Nairobi — Over 20 elite athletes have confirmed participation at this year's Chemususu Dam Half Marathon to be graced by 1992 Olympic champion Matthew Birir when the annual race will held on Saturday in Eldama Ravine, Baringo County.
Speaking during the launch of the fourth edition that received Sh6m sponsorship boost from various corporate on Wednesday, chairman of the race Josephat Kigen said they are targeting over 1000 participants as they aim to fundraise to help educate the needy in the Eldama Ravine constituency.
"The objective of the race is to raise funds to educate the needy bright children in the Eldama Ravine constituency. We are expecting atleast 1000 runners because the race is getting popular. We have already 14 elite athletes so we shall have over 20 of them. This race is becoming a national function and our hope in future is to reach the heights of Ndakaini Half Marathon," Kigen said.
Delhi, 2010 Commonwealth Games women's marathon champion Irene Jerotich who comes from the region has called on upcoming athletes to compete in the race on Saturday, because the event is a breeding ground for world beaters.
"Chemususu has helped the village and t has been the training ground for many champions. This initiative has brought upcoming athletes who have gone ahead to win major races in the world. As home residents we urge other athletes to come and join us in this event," Jerotich said.
Jerotich, who won the 2006 Nairobi Standard Chartered Marathon, has been out of competition for four years after picking a toe injury but she is optimistic of returning to active racing in 2018.
The race received a major boost including Sh1.5m sponsorship from the title sponsors Rift Valley water services, Sh500,000 each from Kenya Power and Lightening Company, Kenya Commercial Bank, Transnational Bank ,CFC Stanbic Bank and Kenya Civil Aviation among others.
This is the first time the race has been included in the Athletics Kenya calendar and will see athletes compete in the 21km and 10 km races.