Nairobi — In a bid to have it promoted to the world's elite marathons, this year's Nairobi Standard Chartered Marathon will see over 200 technical officials deployed by Athletics Kenya (AK) to monitor the annual race that will run on Saturday in the capital city.
Athletics Kenya Nairobi boss, Barnabas Korir said the event organizers are paying extra attention to the technical aspects of the city road race as they aspire to get the road race in the IAAF permit.
Over 20,000 participants have registered for the run that returns to its traditional venue, the Nyayo National Stadium.
For the first time in a long period, race organisers have increased the prize money from Sh1.5 million to Sh2 million.
And in line with the international safety provisions, the Nairobi Traffic department on Tuesday released an elaborate road closure diversions schedule that will see traffic to and out of the city diverted to alternative roads between 4am and 2pm.
The affected roads include sections of Mombasa Road, Uhuru Highway, Upper Hill and Forest road while within the CBD, Kenyatta Avenue, Muindi Mbingu and sections of Haile Selasie and University Way will also be closed.
"We do not expect a major disruption in the flow of traffic. We have carefully organized traffic diversions to ensure that Nairobi County residents have alternative routes to critical locations in the city including hospitals, churches and airports," Traffic Commandant, Nairobi County, Joshua Omukata announced.
The event organizers have announced a few changes to the route for the six race categories largely due to relocation of the start and finish points back to in and around Nyayo Stadium.
Speaking during a press briefing, Peter Gitau, the Chairman of the Local Organizing Committee expressed optimism that the goal of raising Sh60 million this year for the FutureMakers initiative will be attained.
"We have increased the prize money from Sh1.5 to Sh2m for 42km, and from Sh150,000 to S 300,000 for 21km and we have noticed heightened interest from the elite and fun runners," Gitau underscored.
"So far, we have registered close to 20,000 participants and we are optimistic of reaching our target. There is a big uptake from both individuals and corporates entries. We expect this trend to boost the numbers towards achieving our target of 25 000 runners," Gitau added.
Registration is still open at www.nairobimarathon.com. All proceeds from registration will be channeled to towards "Futuremakers", the banks' our new community initiative aimed at supporting disadvantaged young people from low-income households and people with visual impairments, to take part in programmes focused on education, employability and entrepreneurship.
Kit collection is currently ongoing at KICC for all individual entries, for corporates kits are being delivered to all registered corporates.