Battle galore as elite athletes train eyes on Ndakaini race


Patrick Kipngeno crosses the finish line of the 21KM Race, 13th UAP Old Mutual Ndakaini ...
Patrick Kipngeno crosses the finish line of the 21KM Race, 13th UAP Old Mutual Ndakaini Half Marathon. PHOTO/Bernard Ndong

Over 4,000 professional and amateur athletes have registered to participate in the 14th edition of the UAP Old Mutula Ndakaini Half-Marathon which takes place on Saturday in Muranga County.

Of these, a total of 146 elite athletes will participate in the 21km and 10km categories, as they sweat it out for the prize money which has this year been increased by 50 percent.

The prize monies have been increased to Sh 300,000 for winners in both categories (male and female) in the 21 km race, and Sh 150,000 for the runners up, while third place finishers will pocket Sh 105,000.

Royal Media Services which has been a major partner of the event will sponsor this year’s edition to a tune of Sh 20 million worth of airtime.

At a press briefing in Nairobi on Wednesday, James Wambugu, UAP’s Managing Director of the General Insurance said that preparations for the event is complete, adding that security will be tight.

“Today is the pre-final briefing. The preparations are complete; the routes are tarmacked and are ready. Security arrangements are in place; both the national security and our own hired security,” Wambugu said, adding, “We have registered 3,400 athletes so far, we also have a group of 150 elite runners who will participate.”

Seasoned long distance runner Lucy Kabuu who competed in the 2014 Copenhagen World Marathon is among the top guns set to battle it out for the  honours.

TOUGH RACE:A participant charges on on the course during a past edition of the race.
TOUGH RACE:A participant charges on on the course during a past edition of the race.

In an effort to tackle the doping menace, this year’s marathon will see elite athletes undertake doping tests before and after the race.

“It is no secret that we are currently facing a doping issue globally to curb this at the UAP Old Mutual Ndakaini Marathon, AK will carry out the process.”

There are three categories in the showdown that will feature, the main race( 21km) , 10km (both road and corporate ) and the  race 5km race for adults and children.

Report by Erastus Muturi

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