New York Marathon Notebook
No let-up in fight against Covid-19 here
New York City, one of the cities worst hit by the coronavirus pandemic, is slowly coming round after the catastrophe. While masks are slowly peeling off thanks to increased vaccination - with some New Yorkers even heading for “booster shots” – and spectators not having to wear the masks at competition venues, authorities have stationed mobile Covid-19 testing centres at strategic locations, including the busy Times Square in the heart of the city. A CTS Mobile Testing van is usually parked at Broadway Plaza on the Square with free Covid-19 tests for anyone in need.
Lagats make different marathon debuts
Kenyan-American siblings Bernard and Viola Lagat will be making New York Marathon debuts in contrasting fashion this weekend. While middle distance specialist Violah will be covering the 42-kilometre race for the first time, five-time Olympian Bernard will launch his post-racing commentating career as one of the men on the mic for ABC7/ WABC-TV and ESPN partnership. Lagat ran the 2018 New York Marathon, his debut, completing the race across New York’s five boroughs in two hours, 17 minutes and 20 seconds. The race will be broadcast to over 180 countries to over 500 million homes.
Rich tradition as race turns 50 this weekend
To celebrate its 50th anniversary this weekend, the New York Marathon has invited some of the runners who completed the inaugural race in 1970 to be part of race weekend festivities. They will be honoured today and at a finish line ceremony on Sunday. With an entry fee of just $1 on September 13, 1970, some 127 runners entered the inaugural race with 55 finishers, including former Fire Department of New York firefighter Gary Muhrcke who was the first race champion. He still runs weekly at Central Park. His wife makes laurels awarded to race winners to date.
Airlines fight for a bite of the “Big Apple”
There’s cut-throat competition between Kenya Airways and Ethiopian Airlines for the New York skies. While Ethiopian Airlines were among the first African carriers to introduce flights to USA, relative newcomers Kenya Airways have been equally competitive for the American market. While the direct, 15-hour flight from Nairobi to New York will cost you $1,120 (about Sh125,000), your Ethiopian Airlines ticket to the “Big Apple” will set you back as low as $956 (Sh106,500). However, the Ethiopian flight is not direct.