Nairobi — Marathon world record holder Eliud Kipchoge joined First Lady Margaret Kenyatta in launching the 2020 edition of the Beyond Zero Half Marathon at State House, Nairobi on Tuesday.
Kipchoge, still basking in the glory of becoming the first man to run a marathon under two hours even joined the First Lady for a light jog around the State House gardens alongside his wife Grace Sugut and the First Lady's trainer Douglas Wakihuri.
Meanwhile, while restating her commitment to continue advocating for initiatives aimed at improving provision of quality healthcare to women and children, the First Lady announced the expansion of the Beyond Zero medical scholarship programme from the current 100 to 200 beneficiaries next year.
She said the funds raised through the marathon will be deployed to refurbish health facilities as well as kick-start the process of setting up a specialized Beyond Zero referral health facility.
"Through the funds raised we will continue to be responsive to the needs of communities by rebuilding or refurbishing and equipping specialized health units to serve communities in marginalized areas," the First Lady said.
At the launch, the First Lady expressed concerns about the increasing cancer cases and new adolescent HIV infections in the country.
She urged Kenyans and well-wishers to continue supporting efforts aimed at enhancing the delivery of health services in the country including the Beyond Zero initiative.
"Our work is not finished. The worrying trend of increased cancer hurts our families, hurts our communities, hurts our nation. In addition, increase of new adolescent HIV infections threatens to disrupt Kenya's opportunity to reap from our demographic dividend from a youthful generation," the First Lady said.
The race has been scheduled for March 8, 2020.