The second edition of Kaptagat Half Marathon will be held on Sunday.
The race will be staged under the theme “Sports for Conservation” and will see runners traverse the two counties of Elgeyo Marakwet and Uasin Gishu before finishing at Strawbag in Uasin Gishu.
The race will have a new champion in the women’s category after the defending champion Cynthia Cherop pulled out citing inadequate preparations.
Cherop won last year’s race in 71:30 while Philemon Rono won the men’s race in 62:23.
Three-time World Half Marathon champion Geoffrey Kamworor, who is the race ambassador, said that he was proud to be associated with the event and was looking forward to seeing future champions emerging from such competitions.
“As we enter the second edition of the race, I want to commend the organisers for their good work. Such races are good for the young upcoming athletes to nurture their talents," said Kamworor.
Race director Patrick Birgen said the event will reach out to many locals who want to run as well as promote the conservation of the forest.
“Our goal is to conserve the forest, which provides good training ground for our runners as well as wild animals. If the forest is not protected, our athletes won't have a place to train and enjoy the serene natural surroundings,” said Birgen. A number of athletes have trained in the forest including world marathon record holder Eliud Kipchoge, former two-time World marathon champion Abel Kirui, former 10,000m World champion Linet Masai, and Boston Marathon champion Lawrence Cherono.