The organisers of Mombasa Marathon due for Sunday at the coastal city have increased the prize package for the race with winners in the 42km event assured of Sh500,000.
Athletics Kenya (AK) Coast region chairman Dimmy Kisalu disclosed on Wednesday that they have increased the package to conform with AK road races rules.
Last year, the winners pocketed Sh400,000 each in the race that attracted an elite field of 500 athletes both in 42km and 10km races. Kisalu explained that his committee will convene Thursday to discuss the rest of the prize structures among other logistics ahead of the race.
“We have to lead by an example by conforming to the rules but we can only confirm the rest of the prize money for other positions after the meeting,” said Kisalu.
Mombasa International Marathon is part of the Safaricom Athletics Series with organisers expecting close to Sh 2.5mllion in sponsorship for the race.
Kisalu disclosed that several past winners drawn from across the region, including defending champions Paul Maina from Nyeri and Nancy Jebet, are among those who have confirmed their participation.
“No athlete has ever defended the title since Daniel Nzioka, who completed a successive hat-trick in 1991 and Grace Chebet, who completed a double for her third title in 1999,” said Kisalu.
Kisalu announced that Uganda’s season marathoner Alex Malinga, who won the 2004 edition, will be making a return to the event. Deklerk Omari from Kisii, who won the 2012 will also be in contention.
Four athletes will represent Tanzania with most of the entrants coming from the Rift Valley region.
Peter Kemboi holds the course record of 2:09:21 from 2007.
“We expect the course record to go down if the current rains will continue to Sunday since the weather will be cool,” Kisalu said.
Other upcoming races in the Safaricom Athletics Series include Kericho Road Race, Isaiah Kiplagat Memorial Ndalat, Madoka Half Marathon, Imenti South Road Race and the Kisumu County National Marathon which will wind up this year’s edition in December.
“We are committed to ensuring that we give a platform to our athletes to hone their skills through events that take place in different parts of the country,” said Sylvia Mulinge, Director, Consumer Business, Safaricom.