The 2016/2017 Cross-country season will start next weekend with the annual Ndalat Gaa Kids event at Ndalat Gaa Girls High School in Nandi County with elite athletics competing.
Olympic 3,000metres steeplechase champion Consenslus Kipruto, three times 1,500metres World Champion Asbel Kiprop and Africa Senior 5,000metres sensation Margaret Chelimo will be among the star attraction during the 8th edition of the race taking place on Saturday.
“This year, the race will see more participant s competing in the 16 different categories including the elite in both men and women. Kipruto (Consenslus) has always been a regular contestant and will be the race ambassador,” confirmed Kennedy Tanui, the event competition secretary and Central Rift region secretary.
With cross-country season beckoning, the Ndalat race will serve as an opener to many cross country prospects as the new sporting calendar begin ahead of major global championships next year.
“The event will have the usual cross country classes with senior men running 10Km, senior women 8Km and the juniors competing in 6 and 8Kilometres. There will be other categories for kids and the elderly,” added Tanui after the launch of the event at Riadha House on Wednesday morning.
Kids aged between 7 and 15 years will run in different categories with distances ranging from 500metres to 4kilometres while women and men aged between 40 and 56 years and above will be featuring in 2 and 4kilometres respectively.
Last year, new revelation Nicodemus Kipkirui and Kericho-based Caroline Chepkoech won the elite categories while dominant junior s Andrew Lorot and Sandrafelis Chebet stole the show in the junior categories.
During the launching, Athletics Kenya President Maj General Jack Tuwei welcomed all the sponsors to the event and reiterated the federation’s commitment in nurturing new athletics talents in the country.
The function was attended by Athletics Kenya Executives, Nandi County Deputy governor Dominic Biwott, Mosop Member of Parliament and Nandi women Representative Zipporah Kering.
The event will be sponsored by more than 20 organizations among them mobile phone service provider Safaricom, Athletics Kenya, The Standard Media Group, Kenya Seed Company, Amaco Insurance, APA Insurance, Kass Fm, Kenya Power, I and M Bank and Kenya Cooperative Creameries.
Others are Reale Hospital, National Social Security Fund, National Hospital Insurance Fun, Nandi County Government, Kenya Pipeline and sport apparel manufacturer NIKE among others.
Winners in all the categories will walk home with cash and material rewards with the first 20 being in the reward brackets.
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