What you need to know:
- The postponement is a major blow to athletes who have been hard at work putting final touching on their preparations ahead of the showdown on Sunday.
The much-awaited fifth edition of Eldoret City Marathon which was scheduled for Sunday has been postponed indefinitely.
The postponement is a major blow to athletes who have been hard at work putting final touching on their preparations ahead of the showdown on Sunday.
Mercy Kipchumba, winner of the 2021 edition, was eyeing a return to racing in this event after being out of competition for two years.
Race director Moses Tanui said: "As many of you are aware, we have been diligently working towards organising an exceptional marathon event that will showcase the extraordinary talent and determination of our athletes. However, we have experienced delays in the arrival of running merchandise shipped from Dubai which we expect to be delivered on Monday morning.”
“Additionally, following the withdrawal of the County Government of Uasin Gishu as a title sponsor, we scouted for new title sponsors and unfortunately there has been a delay in the completion of the transaction to deposit the prize money required to ensure that the race meets the high standards,” the statement added.
Since the inception of the race in 2018, the last race has been sponsored by the Uasin Gishu County government with former governor Jackson Mandago, who is now a senator, the patron.
Winners of last year's races had to wait until March this year to get their prize money after Mandago exited office last August. The race organisers said the transition in leadership at the county government caused the delays.
This forced the organisers to postpone this year's edition from April to October.
“It’s crucial to emphasise that this decision does not mark the end of our marathon event. We are fully dedicated to making this race a reality, but only when we have secured the necessary funds and ensure that the prize money is safely deposited in our bank accounts,” said Tanui.
In August, Tanui announced Gulf Royal Society, Economic Group Holdings, and Supreme Cosmetics Manufacturers LLC, under the esteemed leadership of His Highness Sheikh Majid Al Qassimi, a member of the Ruling family of Sharjah, as the race's new partner.
Tanui said that the collaboration marked the beginning of a new era for the marathon, and as an organisation they were thrilled to welcome athletes and participants from around the world to join them in the extraordinary event.