The top elite finishers at February’s inaugural Mt Kenya Mountain Running Championships in Meru can now bank their prize money following the completion of mandatory anti-doping procedures.
Organisers Tuesday said doping control tests on the leading 10 male and female finishers returned negative results thus qualifying them to pick their cheques.
Emmanuel Bor won the elite men’s 12-kilometre race in 46 minutes and 24 seconds, while home girl Purity Gitonga won the women’s race in 53:44.
“All elites who won finished in the top 10 places at the Mount Kenya Mountain Running Championships held in Meru on February, 22, 2020, can now get their cheques,” organisers said in a statement Tuesday.
“All they need to do is send a text message to the number 0728706758 and give their full name (as per their bank account), name of bank, branch, account number and race position.
“Their cheques will be banked in their accounts as soon as the information has been authenticated,” the statement added.
There has been concern in Kenyan road races lately where athletes’ prize money takes ages before being paid out.
The chairman of the Mt Kenya race’s organising committee, Joseph Kinyua, said they want to steer clear of such delays and added that plans for next year’s race have already kicked off with the organising team making some improvements based on their experience at the first championships organised at the Kenya School of Adventure and Leadership.
February’s race started at 2,811 metres above sea level, rising to 3,128 metres and proving quite challenging to the huge field of elite and fun runners.
Being the first run, February’s competition was a huge success, drawing in large corporate numbers and even a dozen diplomats, including the European Union’s Kenyan country head Simon Mordue, a fitness enthusiast, who clocked one hour and 15 minutes.
“We thank the athletes for honouring our event and winning clean and we look forward to their participation again next year,” Kinyua added.
This year’s competition was an initiative of Governor Kiraitu Murungi and the Meru County Government with Nation Media Group among the various partners.
Besides promoting mountain running talent, the Meru championships also aim to raise funds to support the fight against cancer, enhance environmental conservation and promote the tourism and trade in the region.
The cash prize for the 12-kilometre elite races was Sh500,000 with the second and third placed athletes banking Sh250,000 and Sh100,000, respectively.
Athletics Kenya were represented at the championships by the association’s president Jack Tuwei, chief executive officer Susan Kamau and Peter Angweyi, who is in charge of mountain running at AK’s Riadha House headquarters.
Nation Media Group’s chief executive officer Stephen Gitagama led a strong team of over 20 runners who competed in the corporate category.
The leading elite results were:
1.Emmanuel Bow (46 minutes and 24 seconds), 2. Martin Magu (46:25), 3. Dennis Kemboi (47:21), 4. Mnangat Willy (47:28), 5. Kenneth Kithinji (47:44), 6. Bernard Waweru (48:17).
1.Purity Gitonga (53:44), 2. Lucy Wambui (54:08), 3. Esther Waweru (55:02), 4. Millicent Gathoni (57:32), 5. Naomi Nduta (1:01:50), 6. Bancy Muthoni (1:04:03).