In order to meet the international standards, organizers of the Eldoret City marathon will include Paralympic runners in next year’s race in Eldoret.
Speaking in Eldoret on Wednesday, race director Moses Tanui, who is the two time Boston marathon champion, has set focus to include the Paralympians as the race enters its 5th edition.
“As Eldoret City marathon, we want to be inclusive to all athletics runners in this country and the world. We want to include everyone, to make sure that we give everyone including the Paralympics an opportunity to shine,” said Tanui.
However, he said that they will be in consultation with the Kenya National Paralympic Committee (NPC-K) who will provide them with various running categories.
“We need to know their categories and distance because we cannot register someone of 10,000m. This is a marathon because people will think that we will also be running 100m, 5,000m among others,” explained Tanui.
He said that in other international marathons, there are wheelchair races and they should not be left behind.
“I want to inform the public that next we will include Paralympics in our Eldoret City marathon. Just like the Boston marathon and any other world marathon, we are international and we have to feature programmes like any other world leading marathon,” he said.
He said that what will happen is people live with different challenges and disabilities in the Paralympics but they will identify the best way possible.
“We will use the NPC-K to identify the runners to give us categories of their athletes and through their body, they know the categories of their athletes. We will make sure that we have the right people, not like short distance runners like 10,000m, we will want people who will run a marathon.
He added that they will also have wheelchair competitors after the world impressed them.
“We will be running a marathon, which is a long distance race, challenging yourself by running but we will organize the way we organize other races. We will give Paralympian the first priority to start first. We will try to have a fair route for them that lacks hills, to be fairly flat so that they can fairly compete,” he said.
With Eldoret City, being the highest paying marathon in Africa, where the winner pocket kshs 3.5 million, Tanui said he will have a discussion with NPC-K to determine their pay.
“For prize money, we shall sit down and see how much they will be paid like the rest of the world where there are categories of prizes. We will see the prizes we will put for them,” he concluded.