Defending champions Silas Ngetich and Maureen Chepkemboi will be looking to defend their crowns at this year's Safaricom Series Kisumu City race set for Sunday.
The duo will be among 350 athletes that have so far confirmed participation for the 13th edition of the Safaricom Series race.
“The weather in Kisumu is quite favourable for the race and we hope that the registration for the race will go higher than 350,” said Joseph Ochieng, Nyanza North Athletic Kenya Chairman.
Safaricom, who are the main sponsors of the race, have pumped in Sh1 million into the event.
Ochieng hinted to Nation Sport that this year’s event has been shortened from the usual 42km marathon owing to the reduction of the money pumped in by the sponsors.
“The money available can only cater for a 10km race because the first three winners of both the men and women category will walk away with Sh100,000, Sh50,000 and Sh25,000 each. Unlike last year where Sh2.5 million was spent and we had a full marathon,” said Ochieng.
He also said that all the top 10 winners of the marathon will also be awarded with gift hampers and medals.
Away from the 10km race, other new categories have been introduced in the competition. Short sprint races, Junior and veteran categories have also been introduced.
“We decided to have a race that is inclusive and that is why we have introduced new categories, this region has for a long time produced a good number of short race sprinters and we want to have them included.
“These new categories are strictly meant for athletes from Kisumu, Siaya, Homabay and Migori counties only, the rest can compete in other races,” added Ochieng.
In the junior category, boys and girls will compete for 8km and 6km respectively, while the veterans will go for a 2km race.
Ochieng confirmed that a 10km route has been identified around Milimani Estate in Kisumu.