ATHLETES from Ethiopia, Uganda and Tanzania are expected to participate in the annual Safaricom Kisumu City Marathon on Sunday, December 16.
Athletics Kenya Nyanza North public relations officer Jared Gilo said the foreign athletes had indicated they will grace the marathon. Speaking in Kisumu, Gilo said more than 500 athletes are expected including defending champions Joseph Biwott and Irene Mogaka.
"Last year, we had 400 athletes participating in the marathon and we expect the number to increase," added Gilo. At the same time, Gilo announced due to ongoing work along the Awasi-Kisumu road, the route has been changed.
The race will begin at Kisumu's Imperial Hotel and pass through the major roads in the Milimani area, Nyalenda Ring Road for four laps and will end at the Kenyatta sports ground.
Winners will walk home with Sh200, 000, first runners up get Sh70, 000, second runners up will end up Sh30, 000 richer. In the locals category the winner will walk home with Sh10, 000, runner up Sh7,000 while third placed will be worth Sh3,500.
Gilo said a five kilometer race for local runners has also been organised to encourage athletes. Registration fees are Sh300 for the marathon and Sh100 for the five kilometer race.
Registration centres are open at Riadha House, Kenyatta Sports Ground, and the Nyanza provincial Sports director's office daily from 10am. There will be no registration on Sunday, Gilo emphasised. "Deadline for registration is Saturday 5pm and this will not be extended," Gilo said.
Commonwealth silver medallist Irene Mogaka returns to the lakeside city. She won the title in a time of 2:38.0 with Joseph Biwott, who is also going for his title defence on Sunday winning the men's race in 2:13.41.
The event yesterday received a sponsorship package of Sh1.5m from title sponsors Safaricom Limited. Speaking during the cheque presentation to the Athletics Kenya chairman Isaiah Kiplagat, Safaricom sponsorship manager Wangui Kibe said the money will go towards the prize kitty.