BY MUIGAI KIGURU AND KIPLANGAT KIRUI
EIGHTY foreign athletes have registered for Masai Mara marathon planned for tomorrow at the Lemek Conservancy within world famous Maasai Mara Game Reserve.
Race technical director, Billy Konchellah said over 400 have confirmed for the event with 80 being foreigners. He said they expect more runners to register as the exercise ends tomorrow just before the race.
Konchellah also said most of the athletes will be using the race to prepare for various half marathon races in Europe and the New York Marathon because of its course.
“Those runners who want to achieve fast speed prefer using the race because of its flat course and low attitude,” he said. Konchellah said registration is still open at www.masaimaramarathon.co.ke.
Meanwhile, last year’s women’s winner Caroline Kilel, a former Boston Marathon winner and Commonwealth and Africa javelin champion Julius Yego are expected to light up the event.
Kilel will be seeking to defend her title while Yego will be in more on a tutorial mission competing in the new ‘Moran’ event where he will be pitted against the locals. The winner of this interesting category will be ranked on how closest he throws to Yego’s mark. Konchellah yesterday revealed that all is well on the ground.
“The place is experiencing perfect weather conditions and apart from the javelin competition, the event will feature two competitive running categories including 21km for elite runners and 5km for corporate and fun runners.
Winners in both the men and women’s half marathon will bag Sh200,000 while runner-up will pocket Sh100,000. Bronze medallists will return home Sh50,000 richer. There will also be prizes for finishers within the top ten with the last on the list taking home Sh4,000.
The marathon is a charity event organised to raise funds for the Lemek Conservancy Community to address shortages in education facilities, access to clean water, health, sanitation and security in the larger Masai Mara National Reserve, home to ‘Big Five’ and the 7th Wonder of the World (Great annual wildebeest migration).
Courtesy of the-star.co.ke