What you need to know:
- Two-time Boston Marathon champion Moses Tanui, who is the race director said there were technical issues that caused delay in payment of cash awards
- Uasin Gishu County governor Jonathan Bii urged athletes to invest wisely their earnings from the sport
- Tanui revealed that they will announce a new partner as soon as they conclude negotiations
The winners of the fourth edition of Eldoret City Marathon received their prize money in a ceremony held at Uasin Gishu County headquarters on Friday.
The race, held annually in the streets of Eldoret, is one of the best paying in Africa and has attracted some international athletes in past editions.
Winners in both men (Victor Kipchirchir) and women (Emily Chebet) categories went home Sh3.5 million richer while all the top 20 athletes also received their cash awards.
Two-time Boston Marathon champion Moses Tanui, who is the race director said there were technical issues that caused delay in payment of cash awards.
In the 2022 edition held on April 10, Kipchirchir defended his title in two hours, 13 minutes and 10 seconds ahead of Michael Mutai who clocked 2:13:23 while Josphat Bett sealed the podium in 2:13:58.
In the women's category, Emily Chebet won in 2:29:57 ahead of Shyline Jepkorir who timed 2:30:13 while Lilian Jelagat was third in 2:30:23.
Tanui said he could not launch this year's edition without paying athletes their hard-earned money.
“As a retired athlete, I know how an athlete feels while training and it wasn’t my wish to make them wait for that long. It was a technical hitch but I’m happy the athletes now can afford a smile," said Tanui, who hinted at launching the 2023 edition in one week's time.
Tanui revealed that they will announce a new partner as soon as they conclude negotiations.
“This is our race and we have to make sure we build it. Apart from being one of the best paying in Africa, the race is also recognised by Abott World Marathon Majors. Our target is to even make it better in future because even Boston Marathon started in a small way and it's now one of the best races in the world,” added Tanui.
Emily Chebet said she will be seeking to defend her title this year.
“I’m glad that the race organisers paid us despite the long wait. I have been training well and my next race is Milano Marathon on April 2. I will be using it to gauge my performance after being out of competition since last year due to injury,” said Chebet.
Uasin Gishu County governor Jonathan Bii urged athletes to invest wisely their earnings from the sport.
“I would like to ask athletes to invest wisely because there is always an active period where you do well and then when age catches up with you or you get injured, there is nothing else you can do. It is wise to plan ahead because training and taking part in these competitions is tough,” said Bii.
The race has seen over four million trees planted in various places across the country in a bid to fight climate change.