Sport

Organisers putting final touches for Nakuru Marathon

Organisers putting final touches for Nakuru Marathon

Rift Valley Sports Club, the finishing point for the Nakuru City Marathon in this photo taken on November 24, 2021.

Photo credit: Richard Maosi | Nation Media Group

The Local Organising Committee (LOC) for the Nakuru City Marathon is burning the midnight oil to ensure that the race is a success.

Martin Keino, a former athlete and pacesetter, heads the committee that is racing against time to ensure everything is in place before race which is three days away.

“We want to organise a memorable Nakuru City Marathon race. We want history to judge us fairly for laying good groundwork for a race that will be remembered for many years by Nakuru residents and the athletics fraternity from Kenya and beyond,” said Keino.

“Everything is running on schedule, and hopefully, come Sunday morning, the race will start and end on a high note. So far, we have not encountered any hitches but we are not taking any chances.”

Keino said that the LOC is looking to register at least 3,000 participants by Saturday evening.

“Some 400 runners have enlisted for the 21 kilometres, 10km and 5km fun and family race. We hope to hit our target of 3,000 by Saturday by 6pm when registration closes,” Keino said.

The sports marketer and chief executive officer of Keino Sports is a son of legendary athlete Kipchoge Keino.

His dream is to see the race growing and scaled up to a full marathon in two years.

Keino said that for this to happen proper organisation and logistical planning is required.

"I have organised a number of races across the country and beyond our borders, Nakuru City Marathon is like my newest baby. I want to give it the best shot ever as I want this beautiful town to have a landmark race," said Keino.

A team of 80 people are working with Keino to prepare for the race at marathon’s temporary secretariat located at Midlands Hotel along the busy Nakuru-Eldoret highway. Not even the noisy and smoking trucks zooming past can distract the group that has a lot to do before the big day.

Meeting Keino for the first time at the secretariat, it was obvious that he was busy man.

He was responding to correspondence, inquiries and telephone calls while directing and guiding members of of the organising committee.

"It's a tough but enjoyable assignment. I believe that I am up to the task. My goal is to ensure that the event runs smoothly. Nakuru County Governor Lee Kinyanjui is doing a lot to help discover talent in the region, and as the race director, I have a duty and obligation to support his efforts,” Keino said.

"When upcoming athletes compete in a race organised to international standards, that gives them confidence when they go outside the country for bigger events. They learn the tips that will help them avoid mistakes that could lead to their disqualification and therefore Nakuru City Marathon is key to me."

Keino said that Nakuru City Marathon has one of the best routes that can attract international runners.

He said that the Nakuru City Marathon will build a pool of young officials who will gain skills on how to organise races in future.

"Apart from running on the course, organising and managing a race requires skills. I'm happy some officials from Nakuru are gaining a lot," said Keino.

This will be the most lucrative marathon in Nakuru as the winners of the 21km race for both the men’s and women’s contests will earn Sh500,000.

The winners of the 10km race will receive Sh100,000 while the top 15 finishers will also receive cash awards.