Meru county is set to start the first mountain running event in the country, in a bid to boost tourism and popularize the race among residents.
The inaugural race to be held in September at the foot of Mt Kenya at least 2,000 metres above sea level, will see runners compete along the scenic Unesco world heritage site.
Race organizer Joseph Kinyua, former Athletics Kenya treasurer and the current Meru Sports Council Chairman, said preparations had started in earnest with renown athletics coach Peter Mathu marking the route.
Speaking to Nation Sport after assessing rehabilitation works at Kinoru Stadium, Kinyua said though the race was not popular in the country many Kenyans have taken part and won various mountain races across the world.
He said athletes will be hosted at the Kenya School of Adventure and Leadership and will run from the scenic Timau to Kiirua and Kibirichia areas.
“Kenya has taken teams to world events and at one time, our women team won. Four athletes from Meru recently took part in various races and would be keen to run here at home. There is a course where people can run for 10 kilometres,” he said.
Former world marathon champion Douglas Wakiihuri, who was also present, has volunteered to train local youth interested in running professionally to sharpen their skills.