The fourth edition of Kenya Airways Masai Mara marathon is expected to attract a record number of over 3000 local and international runners when the race finally take place on September 22, at the Lemek conservancy in Narok County.
Last year, 2500 athletes lined up for the race which is ran in the wilderness and according to the race chairman, John Konchella, this edition will not only see a slight increment in the number of participants but also the security for the participants.
“We don’t envisage the growth of the number of participants this year. Our main aim is to have a quality race down in mara and we can assure that the security will be tight,’ said Konchela.
The race may however face the low turnout due to the 2012 London Olympic Games as elite athletes, both locally and internationally could snub the event but the organizers are optimistic that it will be a success .
“We are expecting a large number of athletes this year but it will be challenging to get senior athletes take part due to Olympics. Registration is ongoing and we will see who registers and who doesn’t,’ said the race’s technical director, Robert Ouko.
Ouko also explained that there is no major changes in route that was used last year with only a few section of the 21 km that passess in the ‘bushes’ under going slight modifications to to give athletes easy time.
Ouko added that they expected to have atleast 10 former Olympians take part in the race whose winner will take home KSh.200,000 with second and third finishers in both men and women’s categories pocketing Ksh 100,000 and 50,000 respectively.
The other races that will take place during the marathon are the 5 km for locals athletes from the county will participate in, team runners and fun ran.
The registration opened on Tuesday where elite runners will part with Ksh 300 while local runners pay Ksh 100 with fun runners paying Ksh 5000.
The organizers has included online registration which can be accessed through www.kenyaairwaysmarathon.com in addition to the onsite registrtion at variuos locations accross the country.
Registration closes on September 1st as opposed to the previous date which was initially set at September 10.
Title sponsors, KQ will sponsor this year’s event at a tune of Ksh.30 m and the company’s Commercial Director, Mohah Chandra said that the proceeds from the marathon will go in assisting the local communities.
Last year the marathon raised Ksh. 1.4 which was channeled towards the construction of girl’s dormitory at the Namunyak secondary School located in Mara north constituency.
The first edition of the race which was run in 2009 only attracted a total of 350 runner with the two subsequent edition attracting 800 and 2500 respectively.
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