By AYUMBA AYODI
Nairobi streets will on Sunday afternoon witness some of Kenya’s finest long distance runners battling it out in the inaugural CPF Nairobi Diamond 10km Run.
The Central Business District streets of Kenya’s capital city will be closed to vehicular traffic for at least four hours from 1pm as close to 5,000 runners pound the road in pursuit of the top prize of Sh250, 000 each for the men’s and women’s categories.
At stake also are precious diamonds for each of the winners.
Organisers are however mum on the carats but word has it they are spectacular jewels deserving of the very top elite athletes.
The races will begin at 2pm from the historic Uhuru Park grounds before heading to Kenyatta Avenue, Uhuru Highway, University Way and Koinange Street. From there runners will hit the heart of CBD before finishing at Uhuru Park.
The men’s field offers a mouthwatering prospect with the world’s fastest man in marathon Geoffrey Mutai and World Half Marathon champion Geoffrey Kipsang in the race.
The entry of World Half Marathon record holder Florence Kiplagat in women’s race has heightened the stakes.
Kiplagat last competed at the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow where she settled for bronze behind Joyce Chepkirui and Emily Chebet.
The 27-year-old Kiplagat, who set a new World Half Marathon record with a new time of 1:05:12 at Barcelona in February.
HALF MARATHON RECORD
Interestingly, the 2009 World Half Marathon champion set a new 20 km world record time of 61:56 minutes on her way to the world half marathon record.
Kiplagat, the 2009 World Cross Country champion won the Berlin Marathon on debut over the distance in 2011 before recapturing the title in 2013 in 2:21:13, beating Sharon Cherop by over a minute.
Kiplagat is up against seasoned runners the likes Alice Aprot, who won bronze at the Africa Cross Country Championships in Uganda and Rose Chelimo, who is fresh from winning Amsterdam Half Marathon three weeks ago.
The introduction of diamond prizes has spiced up the race. The diamonds have been donated by IAAF Brussels Diamond League organisers.
Courtesy of nation.co.ke