Kaptagat Half Marathon organizers have hinted at the intention of increasing prize money during the second edition of the event on September 8.
Last year, winners of the event pocketed Sh150, 000 prize money and this year the organizers who began the preparations yesterday through a tree planting exercise, are expected to multiply the prize as a way of attracting more participants.
Road race specialist Caroline Too led athletes from Kaptagat in planting trees as a way of conserving the Kaptagat Forest as well as marking the World Runners Day in conjunction with World Environment Day. The exercise which is deemed as a precursor to the half marathon attracted mostly young athletes who will be competing for the race.
Too said athletes’ train in Kaptagat area because of a fresh environment—a forest that has a high concentration of oxygen— which is beneficial to them.
“As athletes, we decided to conserve the environment by planting trees to enjoy a clean environment for training ahead of competitions. If we lose the forest, there will be a low concentration of oxygen, hence reducing the benefits for us as altitude level will go down,” said Too who is set for European road races next month.
She said if they conserve the environment, they will enjoy a good environment in future. “For now, I am preparing for another race in Europe. It’s only through good training in this region that I can prosper,” she said.
Kaptagat Half Marathon director, Patrick Birgen said planting trees will help athletes in the region.
He said they will be having various activities before the marathon in September. “This year’s marathon theme is Run For Nature. Besides trees, we also sensitize people on wildlife that has suffered in the hands of poachers,” concluded Birgen.