This year’s Standard Chartered Nairobi Marathon has netted Sh172 million in sponsorship money.
Eleven corporate firms bolstered title sponsors Standard Chartered Bank’s efforts with a total of Sh80.55 million in cash and kind as the organisers announced minor changes to the route within the central business district for the race due October 26.
The Standard Chartered Nairobi Marathon organising committee chairman, Peter Gitau, received sponsorship of Sh25 million from Majestics Printing Works and Sh21 million from G4S security company at a sponsors’ breakfast meeting at the Sarova Stanley hotel.
Also offering the event insurance cover worth Sh7.5 million is Jubilee Insurance, as Alpine Coolers, PesaPal, Access Kenya and Nakumatt Holdings gave out Sh6 million each.
Parapet Cleaning Services handed in Sh12 million, AAR Sh1 million, Subaru Kenya Sh500,000 and Greenloop International Sh350,000.
Standard Chartered Bank, which renewed its sponsorship of the event last year for another five years, will spend Sh91 million in this year’s championship.
This year's race has attracted 3,000 participants as of Thursday.
BIG FIVE MARATHON
Mr Gitau thanked the sponsors for partnering with Standard Chartered Bank, saying through their support the profile of the event would be raised higher to join the Big Five Marathon leagues in future.
“Your contributions make it possible for us to continuously improve the marathon year on year. If more sponsors come on board, I guarantee you the Nairobi marathon will undisputedly rival the likes of the London, Berlin and Boston marathons,” said Gitau.
Unlike the previous event, this year’s race will not go through Koinange Street, which has now been replaced by Muindi Mbingu Street after issues were raised about traffic on that street.
The organisers have also introduced changes that they hope would lift the status of the race and curb cheating incidents.
Running microchips will be introduced in the 10km race to curb the cheating that rocked both the men's and women’s races last year.
And even though the finishing points for 42km (full marathon) and 21 km (half marathon) races will remain inside Nyayo National Stadium, the end points of the two races have been separated to avoid the confusion that almost saw an intruder declared winner of the women’s 42km race last year.
This year’s race targets to raise over Sh25 million for charity, up from Sh23.09 million realised last year.
Last year’s race attracted 22,000 participants, but an estimated 25,000 are expected this year.
Speaking during the sponsorship launch, Athletics Kenya Vice President David Okeyo said doping tests will be conducted during the races.