World marathon record holder Patrick Makau will grace the South Imenti Road race slated for December 8. Makau, fresh from winning the Frankfurt marathon two weeks ago, will team up with former world 5,000m champion Benjamin Limo and world 3,000m (indoor and outdoor) record holder Daniel Komen.
Others expected for the race are two-time Hong Kong Marathon champion Cyprian Kiogora and former world junior cross country champion Phillip Mosima. Makau said he will be delighted to grace the event and will be coming with a 15-man squad to compete.
"It will be an honour to grace the event and I am bringing 15 athletes from Machakos to race in Imenti," he added. According to the event organiser Kimathi Mutanderu, the winners in the 15km race will pocket Sh50,000 with the runner-up going home with Sh25,000.
Second runners-up will receive Sh20,000. Mutanderu said there will also be a schools category, where schools will compete in a relay race with the winner pocketing Sh8,500.
Runners up will take home Sh4,500 and third placed will take home Sh3,200. The event received a shot in the arm with sponsors and well wishers forking out Sh1.3m.
Event sponsor Safaricom forked out Sh750,000 while the Kiraitu Murungi Foundation donating Sh200,000. Kenya Volleyball Federation (KVF) chairman Waithaka Kioni donated Sh50,000 and pledged to give water worth Sh50,000. Athletics Kenya (AK) boosted the event with a donation of Sh100,000 while Mt. Kenya University donated a similar amount .
Parliamentary aspirants Kathuri Murungi and Jenas Guantai donated Sh20,000 and Sh40,000 respectively. Event patron and Minister of Energy Kiraitu Murungi thanked the sponsors and well wishers who have come out to support the event.
Murungi said he would like to promote the sport of archery in his constituency. Murungi, who traveled to the London Olympics in August, said there is great potential in the sport in Tharaka "I know we have great potential and I want AK President with his connections abroad to see if we can develop the sport in the country," added Murungi.