Julius Kipyego Keter, who finished second at the 2017 Standard Chartered Hong Kong Marathon and Edinburgh Marathon champion Julius Kiplagat Korir will grace this year's Standard Chartered Nairobi Marathon slated for October 28 in Nairobi.
Keter, who is yet to compete this year, won the Mérida Marathon in Mexico in January last year in 2:21:22, before finishing second at Hong Kong's Standard Chartered Marathon in 2:10:34 a month later.
Keter would then settle for second again at the Santiago de Chile Marathon in a personal best 2:09:55 in April while Korir, who won Edinburgh Marathon in 2:17:13 last year, is fresh from claiming victory at Las Palmas Gran Canaria Marathon in 2:18:14 in Spain.
Speaking during the sponsorship launch at Uhuru Park, Nairobi on Thursday, Standard Chartered Nairobi Marathon local organising committee chairman, Peter Gitau disclosed that Keter and Kori are part of the 10,000 participants, who have so far registered for the event.
Gitau said that registration is ongoing online at www.sc.com/ke/Nairobimarathon at a fee of Sh 2,000 until October 15 from where it will increase to Sh 2,500. The entry deadline is October 27.
"We target to raise Sh 60m from an entry of between 25,000 to 30,000 participants," said Gitau during the event that coincided with a free eye camp at Uhuru Park to mark World Sight Day.
Last year, the event that attracted 14,000 participants with Sh 40 million being raised for the Seeing is Believing initiative.
On Thursday, Gitau was at hand to receive a total of Sh 19.75 million in cash and kind from five sponsors. Nairobi County Government gave Sh8 million, Alpine Waters Sh6.7 million, Tsebo Sh3.05 million, Internet Solution Sh1.5 million and Subaru Kenya Sh500,000.
"This year marks the 15th anniversary of the Seeing is Believing initiative and I am happy to announce that the bank has reached the goal it set in 2011 to raise US$ 100 million (Sh 10 billion), two years ahead of scheduled, for the fight against avoidable blindness and visual impairment," said Gitau, who was accompanied by the bank's global head of corporate affairs, brand and marketing, Tracy McDelmot.
Standard Chartered Bank has ploughed Sh 100million into this year's event where Sh 8 million has been set aside as prize money.
Just like last year, the winners in men and women's marathon (42km) will pocket Sh 1.5m while those winning the half marathon (21km) will earn Sh 200,000 each.
For the second year running, the race will start along Haile Selassie Avenue opposite Railway Club since the traditional host venue, Nyayo National Stadium, is still undergoing renovations.
The route will remain the same though some minor changes will be made on starting points for the six races on card on the day at the Railway Club venue.