By AYUMBA AYODI
World’s fastest man in marathon Geoffrey Mutai and former Boston marathon champion Wesley Korir will face-off during the inaugural Chemususu Dam Half Marathon on Sunday in Eldama Ravine.
Mutai, who has won several prestigious marathons in Boston, Berlin and New York City, holds the best time in marathon of 2:03:02 from his course record breaking during the 2011 Boston Marathon.
However, the time was not recognized by world athletics governing body, IAAF, since the finishing stretch in Boston is sloppy. His recognized personal best is 2:04:15 from his victory at the 2012 Berlin Marathon.
Mutai, 32, has personal best 58:58 in half marathon, a feat he achieved when he won the 2013 Ras Al Khaimah Half Marathon in the United Arab Emirates.
Korir, 31, had his most significant victory to date at the 2012 Boston Marathon, where he ran a strong tactical race under extreme heat which claimed many of the pre-race favorites, including his countryman Geoffrey Mutai who had run the fastest marathon ever during the 2011 Boston event.
Korir, who is also the Cherang’any MP, was considered one of the favorites for the 2012 Chicago Marathon but he faded away from leaders in the second half of the race and came fifth, although his time of 2:06:13 hours was a new personal record.
The race seeks to raise Sh20m for various projects including conservation of water catchment areas around the Chemususu Dam, construction of Uzalendo School – which will cater for free education for students from poor families and modeled along the Starehe Boys’ Centre and Starehe Girls’ School, establishment of a police post, erection of a perimeter wall around the Dam and construction of an information centre.
Speaking during the official launch at a Nairobi Hotel Saturday, Baringo Governor Benjamin Cheboi said they want to help preserve the dam since it will be key in increasing access to clean and safe water to communities in the County and especially Eldama Ravine Constituency.
“We want to improve the quality of life of the people of Baringo County where we hope to supply water to at least 80 per cent of the homesteads in the next few years as opposed to the current 49 percent,” said Cheboi.
“We also want to improve the forest cover, which currently lies at about 30 percent to about 40,” he added.
The Dam, located in Koibatek District, was constructed to the tune of Sh5.1billion.
Eldama Ravine MP Moses Lesonet said they settled on using athletics as the driving tool since communities from the region are passionate and committed towards athletics.
Registration for the race is ongoing and closes on Saturday, where individual participants are paying Sh1000, corporate teams of 10 (Sh50,000) and children (Sh500).
Six races are on the cards including the half marathon, 10km road race, 10km corporate challenge (5-10 runners per team), 5km children’s race and a similar for adults as well as a 7km race for students.
The organisers are offering cash prizes totaling Sh1m where the winners, both men and women, in the 21km race will receive Sh100,000, runners up Sh60,000 and bronze winners Sh35,000. This will also trickle down to the 10th finishers who will take home Sh4,000.
The winners in the 10km road race will take home Sh50,000 – both categories – second placed runner which will trickle down to the 10th finisher who will be awarded Sh3,000.
The children’s race attracts a Sh10,000 winners prize and where the 10th placed runner will bag Sh3,000.
Winners in the adult and students races will bag Sh7,000 and Sh12,000 respectively.
Among the race sponsors are Chase Bank (Sh1m), Standard Media Group (Sh1.9m), Kenya Power (Sh1m), Co-operative Bank (Sh100,000), Ravine Roses (Sh500,000), East African Portland Cement (Sh500,000), Fraba Construction Company (Sh500,000), Kenya Tourism Board (Sh250,000), Rural Electrification Authority (Sh250,000) Safaricom (Sh250,000), National Water Conservation and Pipeline Corporation (Sh500,000), Rift Valley Water Services (Sh500,000), Water Resources Management (Sh500,000), Judges and Vetting Board offered Sh250,000 and Amaco Insurance (Sh50,000) among others.
Courtesy of nation.co.ke