The Eldoret City Marathon set for April 22 will become the country’s most lucrative road race with a combined cash prize of Sh6.5m.
The race, which was launched at the Eldoret Golf Club yesterday, will see winners in both the men and women’s 42km events pocket Sh3m each.
Runner up and third place finishers in both then men and women’s categories will take home Sh1.5m and Sh1million respectively in a cash awards scheme that will trickle to the 1oth finishers.
Race director, Moses Tanui, a former two-time Boston marathon champion, said the event co-sponsored by Uasin Gishu County and Kenya Pipeline is themed ‘Climate Change’.
Uasin Gishu Governor, Jackson Mandago, said the primary objective is to support environmental conservation through sports as per the theme of the event.
“This is a unique marathon meant to celebrate the success of the county and North Rift athletes and as well place Eldoret City on the global map in regard to organisational capacity to supplement the success of the athletes,” said Mandago.
Tanui said he has been inspired to organise the race going by the number of talents in the region who have lacked a platform to showcase their prowess.
He said such talent has in the past gone to waste due to lack of proper structures and races of high calibre.
“Kenya has a glut of talent than the rest of Africa. To be precise, Uasin Gishu County and especially Eldoret City is home to many winners of big city marathons world wide. Ironically, we do not have a marathon of our own,” he observed.
Athletics Kenya (AK) chairman Jack Tuwei expressed optimism that the race will be a huge success and they will make sure it occupies a permanent slot in the AK calendar. “We are going to put this race in our calender of events and there is no doubt in my mind that it is going to be one of the best marathon in country,” he added.