19 May 2017

Rwanda: Kenyan First Lady to Grace Kigali International Peace Marathon

Photo: PSCU
First Lady Margaret Kenyatta finishes the second edition of the Beyond Zero half marathon in 2015 (file photo).

Kenya's First Lady Margaret Kenyatta will on Sunday join her Rwandan counterpart Jeannette Kagame to flag-off the 13th edition of Kigali International Peace Marathon.

After flagging off the Half Marathon scheduled to tee off at 8am and the Full marathon scheduled to get underway at 8:10am, the two First Ladies are scheduled to run a symbolic and non-competitive 7 km special "run for peace" race that will start at 8:20am.

The development was confirmed by Ms Kenyatta on Thursday on her twitter handle where she wrote;

"I will on Sunday join my counterpart in Rwanda Jeanette Kagame during the Kigali International Peace Marathon."

"An estimated 6000 athletes, diplomats & peace enthusiasts from various countries are expected to take part in the 13th annual peace marathon"

On her Twitter timeline, First Lady Jeannette Kagame also confirmed the development.

"We are looking forward to receiving @FirstLadyKenya, Mrs Kenyatta for the 7km 'Run for #Peace' during the annual @KigaliMarathon."

The Sunday event will mark the second time that both First Ladies will be running together after the Beyond Zero Half Marathon that was held in Nairobi on March 6, last year.

The marathon will be preceded by a Peace Torch march on Saturday that will start from Nyanza Genocide Memorial in Kicukiro District and end at the Amahoro National Stadium.

Adults, the youth and children will take part in the Saturday event according to the President of the Rwanda Athletics Federation, Jean-Paul Munyandamutsa.

This year's marathon is expected to attract about 6,000 athletes, however according to Rwanda Athletics Federation (RAF) technical director John Peter Ndacyayisenga, as of Thursday, they had registered less than 2,500 athletes.

"We have so far registered about 2,342 but the number normally increases on Friday and Saturday, so that's when we expect to receive even the big names because as of today no big names had been registered," said Ndacyayisenga.

Retired long distance and cross-country runner Dieudonne Disi remains the only Rwandan to have won a gold medal since the 2005 when the race was started.

He won the 2006 half Marathon with other best performances from Rwandan athletes being held by Jean Baptiste Ruvubi who won a silver medal in the 2015 Full Marathon and Salome Nyirarukundo who won a silver medal in the women half marathon.

Last year, James Cheritich Tallam won gold in the men's 42km race using two hours, 19 minutes and 3 seconds ahead of compatriots Rono Kibet (2:19:20) and William Rutto Chebdi (2:20:11).

Theoneste Kayiranga (2:24:06) was Rwanda's best finisher in 7th place.

In the women category, it was also an all-Kenyan affair with the winner, Jeruiyot Chemweno, clocking 2 hours, 38 minutes and 20 seconds, ahead of Alice Cheroti Milgo Serser (2:41:32) while Jacqueline Nyetipei Kipromoo (2:53:56) got bronze.

In the half marathon, Kenyan Anges Jeruto won gold in one hour, 13 minutes and 31 seconds and Nyirarukundo scooped silver clocking 1 hour, 13 minutes and 55 seconds.

Sunday

Half Marathon 21km 8am

Full Marathon 42km 8:10am

Run for Peace 7km 8:20am

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