First Lady Margaret Kenyatta has taken her zealous preparations for the 2014 London Marathon to Iten.
Mrs Kenyatta’s high-altitute training kicked off yesterday under the keen watch of her coach, former World Marathon champion Douglas Wakiihuri albeit with challenges.
The First Lady had only covered seven of the 14 kilometres she was expected to cover during yesterday’s training at Iten’s Kamariny Stadium when heavy rains cut short her plans.
She is prepararing to particiapate in the April 13 marathon in London which will be part of her wider initiative to raise money that will be used to improve maternal healthcare in Kenya.
Mrs Kenyatta Landed in Iten yesterday and she is expected to camp there for for one week.
Just two weeks ago, the First Lady a successfully organised the inaugural First Lady’s Half Marathon at Nairobi’s Uhuru Gardens is which she participated alongside some of Kenya’s greatest marathon runners Catherine Ndereba and Tegla Loroupe.
Deputy President’s wife Rachel Ruto and Cabinet Secretary Charity Ngilu were also in the race.
The President’s wife will use the proceeds from the Nairobi race as well as London marathon to purchase a mobile clinic for a mobile clinic for each of the 47 counties.
And in Iten, Mrs Kenyatta had a chance to experience the challenges athletes face during their preparations as she had her programme suspended, even as she remains keen to take on her second marathon.
While in Iten, the First Lady is also expected to visit the newly unveiled Lorna Kiplagat training camp where she is likely to take her training.
Poor facilities further complicated Mrs Kenyatta’s training with sections of athletes and coaches calling on the government to put up structures to support athletics in the region.
“It is so sad that the First Lady got disappointed due to bad weather and above all, lack of facilities. We hope our pleas will be heard,” said Wilson Kipsang, the World Marathon record holder.
The national and the county governments should come together and ensure training facilities improved.
“Facilities here are in pathetic conditions and the leadership must come up with harmonized plan tom imprive them,” Kipsang said.
Most facilities lack essentials such as shelters and changing rooms.”
Richard Metto, a marathon coach, also said the journey before bagging gold has a myriad of challenges and much needed to be done if the national flag should stay hoisted higher in the sports world.
Meanwhile, works at the Kipchoge Stadium in Eldoret have resumed after the government released Sh25 million for completion last Monday.
Project contractor Akber Jamal says the final layer of asphalt will complete by Thursday this week, which leads to commencement of laying of tartan immediately when rains stop.