Fresh from a third-place finish at Gyeongju Marathon in Korea on Mashujaa Day, Joshua Kipkorir is confident of recapturing the Standard Chartered Nairobi Marathon title on Sunday.
Kipkorir, who has finished three of his marathons this year, is among over 15,000 participants, who had registered for the Standard Chartered Nairobi Marathon by Tuesday evening.
Sunday has six races but the highlight is the men and women’s marathon race where the winners will get to pocket Sh2 million each. This makes it the second richest race in the country, with the prize money up from Sh1.5 million. The Eldoret City Marathon has the highest prize for winners in the country at Sh3.5 million.
In total, the prize fund has been increased from Sh8.5 million from last year to Sh10.5 million this year with the race also being moved from Uhuru Park to its traditional ground of Nyayo National Stadium.
Kipkorir launched his season on February 2 with a second place finish at Lagos Marathon in 2 hours, 18 minutes and 16 seconds, and would then fail to finish Daegu International Marathon on April 7 in Korea.
Kipkorir finished third at Gyeongju Marathon is his second career best time over the distance of 2:09:50 on Sunday.
“I still feel strong. I will just take is easy and slow and see how the first 20km will go,” said the 25-year-old Kipkorir, who will be making his third appearance at Standard Chartered Nairobi after finishing third in 2017 in 2:13:27 in a race won by Brimin Kipkorir in 2:12:39.
“This event is more or less like training for me also ahead of the 2020 season where I will be targeting other majors races. Most of these races are won mentally,” said Kipkorir, who has been training in Kaptagat, Elgeyo Marakwet along he likes of this year’s Boston and Chicago Marathon champion Lawrence Cherono.
Interestingly, it’s in Nairobi where Kipkorir launched his marathon career.
In 2017, Kipkorir tackled Mumbai Standard Chartered Marathon where he finished second in a personal best of 2:09:50, failed to finish Milano Marathon in Italy but bounced back for 10th place at Gongju Dong-A Marathon (2:13:50), Korea.
Kipkorir closed the year with a third place in 2:13:27 at Nairobi Standard Chartered Marathon.
Kipkorir had a great 2018 season where he signed off with victory at Singapore Standard Chartered Marathon, Singapore in 2:12:20 in December.
The Local Organising Committee chairman Peter Gitau disclosed at a media briefing yesterday that the full list of elite athlete entries will be released on Friday when the deadline for registration ends.
Registration is ongoing online at www.sc.com/ke/Nairobimarathon at a fee of Sh 2,000 and those who have registered can get their running kit from Kenyatta International Convention Centre.
“We expect a surge in the coming days with close to 25,000 participants and Sh 60 million being raised this year for the ‘Seeing is Believing’,” said Gitau, who was accompanied by Nairobi Area Traffic boss Joshua Omukata, Police superintendent Samuel Boit and Athletics Kenya Nairobi chairman Barnaba Korir.
Omukata cashed on the moment to detail on the routes that will be closed starting 11pm on Saturday especially some sections of Mombasa Road and some feeder roads to the City Centre.