The 2018 Standard Chartered Nairobi International Marathon takes place in the Kenyan capital on Sunday morning with a galaxy of top stars signing up for the race.
The annual event, expected to entice more than 25,000 participants all together, will see most of the roads in the Western part of the city closed as seasoned and greenhorn battle for top prizes in all the categories.
The city streets and highways will be converted into combat zones where runners and athletics fans will converge during the event that will be marking its 16th anniversary this year.
The champion’s class will renew their rivalry in the main races that comprises the mainstream 42 and 21 Kilometers and the shorter 10Km while families and fans will flood the streets running in the 5Kilometres category.
In 42.195Kilometres, Edinburgh Marathon Champion Julius Kiplagat Korir and Standard Chartered Hong Kong 2017 runners-up Julius Keter will be fighting for the men title where Robert Kemboi from Kapsait in Elgeyo Marakwet County is planning to recapture the crown he won in 2016.
The women class is an open race since most of the renown marathoners have opted to compete in the 21Kilometres as a prelude to their major races later in the year.
However, Eunice Chebet and Naomi Kipsanai, both with vast experience in half marathons, will be aiming at improving their profile after registering in the women’s 42Km.
In the 21Kilometres, Valary Aiyabei, the reigning Beijing Marathon champion, will be the main attraction after returning to defend the title she won last before taking her winning streak to Asia.
The event, started in 2002, has been the spring board for upcoming athletes who have used the race to launch their Road Race Running career that has taken them to global competitions.
The Nairobi race precedes three similar competitions that will be held in Singapore, Mumbai and Hong Kong, all sponsored by Standard Chartered Bank.
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