Preparations for the 10th Edition of the Safaricom Kisii Half Marathon are in top gear ahead of the event scheduled to take place this Friday 12th August.
Last year’s winners Grace Momanyi and Philip Koech are expected to defend their titles at the event, which will host over 500 athletes from North and Central Rift, Bomet, Nandi, Nyamira, Eldoret, Iten, Kisii, Kilgoris and Transmara regions
The 21KM road race has received sponsorship worth Sh1 million from Safaricom, and will be flagged off by His Excellency James Ongwae, Governor Kisii County, at 7.30am at Kisii Primary School.
“We want to encourage as many athletes as possible to come and participate. Registration has already kicked off and we expect a good turnout from the spectators as well,” said Ken Boro, Athletics Kenya Secretary – Nyanza South.
“Such events present a great opportunity for athletes to hone their skills and prepare for international events, and we urge them to make use of these events as a stepping stone to the bigger races,” he added.
The Kisii Half Marathon was launched in 2007. In 2010, Safaricom came onboard as a partner with a sponsorship of Sh.200, 000. This sponsorship has grown to a total of Sh.4.3 million over the years, with the prize money for position one also increasing from Sh.10, 000 in 2007 to Sh.75, 000 this year.
“We are very grateful to our partners in athletics for giving us an opportunity to support both the established and upcoming athletes, and we are honoured to be able to provide them with a platform to perfect their skills. This event is part of our investment in athletics this year and we are glad that the interest in the sport continues to grow,” said George Ndhiwa, Head of Regional Sales and Operations Western Region – Safaricom.
Last year, Grace Momanyi won the women’s 21KM race with a time of 1:14:00 while Philip Koech clocked 1:02:54 to take the crown in the men’s race.
The Safaricom Kisii Half Marathon has produced international athletes such as De’Clerk Omari, Wesley Ochoro, Ruth Bosibori, Edwin Mokua and Grace Momanyi among others.
Other upcoming long distance races in the Safaricom Athletics Series include the Mombasa International Marathon, Ndalat Gaa Cross Country, Madoka Marathon, Imenti South Road Race and Kisumu Town Marathon.