Charles Yosei Mneria, fresh from a half marathon silver medal at last week's inaugural African Beach Games in Cape Verde, is among the top names expected for Sunday's Co-operative Alliance of Kenya (CAK) Ushirika 10-kilomtre road race in Nairobi.
Shortly after returning from Cape Verde, Yosei also bagged a slot in Kenya's 10,000 metres team to the African Games in Morocco after finishing third behind Edwin Soi and Japan-based Paul Tanui at the trials in Nairobi
He will be joined by other experienced athletes, Beatrice Mutai and Nicholas Kamakya, at Uhuru Park.
The CAK race day, that will also have five, seven and two kilometre races, received a major boost yesterday when six firms donated a total of Sh2.55m towards the meet that intends to raise close to Sh50 million for charity.
Among the companies that handed over their sponsorship cheques to organizers were Safaricom Sacco and Safaricom PLC, who gave out Sh1 million each, CIC Sacco (Sh150,000), Kuscco Sacco, Acosca and CBS/Clusa (Sh100,000 each).
The winners in the elite, 10-kilometre race will pocket Sh100,000 in both the men's and women's categories.
Speaking during the pre-race briefing on on Thursday, CAK chief operating officer Steve Otieno said they are targeting to raise at least Sh50 million to assist needy students to not only achieve basic education, but also support their social lives.
"The need for learners to access formal education is still a challenge, and, despite numerous efforts to address this issue, the gap has continued to widen and this has propelled us as cooperative societies to come up with a way to support additional learners," said Otieno.
Otieno added that they intend to spread the race initiative to each county since they boast close to 22,000 co-operative societies across the country.
Registration is ongoing and can be done through M-Pesa PayBill number 859989 with elite athletes required to pay Sh1,000 while for other races, runners will pay Sh500.