Sports Cabinet Secretary Amb. Amina Mohamed this morning officially launched the Nairobi City Marathon at Fairmont Hotel, Nairobi with a clarion call for Kenyans to join her as one of the first to step on the newly-constructed Nairobi Expressway.
Also known as the Uhuru Classic, the marathon will be held on May 8 along the iconic and unique course of the Nairobi Expressway, bringing together thousands of runners from Kenya and beyond.
“Today we are witnessing a historic occasion as we launch this historic marathon. It will be historic because for the first time we will be witnessing our elite athletes running in their own country,” Amina said.
Amina added: “I invite all of us to run on that day even if for only 1km. No one will punish you for stopping along the way. Even if you will not run, just come and cheer our athletes.”
The CS described the marathon as a perfect tribute to President Uhuru Kenyatta for his immense contribution to the sports industry and his infrastructural development legacy.
“This will be an international marathon that will be held on a legacy project of his excellency President Uhuru Kenyatta. It is a perfect tribute to his infrastructural development legacy and contribution to sports. The Nairobi City marathon will be held for the next 10 years and we hope it will continue to commemorate the tremendous milestones achieved by the president in his tenure,” she said.
Athletics Kenya president Lt. Gen (Rtd) Jackson Tuwei thanked the government for its unwavering support for the marathon. He described the marathon as one for the history books as far as the prize money and environmental management is concerned.
“With a prize money of $60,000 for winners of full marathon, $2,500 for half marathon and $1,500 for 10km, this is undoubtedly the biggest road race in the continent and one with a potential of competing against the World Marathon Majors races,” Tuwei said.
He added: “This is the first marathon that will have air quality sensors to measure the air quality during the race. We already have air quality equipment.”
Tuwei further expressed hope that the marathon will witness the breaking of records.
“The course has been certified to international standards so any record broken will be internationally recognised. Kenyans have excelled in various city marathons around the world and we look forward to a great performance,” he said. Speaking at the same function, Peter Kioko from the National Bank of Kenya, said the bank will support the marathon all the way.“
Apart from banking services, we offer wealth management services. We are proud to be part of this marathon and invite all Kenyans to run. As an institution, we will be there to cheer you and support you,” Kioko said.
The starting and finish line for the marathon will be at Nyayo Stadium with the 42km run winding through the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport, Central Business District, ABC Place in Westlands and will cover 33km of the Nairobi Expressway and 9km of the rest of the city.