More than 5,000 fans are expected to be ferried from various wards in Uasin Gishu County and the neighbouring Nandi and Elgeyo Marakwet Counties for Saturday's National Cross Country Championships.
Uasin Gishu County Jackson Mandago said his county will facilitate the travel of 5,000 people to the venue from all the 30 wards in the county with more than 70 buses being fuelled by the county government.
Mandago said that he is liaising with his counterparts: Stephen Sang (Nandi) and Alex Tolgos (Elgeyo-Marakwet) to ensure that all residents wishing to travel to the venue are ferried from all the wards in the region.
“It will be a battle of titans and it is good you see the athletes at the grounds because this will be a mini Denmark in Eldoret. We call on our people to turn up in large numbers for this historic event,” said Mr Mandago.
Local Organizing Committee chairman Abraham Mutai said that Eldoret Sports Club is expected to be full by noon as many fans wait for the action to start in the afternoon.
“With counties ferrying about 5,000 fans, we are expecting to see about 10,000 people on Saturday because this is the hub of athletics where the champions are made,” said Mutai, who is also the Central Rift Athletics Kenya chairman.
Deputy President William Ruto will be among the thousands expected to grace the occasion, which will be used to select the team that will represent Kenya at the 43rd IAAF World Cross Country Championships in Aarhus, Denmark next month.
A spot check by the Nation Sport at Eldoret Sports Club on Tuesday revealed that officials from Athletics Kenya were doing final touches, marking the race course and erecting barriers.
According to the technical director of the event, David Letting, all is set and they will be waiting for the athletes to arrive as from Thursday ahead of the championships.
“We shall have mud obstacle which is 20 metres which is one feet deep, three in one obstacles which is two metres apart three hills. We have finished preparations and are looking forward to a great event on Saturday,” said Letting.
Meanwhile, security chiefs in the region under the chairmanship of Uasin Gishu County Commissioner Abdi Hassan on Tuesday held a meeting ahead of the historic event.
“We’ve put in place all security arrangements in place to ensure the success of the event which we are very happy to host. We made all logistics on traffic management and the general security arrangement before and after the event,” Mr Hassan told the Nation Sport.
“We call on the public to cooperate with the organising committee. We are happy the event will be in the afternoon and nobody will be inconvenienced,” added the administrator.
He however warned no lawlessness will be tolerated and those planning to cause disturbances will be dealt with firmly.
“Security will be adequately deployed and we shall have enough officers at the grounds to ensure everyone enjoys the event in peace. We are just waiting for final touches from the event organisers,” said Mr Hassan.
Hoteliers are looking forward to cash in on the visitors who will seek accommodation and food in the town.
“This is a perfect opportunity to market Eldoret as a favourite tourist destination. As hoteliers, we assure the visitors that they will enjoy a serene environment away from home,” said Kevin Okwara, owner and proprietor of the Noble Hotel in Eldoret.