The organisers of the Kass International Marathon have introduced an appearance fee for athletes who clock a time of less than 2 hours and 10 minutes.
Kass chief executive officer Julius Lamaon disclosed that the move to introduce an appearance fee of Sh500,000 is geared towards attracting a quality field in men’s 42km race.
Lamaon indicated that the organisers are also considering a similar move for the women's race but the plans are still being discussed, adding that they will encourage athletes to form county teams as there will be a special prize for that category.
The winners of the 42km men's and women's race will pocket Sh1.5m each in prize money with the top 10 also being rewarded.
This will be the first time an appearance fee is being introduced in races in the country.
Lamaon also indicated that they will hold anti-doping seminars in Kapsabet and Eldoret to sensitise the athletes on dangers of doping offenses.
Lamaon, who was speaking during a breakfast sponsorship drive that netted Sh12m, said they expect a turnout of over 5,000 athletes in the three races: 42km, 12km and the 5km fun race. The full marathon races will begin in Kapsabet before snaking through to the finish in Eldoret.
Acording to the organisers, there have already been two entrants from Ethiopia but they were yet to confirm their times and status. The entry fee across the categories is Sh200. Among the locals who have confirmed participation is the 2011 champion Paul Koech.
Previous participants of the marathon are the reigning New York marathon champion Geoffrey Mutai who finished runner-up in 2007 and Rita Jeptoo who won the 2011 event on her way to victory at the 2013 Boston and Chicago marathons.
Others are the 2011 Standard Chartered Dubai Marathon winner David Barmasai Tumo, who is also the 2010 Standard Chartered Nairobi Marathon champion.
Lamaon indicated that there will be thorough health checks on participating athletes adding that they have secured an insurance policy for all the contestants courtesy of Amarco Insurace.
Trans National Bank are the title sponsors with a package of Sh3m. Other sponsors are New KCC (Sh3m), Jamii Telkom (Sh3m), Brookside Dairy (Sh2.5m), Amaco Insurance (Sh2m), Safaricom (Sh1m), Labtrust (Sh500,000) and Ad West (Sh100,000).
This year’s Kass International Marathon is set for November 17 in Nandi and Uasin Gishu counties.