The annual Ndalat Gaa Kids Cross country, now renamed Isaiah F. Kiplagat Memorial Cross-country, is starting the 2017/2018 season this weekend in Nandi County.
The event, officially launched in Nairobi on Wednesday last week by Athletics Kenya President Lt Gen (Rtd) Jack Tuwei and Nandi Governor Stephen Sang, will take place at its traditional venue at Ndalat Gaa Girls High School in Nandi North this Saturday October 14th where a host of elite athletes will also be competing.
The 16-categorized competitions is expected to entice over 2,000 athletes who will run in different age categories including the usual junior 6 and 8 kilometres for the Under20 and the elite 10Km for both men and women.
The Athletics Kenya race, in its 9th edition and with Olympic marathon champion Eliud Kipchoge as the event Ambassador, landed a major boost up from more than 15 sponsors that include mobile phone service provider Safaricom, Amaco Insurance Company, National Hospital Insurance Fund, Paramount Bank, Kenya Seed Company, Nike and Nandi County Government among a host of others.
“This year, the race will see more participant s competing in 16 categories including the elite in both men and women. We hope to see Olympics and World Champions join upcoming athletes to motivate them,” said Kennedy Tanui, the event competition secretary and Central Rift region secretary.
The Ndalat event will serve as a starter to many cross country and track prospects as the new sporting calendar begin ahead of major international championships early next year.
“The event will have the usual cross country classes and several other categories. The Main focus will be the kids’ athletics which is an IAAF sanctioned affair. The elderly will feature in other arranged events,” added Tanui after the launch of the event at Riadha House on Wednesday morning.
Kids aged between 7 and 15 years will run 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, cross country specialists Alice Aprot and Irene Cheptai finished first and second in the senior women in that order while upcoming Abraham Kiptum and Josphat Tanui ruled in senior men.
During the launching, AK President Lt. Gen Tuwei welcomed all the sponsors to the event and reiterated the federation’s commitment in nurturing new athletics talents in the country.
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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