Kenya: New Route Announced for Stanchart Nairobi Meet

(file photo).
19 October 2021

The Standard Chartered Nairobi Marathon organisers Monday announced a new route for the event slated for October 31.

At the same time, the meet which enters its 18th edition, received a sponsorship boost of Sh15 million.

In a departure from tradition, the race will be held around the Southern bypass. The start and finish will be at the Carnivore grounds with the 2,500 participants getting a chance to view Nairobi National Park.

In previous competitions, the race was held along sections of Mombasa, Upper Hill and Forest roads and Uhuru Highway. Within the central business district, Kenyatta Avenue, Muindi Mbingu Street and sections of Haile Selassie and University Way were part of the route. The start and finish of the race was at Nyayo National Stadium.

The Nairobi Traffic Department has already announced road closures for this new route which is expected to attract elite runners from countries such as Uganda and Ethiopia.

Nairobi Traffic Police Commander in charge Joshua Omukata Monday said that to enhance safety the department has designed an elaborate road closure diversions schedule. Traffic to and out of the Southern bypass will be diverted to alternative roads between October 30 midnight and 1pm on October 31.

Omukata said all interchanges to the Southern bypass will be closed with the Dagoretti interchange partially closed.

"Motorists will be diverted to Dagoretti Road, Lang'ata Road, Enterprise Road, Uhuru Highway and Waiyaki Way. Trucks from the Inland Container Depot will be redirected to Mombasa Road within the stipulated period," he said.

Omukata said they are working to ensure minimal disruption to motorists and pedestrians. Users of the Southern bypass, he said, are advised to use alternative routes provided.

The new Southern bypass route was chosen due to ongoing construction of the Nairobi Expressway along Uhuru Highway and Mombasa Road. The Southern bypass was picked due to its proximity to the scenic National Park which will help boost tourism.

Peter Gitau, the chairman of the Local Organising Committee, expressed confidence that the marathon would go on without hitches.

He said this year's event will have a virtual race between October 25 and 31 because of Covid protocols.

"We are limited to the number of people who can participate in the physical marathons which is why we have also introduced a virtual one. We've also partnered with running clubs and Kenya Forest service to encourage participants to use green spaces for their virtual runs," he said.

The physical race will cover 10km, 21km, 21km wheelchair race as well as the 42km corporate relay. Qualifying times for elite athletes have been adjusted to allow for more reach and inclusion, with registration fee dropped from Sh2,000 to Sh1,000.

Big names confirmed participation are reigning Family Bank Eldoret Half Marathon champion Daniel Simiu and 2017 Taiyuan Marathon queen Chemutai Riunotukei who was second in Standard Chartered Nairobi Marathon in 2019, as well as Brilian Jepkorir and Fridah Lodepa.

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