What you need to know:
- The entry fee for senior 13km race is Sh1,000, junior participants will part with Sh500, whie corporates Sh100,000.
- The prize money structure remains the same with the winner in each of the men and women's categories getting Sh500,000. The prize fund covers the top 10 finishers.
The Mount Kenya Mountain Running Championships is back with Meru County Governor Kiraitu Murungi promising a better and improved event that will position the county among the best.
Murungi Monday announced during the launch of the second edition of the championships due February 26 at Nairobi Serena that the registration fee for the event has been reviewed from Sh2,500 to Sh1,000 to draw more participants.
Murungi, who was accompanied by Meru County First Lady Priscilla and chief guest, former Gatanga Member of Parliament, Peter Kenneth, said they expect close to 5,000 participants including women’s defending champion Purity Gitonga.
Gitonga was among the first athletes to sign up for the championships as she vowed to defend her title before shifting her focus on track season starting next month with the World Athletics Championships and Commonwealth Games in sight.
Also present were Meru County Deputy Governor Titus Ntuchiu, the Mount Kenya Run chairman Joseph Kinyua, Athletics Kenya Mountain Running chairman Peter Angwenyi and Athletics Kenya senior deputy president Paul Mutwii.
Also present was Principal Secretary for Public Service, Mary Kimonye.
Murungi disclosed that Sh25 million in cash and kind was realised from the first edition’s event that attracted 3,000 participants in 2020. The event wasn’t staged last year owing to Covid-19.
“The purpose of the mountain run remains the same. It’s not just about money, but to improve the visibility about cancer in Meru,” said Murungi, adding that most of the proceeds will go towards supporting the Meru County Cancer Institute.
“That will help improve prevention and early detection of cancer, as well as the quality of life following diagnosis and treatment."
Murungi revealed that the central government has already committed Sh300m to the cancer Institute, besides pledging its support to the planned Sh2.7 billion modern cancer hospital in Meru.
Murungi said besides cancer awareness, environmental conservation is another area now that the county is planning to reintroduce Bongo Antelope from Florida, United States and Black Rhino at the Mount Kenya forest.
Facing extinction, the Bongo Antelope was taken to Florida where they have multiplied and Murungi disclosed that it’s time they were reintroduced to its former ecosystem but under protection.
“We want to promote sports tourism in the region as well as encourage running for a better and healthier lifestyle,” said Murungi.
Kenneth said that there is no better way of fighting cancer than uplifting the medical facilities in Meru County and commended the organisers for the event for the initiative.
"Mountain running is an event that will produce future World and Olympic champions hence it should be spread across the country," said Kenneth, who promised to mobile top political heavyweights to grace the event.
Angwenyi announced a change of the route for the event that will now be held in a loop covering 13km instead of 12km. Junior men and women will compete over 8km while dignitaries will engage in 2km race.
The corporates will also compete in the event that will start and end at the Kenya School of Adventure and Leadership.
The entry fee for senior 13km race is Sh1,000, junior participants will part with Sh500, whie corporates Sh100,000.
The prize money structure remains the same with the winner in each of the men and women's categories getting Sh500,000. The prize fund covers the top 10 finishers.
Registration for the event is at Paybill business number 7056001. Account number is the name of the participant.