Nairobi — The County Government of Meru has launched its inaugural Mt. Kenya Mountain Running Championships to help raise funds to fight cancer, boost environmental conservation and promote the region as a tourist and investment hub.
The Championships, which will be held on February 22, 2020, targets 5,000 participants and spectators; and is scheduled to feature four race categories; 2km family fun run, 6km and 8km junior run and a 12km elites' race through the challenging Mount Kenya forest tracks.
Speaking during the event, Meru Governor Kiraitu Murungi said the event will offer participants a unique sporting opportunity to challenge the heights of Mt. Kenya and in the process raise funds to address the cancer raise in the county.
The rallying call for the run is 'Challenging the Heights'.
"The Mt. Kenya Mountain Running Championships is a great way for participants to combine passion for sport, test boundaries, and have fun," said the Governor as he appealed for corporate sponsorships.
Proceeds from the Championships will be used to fund the establishment of the Meru Cancer Center at the local Level 5 Hospital and a sanctuary for the mountain bongo and rhinos.
Meru is one of the 11 counties with high prevalence of cancer, according to a report presented to the National Assembly by the National Cancer Institute in June, 2019.
The report reveals that men and women are at a higher risk of prostate and breast cancer, respectively in the county.
The event will also be used to showcase the county as a tourist and investment hub.
"To attract and promote growth-oriented investments that are innovative and sustainable we established the Meru County Development Corporation to spearhead various initiatives. Through the championships, we are convinced that participants will be able to sample out numerous investment opportunities available," said Kiraitu.
The elite winner of the 12km race category will take home Sh500,000 while runner-up will take home Sh250,000 and the second runner-up will take home Sh100,000.