Focus shifts to Nakuru groundbreaking races
Finally, it’s D-day with the eagerly awaited Stanbic Nakuru City Marathon getting underway on Sunday on the streets of the Rift Valley capital.
"This is part of my sporting legacy. I want to leave an extraordinary marathon and that is why my administration has pumped in massive resources," Governor Lee Kinyanjui said ahead of today’s race day which will be highlighted by half marathon, 10-kilometre road race and five-kilometre fun run.
A galaxy of world beaters and budding athletes will be on show in the inaugural event which quickly joins the Eldoret City Marathon, Kenya’s richest marathon in prize money, and the Kass Marathon as Rift Valley’s premier road running competitions.
The race has been crafted against the backdrop of beautiful scenery in mind-blowing locations like the thrilling Menengai hills which will allow the runners to see Lake Nakuru from a bird's eye view as they descend the hills.
A run through streets, like the Oginga Odinga Road with its beautiful canopy, is guaranteed to be a thrilling and unforgettable experience for all runners.
The race jointly sponsored by Stanbic Bank, Geothermal Development Company and Nakuru County Government has attracted top runners from North Rift, South Rift, Nyandarua, Laikipia, Nairobi, and other parts of the country.
The Nation Media Group is the official media partner and will broadcast the races live on NTV from 7am.
The races start along Kenyatta Avenue, next to the Stanbic Bank’s Nakuru branch and conclude at the Rift Valley Sports Club.
And the one-million-dollar question that is nagging athletes who will participate in the 21km and 10km races is who among them will get at the iconic Rift Valley Sports Club and cross the finishing line first and grab the Sh500,000 (21km each for the men’s and women’s winners) and Sh100,000 (10km men’s and women’s races) prize money. Top 15 finishers will be rewarded.
"Winning tomorrow’s (Sunday’s) race will restore my sense of confidence of one day becoming a world champion," said a budding athlete from Njoro, Mercy Cherono. "Competing in the Stanbic Nakuru City Marathon is a dream come true. Running alongside World Marathon record holder Brigid Kosgei is enough for me to feel as if I have competed in a world marathon.
“These are rare moments to have such big and world-beaters names in the race. I will compete in the 10km race where Brigid has registered and I can't wait for the feeling on the ground," said an elated runner from Nyandarua, Josephine Njoki.
For some of the runners, the race will be testing the waters in unfamiliar grounds and altitude.
"I want to test my endurance on unfamiliar terrain in Nakuru and that is why Stanbic Nakuru City Marathon is key to me," said Joseph Bii, an upcoming runner from the North Rift.