 9,000 participants.
New millionaires will be made Sunday when some of the best athletes in Kenya line up to do battle in various categories on the streets of the Kenyan capital. Organisers have set aside $389,500 (about Sh44.8m) as prize money, making the road race the richest in Africa.
While unveiling the route of the for the four races that will be on cards on April 28, Athletics Kenya president Jack Tuwei disclosed that $370,000 (Sh42.55m) will go towards the men’s and women’s winners of the main marathon.
Winners of men and women’s marathon races will each pocket $60,000 (Sh6.9m) in prize money, with the second placed athletes in each of the categories going home $35,000 (Sh4.02m) richer.
Those finishing third will pocket $25,000 (Sh2.875m) each, with the fourth and fifth placed athletes getting $12,500 (Sh1.44m) and $10,000 (Sh1.15m) respectively.
Some 33km of the route will be run on the new Nairobi Expressway with the rest on some of the iconic streets in the city.
Cash prizes will trickle down to the top 20 athletes in each category.
The first race will be the half marathon (21km) race which will start at exactly 7.30am, followed by the 42km race from 8am. The 10km race and the 5km fun run will start at 8.30am and 9.00am respectively.
The course has been electronically timed.
On Saturday, race director Hussein Ibrahim said the course has been certified and a good number of athletes have managed to register.
“The competition, particularly the 42km race, will be exciting because athletes will cover 31km on the Nairobi Expressway before completing the distance on various roads in the city. I urge those interested in running the 5km race to turn up in large numbers and participate,” said Hussein.
Reigning Eldoret City Marathon champion Victor Kipchirchir is among the athletes to watch out for in the men’s marathon.
Last month, he won Eldoret City Marathon, the second best paying marathon race in Africa, and will be out for a repeat performance on Sunday.
Other competitors in men’s 42km race are Vincent Rono who has a personal best of 2:07:10, Silas Too (2:06:32), Geoffrey Kipsang (debut), James Mwangi (debut) among others.
In the women category, Agnes Barsosio (2:20:59), Dorcas Tuitoek (2:24:54), Rose Jepchumba (debut), Gladys Chemutai (2:38:12), Betty Chepkwoy (2:30:28) among others will be battling it out as they seek to win the first edition of the race.
The race has also attracted international athletes who include Ethiopians Jisa Sisay (Debut), Seboka Dinbuse (2:08:51), Girma Bekele (2:06:48), Alemu Gemechu (2:08:47) and Girma Takele (2:17:57), Eritrean Okubay Tsegay (2:06:46) and Deng Nyok Atem from South Sudan.