Kakamega Forest Marathon has continued to produce the best marathoners in the country, attracting top runners who like to use the race as part of their training ahead of major races across the world.
With the biting coronavirus pandemic, race Chief Executive Officer (CEO) George Murila is optimistic that come November when the race is supposed to be held, the world could have returned to its normalcy to give young people a chance to compete both at the race and at the international championships.
He said currently the corporate world is under siege and without them, no race can be successful.
“For now it is too early to determine either to postpone or not but we need the corporate world, which currently is under siege. Without them, we can’t move. Be We play by the ear and see how COVID-19 treats the environment,” said Murila.
The race is set to be held on 28th November in Kakamega County as a way of conserving the natural Kakamega rain forest.
“With six months away from the race, there’s a school of thought that we might be under threat for the next one year. So we wait and play by ear with the overall the position is to play by the ear subject to government health regulations and financial ability on hand to execute. Sponsors Status,” added Murila.
Reigning world marathon record holder Brigid Kosgei won the title in 2018 and went ahead to smash the world record with Murila boasting that they have the objective of a long term journey.
He explained that the reason why the race attracts top athletes in the country is because of their lobbying and proper preparations.
“Lobbying them in person, explaining our objectives and how they fit. We also sell the suitability of our race circuit as the best training for conquering big races abroad and once they come and have the experience they perform well abroad and become our race ambassadors. We also involve trainers and managers who appreciate the value addition of our race route for the future success of their athletes. And we are proud when they win or compete here and they go out there to post grade results,” he explained adding that Noah Kipkemoi who competed at the race was part of the leading team at the Ineos 1.59 Challenge.
Without even competing, the preparations are all-round since he says planning is a continues process where vendors, Athletics Kenya, runners, sponsors Status goes on in spite of the economic siege.
He advised athletes that they should continue practising because any time when it is safe, they will hit the market again, calling on the government to support them as they are our fraternity who make this country internationally proud on many occasions,” he said.
“The government should support our heritage. And they should train too. As soon as it is safe and are financially able to host, we will invite them all to participate since we know they are training hard for the races as it is their calling,” concluded Murila.