The 9th edition of Family Bank Eldoret Half Marathon will take place this Sunday in the town Christianized ‘City of Champions’ with the sponsors pumping in Ksh10 million sponsorship this year.
The race, confined within the town streets, was launched at Riadha House on Tuesday morning with the organizers increasing the prize money from Ksh200,000 to Ksh250,000 for the winners in both men and women.
The official launching, witnessed by all the Athletics Kenya top executives led by the Federation’s President Isaiah Kiplagat, signified the commencement of elbowing for the rich purse with elite athletes wetting their appetite for a share of the carrot that has elevated the 21Km annual race.
The Athletics Kenya chief appreciated the sponsorship that has helped made the event one of the catapult for career takeoff for many upcoming runners
“Athletics Kenya is in the process of classifying all the half marathons and all the 10kilometres road races in the country and each event will be offering different but uniform prizes for the winners,” said Kiplagat during occasion.
Being the country’s athletics cradle, more than 1,000 athletes are expected to compete in the race that is sponsored by the financial institution in the county with the highest concentration of runners in the world.
Already, runners were lost for choice of the races since the weekend has lined up four racing competitions where Machakos, Laikipia and Eldoret are hosting half-marathons apart while Siaya is organizing the Tom O’Omuombo Memorial Cross Country.
Mathew Kisorio, Peris Jepchirchir and the duo of Erick Ndiema and Mercy Kibarus will return to the flat but winding course seeking to reclaim their positions they took last year and 2013. All the events will take place on Sunday. Kisorio will be drooling to continue his local dominancy with a double victory, stretching the wins from Ndaka-ini in Central Kenya to the North Rift.
Last year, the star wrestled the victory from Erick Ndiema who won the title in 2013 after clocking impressive 1:02.55. Kisorio managed 1:03.17 in winning last. Daniel Kosgei and Daniel Keitany were second and third last year.
In women, Peris Jepchirchir returns to defend the title in Eldoret after she snatched the crownfrom Mercy Kibarus. Kibarus, the 2013 winner, finished second ahead of third-placed Valery Aiyabei last year.
Pascalia Chepkorir and Agnes Chebet, who were second and third in 2013, will be trying to scale their positions after closing second and third during the 7th edition in 2013.
According to the organizers, the prize purse will start with the winners in each category pocketing a quarter million shillings and will filter down to the 10th finisher.
The race will kick off at 9.00am and registration has been going on in all Family Bank branches countrywide.
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