JONATHAN KOMEN AND EMMANUEL SABUNI
The atmosphere was electrifying. From all walks of life, they came in their thousands to watch the red-hot action that send the athletics-mad Eldoret town into delirium with the sonorous cheers livening the air.
Excited fans from around the country, most of them clad in blue and yellow stripped T-shirts, the corporate colour for the marathon, were lined up in the streets along the route to cheer up the 7,000 plus runners.
And tension went high when Kenya’s marathon stars locked in a clinical battle with a crowded field of upcoming athletes along Kapsabet- Eldoret road.
The change of finishing point from its traditional area at the Uasin Gishu County headquarters elicited mixed reactions from fans and athletes, with some saying it did not serve the purpose of marketing Eldoret town.
But Kimutai Kosgei, a former winner of Rotterdam Marathon, said it was a well-thought decision.
“It’s a nice idea. The region is teeming with athletics fans and the celebration square at the County headquarters cannot accommodate our huge crowds,” said Kosgei.
The move was seemingly borrowed from big city marathons like Boston, London, New York and Berlin that have finish point in down town squares and packs.
The event saw huge attendance of Kenya’s world beating athletes, New York Marathon champ Mary Keitany and Emmanuel Mutai, World 800m record holder David Rudisha and Janet Jepkosgei.
There was no love lost as the supremacy battles between Uasin Gishu, Elgeyo Marakwet and Nandi counties played up. It is said, Uasin Gishu is the city of champions, Nandi is the source of champions but their victories are brandished in Elgeyo Marakwet.
Courtesy of standardmedia.co.ke