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Kimitei, Kisaisa and Kimaiyo to battle for Nairobi City marathon titles

Reigning Kigali International Peace half bronze medalist Edna Jerono Kimitei, newcomer Edwin Kisaisa and Minsk’s half marathon champion Hillary Kimaiyo  ars set to compete for top positions at the inaugural Nairobi City Marathon tomorrow.

Kimitei will be making her debut in marathon on Sunday when she will be lining up at the multi-million Nairobi City Marathon.

“This will be my first time to run a marathon but I am well prepared to run well and finish on the podium. With that I will celebrate,” said Kimitei.

Sharpening her running skills in Iten, Elgeyo Marakwet county, the former Millennium half marathon runner is committed to join the rest of other top athletes who will be pocketing millions in the best paying marathon in Africa after overtaking Eldoret City marathon.

“The race has good money and many athletes will be willing to run meaning it will be so competitive unlike other Kenyan races. Top athletes are expected to run for a better kill. With this contingent, I need to up my game, add more efforts to attain my target of reaching the podium,” she said.

Eighteen year old Kisaisa will be launching his road running career at the race, competing in 10km after missing to run at the Africa championships in Mauritious.

“My age does not allow me to compete in the marathon or half marathon but am expecting good results come Sunday in my first road race,” said Kisaisa who finished 7th at the national championships cum trials for Africa championships.

Born and raised in Trans Mara, Narok County, Kisaisa had qualified to compete at the Africa cross country championships but since they were cancelled, he remained optimistic that he will run well.

Kimaiyo will be chasing the title in the marathon who enjoys a Minsk Half Marathon course record set in 2017 at 60.03.

Other seeking for the event’s top honours are the 2020 Al Mouj Muscat Marathon in Oman Pius Karanja Kimani and the 2018 Padua marathon (Italy) third place finisher Ethiopian Desta Shume Tafa and another Kenyan Elijah Kemboi a former winner of Kosice and Antwerp marathons.

The event has attracted over 8000 runners to compete in the race’s four categories including the full marathon, half marathon, 10km and 5km fun run, held a day after the Kip Keino Classic at the Moi International Sports Centre, Kasarani.

The half marathon will begin at the Nyayo National Stadium then move to Ole Sereni along Mombasa Road then to ABC Place before going back to the finish and will cover the entire Express Highway.

The winner of the half marathon will run away with Ksh 2.5 million (US$2,500) and Ksh1.5 million (US$1,500) for the winner in the 10km race.

Sports Cabinet Secretary Ambassador Amina Mohammed said the race will be used to launch the newly constructed Nairobi Express Highway and to celebrate it as a legacy project by president Uhuru Kenyatta.

“The race will be the first in the world to be run on the Express Highway and will also showcase the scenery of the beauty of Nairobi and market Kenya as a tourism destination,” she said.

Athletics Kenya (AK) president (Lt Gen retired) Jackson Tuwei said the marathon is the best paying in terms of prize money in Africa and has the potential t rival other city marathons in the world.

The event’s technical director Ibrahim Hussein said the course has been certified and accredited by the Association International Marathons and Distance Races (AIMS) and if a world record was broken it will be approved by World Athletics.

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