London marathon pacemaker Pauline Njeru will be going for her fourth consecutive Safaricom South Imenti 15km road race scheduled for December 10th in Nkubu, Meru County.
The Embu based Njeru clinched a hat-trick of titles as she cruised to victory at the women’s 15KM at last year’s Imenti South Road Race in 57:32.
Last year’s runners up, Africa cross country junior bronze medalist Nanzy Nzisa will be seeking to dethrone Njeru whom she trailed four seconds.
Other’s bidding for women’s top honours are the 2011 Boston Marathon champion Philles Ongori and former Safaricom Lewa marathon winner Monica Muthoni.
The 2016 Sasumua Dam 42km and Baringo half marathon races winner Isaac Kipkoech will be defending his title.
Kipkoech will renew his rivalry with 2016 Warsaw (Poland) marathon 10km champion Daniel Muteti from Machakos who will be seeking to revenge the defeat inflicted on him by the Rift valley based runner last year.
Interestingly, when Mutinda won the Warsaw Marathon 10km race in the Polish capital on March 3rd last year, Kipkoech was the race’s pacemaker.
Five-time Lewa Marathon champion Daniel Mbogo and Gifu Seiryu Half Marathon in Japan and will be eyeing the Sh100, 000 winner’s prize money.
Local heroes, Two times Hong Kong marathon champion Cyprian Kiogora and Lucy Karimi winner of three consecutive Buenos Aires marathon races will be in the fray to restore home pride in the men’s and women’s events respectively
Former World marathon record holder Patrick Makau will grace the event as a race ambasadeur and is expected enter a team of runners from his Ngong training base.
Over 2,000 athletes countrywide are expected to participate in the hilly course that runs from Kanyakine to Nkubu, finishing at Kinoru Stadium in the 11th edition of the annual event.
Title sponsor, Safaricom, has maintained its sponsorship kitty of KSh1m for the race that seeks to tap and nurture athletics talents, promote cohesion, create employment opportunities for the youth, promote tourism, promote health and enhance healthy living.
Races in contention are men’s 15km, women’s 10km, school’s 7km relay comprising of a team of four in the 15-19 years and 11 years and below together with veterans aged above 55 years.
The main race winners this year both men and women will pocket KSh100,000 with the best places local athletes taking home KSh20,000 for the first position.
Registration fee is Sh200 and is taking place at Athletics Kenya (AK) headquarters, Lema Chemist in Kanyakine, Kims Studio in Igoji and at the venue.
“I am glad that this event has lived up to its expectations as we mark 11 years since its establishment. We have seen great athletes from this region represent Kenya in local and international meets,” said Kimathi Mutuerandu, the LOC chairman.