Marathon star Lucy Kabuu was on Wednesday named brand ambassador for the Goldenscape Trees Africa Marathon with its inaugural race featuring a 10-kilometre run in Nyeri County on Saturday.
Kabuu, who clocked two hours, 27 minutes and two seconds to win the 2018 Emporio Armani Milano Marathon in Italy last month, said she decided to support the initiative since planting of trees would provide perfect training conditions for athletes.
"I am honoured to be part of this 'Run for Trees Awareness' event because it's a worthy cause. It will set up a good climate for our athletes.
"Being a role model, I would also like to identify and nurture talents in the entire central region and participating in this race will give me an opportunity to interact with them," said Kabuu, who is also the 2006 Commonwealth Games 10,000 metres champion.
The run, under the theme "Run for Trees Awareness", is an initiative aiming at encouraging Kenyans to plant over seven million trees and will be rolled out in all the 47 counties.
The Nyeri race will be flagged off by the Nyeri Agriculture executive, Fredrick Kinyua at the District Officer's office in Ruring'u with the athletes then heading to Tetu farmers, KNA Owalo, Thuta, Micha, Old Gatitu Road, Gwa Chaba, Ithenguri, Chorong'i, Gatirini, Kiamwathi Empowerment Centre and then back to the finish point at the Dedan Kimathi stadium.
There will also be a six-kilometre race as well as a fun run with the organisers planning to plant at least 2,000 trees in various schools around Nyeri.
Winner of the 10km races (men and women) will each earn Sh50,000, while runners-up will take home Sh25,000 and third placed finishers will pocket Sh10,000.
Chief Executive Peter Wangai said the Road Races will be taken to every county in a bid to increase Kenya's forest cover.
"Through Goldenscape Trees Africa, we will teach young people on tree investments in every county, targeting to employ about 5 million youth," Wangai said.
The organisers have so far planted about 5 million trees in the country. President Uhuru Kenyatta last week urged county governments to plant over 5 million trees in the counties.