Eldoret Sports Club will be overflowing with humanity when more than 2,000 athletes take to the field during the 25th anniversary of Discovery Kenya Cross Country on Sunday morning as the event marks its Silver Jubilee this year.
The cross-country, run in the region with the highest concentration of runners, is coming a day after Athletics Kenya regional championships that are due to conclude in all the branches countrywide on Saturaday.
Season’s top ranked Sandra Chebet and senior men defending champion Peter Emase will lead a galaxy of globally celebrated stars during event that has been running for the last 25 years.
The event, sponsored by NIKE International and other local firms and Institutions and organized by Rosa and Associati, is also expected to uncover new talents as it has been its tradition.
“This year, we are celebrating the Silver Jubilee of both the cross country and the half marathon that normally follows the next Sunday. The participating number will definitely exceed the previous editions,” said Coach David Letting, the event Technical Director.
The annual showbiz, started in 1991, will have 10 unique participating classifications starting with boys and girls aged below six years who will run 300metres.
Coming at the time when regions would be concluding their cross-country selections, new faces will also be having a free-hand while fighting for the limelight with the three counties of Nandi, Elgeyo Marakwet and Uasin Gishu providing the bulk of participants.
“We have maintained the usual 10 categories as it has been the norm. From last year, we have also reduced the distances for the senior men and women categories. Instead of running 12 and 8 Kilometres, the men will do 8km while women will cover 6km,” added Letting, also the national cross-country coach.
Apart from Sandra and Emase who won junior women and senior men titles respectively, Agnes Jerop and World Youth Champion Richard Kimunyang will also be throwing their hut in the ring while seeking double glory in one of the oldest races in the country.
Prisca Jerono, namesake Prisca Jeptoo, Geoffrey Kipsang and Mathew Kisorio, who have dominated the last editions, will also be in the mix for the top prizes that have been increased as part of the Jubilee celebrations.
Since inauguration, the discovery event that also include a 21kilometres marathon, has contributed in the production line with top guns owing their career to the annual January event.
Apart from Nike, the primary sponsors, other Cooperates bodies including Paramount Bank, CMC Motors, Mama Chai and Athletics Kenya sponsored the event last year.
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