First Lady Margaret Kenyatta will compete in the 10km race during the third edition of the First Lady’s Half Marathon (21km) race scheduled for March 6 in Nairobi.
“I have not prepared well for the race this time. I will flag off the 21km race but compete in the 10km,” she told the Press after a morning run at Safaricom Stadium Kasarani on Thursday.
The First Lady, who is coached by former world marathon champion Douglas Wakiihuri, had in the last two editions competed in the 21km race.
She improved her previous time by 30 minutes, clocking 3:24:55 last year.
Kenyatta beat the previous year’s time of 3:53.05 in the annual race that is aimed at raising funds for the ‘Beyond Zero’ campaign.
The drive seeks to raise funds to increase access to better healthcare through the provision of mobile clinics for less fortunate Kenyans, especially expectant mothers.
“I am not quite sure about the time I would post in 10km but I would definitely be ready for the race,” said Kenyatta.
“I want to encourage people to continue registering and support this worthy cause,” she said.
The First Lady has been training three times a week at State House in Nairobi.
On Thursday, she was accompanied by members of her staff and the media during the 6.2km run outside Safaricom Stadium and completed the race in the arena.
Kenyatta said the previous editions have been successful as over Sh540 million have been raised to purchase ‘Beyond Zero’ mobile clinics, which have benefited 36 out of the 47 counties.
This year, organisers are targeting 70,000 participants to raise over Sh250 million, with Sh105 million expected to come from entry fees.
Race organisers Homeboyz Group chief executive officer Myke Rabar said 25,000 entrants had registered by Thursday.
He said electronic running chips would be used to deter cheating.
Last year’s race that started and ended at Nyayo National Stadium attracted 30,000 participants and over Sh240 million was raised.
The 2014 inaugural race realised over Sh200 million.
Organisers announced a slight change in the route for both the 21km and 10km races.
After the start at Nyayo National Stadium opposite Nakumatt, the contestants will hit Uhuru Highway, race against the traffic all the way to Kenyatta round-about before turning left towards Serena Hotel.
Last year, competitors made a left turn at Haile Sellasie roundabout towards Railway Golf Club entrance before turning right to join the Cathedral Way and onto Ngong Road.
The runners will make a U-turn at State House Road junction before heading towards city centre then Ngong Road.
They will head towards City Mortuary roundabout onto Mbagathi Road and then T-Mall roundabout.
The 10km runners will then head to the stadium for the finish while the 21km runners will move to Lusaka roundabout towards Mombasa Road where they will make a U-turn at General Motors for the race finish.