Kenya’s first Commonwealth Games women’s marathon winner, Irene Jerotich, led elite marathoners during the launch of the inaugural Kabarak University Half Marathon race in Nakuru on Wednesday.
The ceremony, which was held at Kabarak University, was also graced by three other leading marathoners in the country.
They included Nicholas Kamakya, who last year won the Gold Coast Marathon in Australia and also finished fourth in the Amsterdam Marathon.
Also present was Patrick Ivuti, who won the Chicago Marathon in 2008 after conquering the Prague Marathon in the Czech Republic in 2007.
Preparing for Berlin
Jerotich, the two-time Standard Chartered Nairobi International Marathon winner and the reigning Milan Marathon champion, said she would participate in the race.
“I have looked forward to participating in a home-based marathon,” said the 32-year-old mother of two, “and since the Kabarak University Half Marathon will be held a few kilometres from my home village, I will be on the starting list as I want to appreciate my home fans and family.”
The runner further disclosed that she was preparing for the Berlin Marathon, which will be held in September.
Jerotich, who trains at Lembus Central Forest in Eldama Ravine in Baringo County, finished 10th in the World Athletics Championships in Daegu, South Korea.
The Kabarak University vice-chancellor, Prof Dankit Nasiuma, said the proceeds of the race would be used in helping vulnerable children at Ngata Baby Care Centre and building a modern fitness centre there.
Win a heifer
He said the winners of the event, which will be held on June 30, will walk home with a heifer valued at Sh200,000 while other winners will get cash prizes ranging from Sh500 to Sh100,000.
The race has three categories – 21 kilometres for senior men and women, 5km for corporate sponsors and a children’s race.
Registration is ongoing at the TransNational Bank branches countrywide and at the Kabarak University at a fee of Sh300.
The race was officially launched by the permanent secretary in the Ministry of Public Works, Prof John Lonyangapuo, who is also the Kabarak University Council chairman.