This year’s Safaricom Madoka Half Marathon slated for October 5 in Ngerenyi, Taita Taveta County, got a major boost on Wednesday when six companies unveiled a total of Sh6.55 million in sponsorship to its kitty.
The race founder, Marsden Madoka, received a sponsorship cheque of Sh3 million from Kenya Ports Authority (KPA) while Safaricom gave Sh2 million in a ceremony held at Riadha House, Nairobi.
Brookside Dairy were also at hand to donate Sh750,000 with Kenya Civil Aviation Authority (KCAA) handing over Sh300,000 for the 14th edition of the race that has a reduced prize fund of Sh1.44million.
The top prize fund has been scaled down from Sh500,000 from last year for each winner in men and women’s races to Sh300,000 each. Runners up will pocket Sh150,000 down from Sh250,000 last year while the reward for third placed athletes remains the same at Sh100,000.
Madoka attributed the prize fund reshuffle to tough economic times as Athletics Kenya Coast Region chairman Dimi Kisalu disclosed that plans to host the race are complete.
At the same time, the annual Mombasa Marathon that was to mark its 38th edition this year has be scrapped owing to reduced funding from their main sponsor.
Instead, the race has been replaced with a 10km race programmed for September 22 in Mombasa as Safaricom put aside Sh1 million for the race, a drastic reduction from a sponsorship of Sh2.5 million last year.
Athletics Kenya Coast Region chairman Dimi Kisalu disclosed on Wednesday that they have been forced to scale it down to 10km since they will be unable to pay athletes coming for the full marathon.
“AK rules demand that we pay each winner of the marathon races a minimum of Sh500,000 each. Having spent close to Sh2 million last year, we can’t sustain the race this year especially after a short notice of slashed sponsorship from Safaricom,” said Kisalu.
The men and women’s winner will pocket Sh100,000 each in a prize fund that trickles down to top 10 finishers.