Nairobi — World Marathon record holder Patrick Makau will be the star attraction when he graces the ninth edition of the Ndakaini Half Marathon in September.
Makau who holds the record with a time of 2:03:38, set at the 2011 Berlin Marathon will return to the course on September 15 where he last participated in 2006 finishing distant eighth.
"I will be participating in the race to give encouragement to other up coming athletes that it's possible to start from humble beginnings and rise to challenge the big stars at the international stage,' expressed Makau during the launch of the marathon on Thursday.
Speaking at the event, Chairman of the organizers, the Ndakaini Dam Environment Conservation Association (NDEKA), Professor Joseph Kimura stated that the half marathon hoped to target several sponsors in their bid to set up a high attitude camp in the Ndakaini area.
"Two years ago we were given the authority to start a camp after several requests from the stakeholders "We are now ready to begin the first phase of the project having received a parcel of land donated by the residents which was followed by a sh10m start up grant from the government," he added.
Lauding the initiative, Athletics Kenya Vice Chairman Jackson Tuwei said that it will be a good idea to have a training camp that will tap in the talent that is evident in the region. "It's a great thought to have more facilities across the country that can be used by our many upcoming athletes in their quest to launch their career in the major international races.
"Our technical team has visited the area and we are in agreement that it's an ideal place and will see how we can chip in and help the project grow," expressed Tuwei.
The marathon which was held first in 2004 is credited unleashing new marathoners into the limelight among them Makau, World Marathon champion Abel Kirui and the late Samuel Wanjiru.
Registration for the event geared towards the conservation of Ndakaini dam catchment area and the empowerment of the local community to develop viable social economic enterprises associated with the dam runs from July 9 - September 9.