Kenya to launch 'world class' marathon, says Sports CS Amina

Amina Mohamed

Cabinet Secretary for Sports Amina Mohamed (right) during the fundraising and launch of Nairobi International School Indoor Sports facility at Trade Mark Hotel on February 22, 2022.

Photo credit: Chris Omollo | Nation Media Group

What you need to know:

  • Cabinet Secretary for Sports Amina Mohamed disclosed Tuesday night that the marathon, that is likely to be held in May this year, will be known as the Uhuru Classic City Marathon.
  • Amina further said that part of the marathon route will snake through the Nairobi Express Way that is currently under construction.

Nairobi is set to have another marathon that could rival World Marathon Majors in terms of prize money in three month's time.

Cabinet Secretary for Sports Amina Mohamed disclosed Tuesday night that the marathon, that is likely to be held in May this year, will be known as the Uhuru Classic City Marathon.

Amina further said that part of the marathon route will snake through the Nairobi Express Way that is currently under construction.

"We have always watched our athletes win is some of the world's major city marathons but it's now time we watched it happen here in Nairobi," said Amina, adding that the cabinet has already met and approved the marathon.

"It has always been our dream to host a major marathon and I want to announce a cabinet memo has gone through and the country will have it's first ever city marathon," explained Amina.

Amina said the purse will match those at major marathons like London Marathon, Berlin Marathon, Chicago Marathon and Boston Marathon among others.

Amina Mohamed

Cabinet Secretary for Sports Amina Mohamed (right) and former Principal Secretary for Tourism Fatuma Hirsi converse during the fundraising and launch of Nairobi International School Indoor Sports facility at Trade Mark Hotel on February 22, 2022.

Photo credit: Ayumba Ayodi | Nation Media Group

"I would not have sought cabinet's approval if it wasn't that big," explained Amina.

Amina was speaking at Trade Mark Hotel, Nairobi during the official launch and fundraising for the construction of a Multi Indoor Sports facility at the Nairobi International School.

The only full marathon staged in Nairobi is the Standard Chartered Bank Nairobi Marathon where the men and women's winners get to pocket Sh1.5m each.

Last year, London Marathon had a prize fund of US$ 313,000 (Sh 31.3m) where the each winner in the men's and women's races got US$ 55,000 (Sh5.5m).

Each of the Berlin Marathon winners last year pocketed US$50,000 (Sh5m) on the event that had a prize fund of US$ 1m (Sh100m).

However,  Boston Marathon is perhaps the richest at the World Marathon Majors where each winner in the men and women's races pocketed US$150,000 (Sh15m) last year.

The 2019 Chicago Marathon had a purse of US$606,500 (Sh60.7m) where winners in men and women's races pocketed US$ 55,000 (Sh5.5m) down from US$ 100,000 (Sh 10m).

This year, the Tokyo Marathon will have a prize fund of US$1.26m (Sh126m). Kenya's legendary marathon runner, Eliud Kipchoge, will be making his debut in the race next month.

The Director of the school, Radhika Lee, said the project that witnessed the ground breaking in December last year, is dubbed "The Happiness Project " as it is certain to bring happiness to many in future.

Lee expects to raise close to Sh100m from well-wishers for the project that should be completed in October this year.

"We shall allow less privileged children from the surrounding schools to use the facility free of charge upon completion," said Lee, adding that once completed, the arena will be a able to host basketball, netball, handball, volleyball, badminton and tennis. The facility will also have a standard size futsal pitch.

Amina said the nitty-gritty of marathon will be known when the race is officially launched in a few weeks' time.

"The date and the prize money will be known then but be assured it will be big," said Amina.

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