Thousands expected in the North Rift town
Organisers say crowds will be managed to avoid spread of the viral disease.
This year’s Eldoret City marathon will be held in adherence to Covid-19 protocols, organisers have said.
A team of health experts working under the race’s organising committee led by Andrew Chelogoi and director Moses Tanui said plans are underway to stage the third edition.
This follows a surge in Covid-19 positive cases in the country from last week.
The race will be run on April 11 on the 42km course approved by the World Athletics ahead of the second edition in 2019.
The health committee led by former Moi Teaching and Referral Hospital (MTRH) Chief Executive Officer John Kibosia said the team is working closely with Uasin County officials to deliver a coronavirus-safe race.
In the last two editions, the Eldoret City marathon has been a crowd-puller, attracting at least 50,000 athletics enthusiasts and bringing business to a standstill in the busy agricultural town of Eldoret.
Fans from as far as Kericho in the South Rift region and Kabarnet in Baringo County, jam the town to have a glimpse of marathoners as they line up in the race that takes place on a high altitude course.
Kibosia said the team of health experts, including a representative of the country’s second largest referral hospital – MTRH are consulting with a view of developing guidelines which will be applied.
“The protocols outlined by the Ministry of Health are already in place.
We are working with Uasin Gishu County health executive in charge of health and other experts as we make a review on how the race will be run under the Covid-19 guidelines,” the former MTRH CEO said.
Chelogoi, the race chairman said the large crowd that is expected to follow the race in Eldoret town and its environments will be managed to ensure social distancing is adhered to.
He said information on the number of spectators and officials at the finish line near the Eldoret Zion Mall will be issued ahead of the race.
“We want to be in control of the situation because we don’t want to be spreaders of the virus. We will not have large gatherings this time,” Chelogoi said.
Athletics Kenya regional officials led by Central Rift chairman Abraham Mutai are also part of the team seeking to deliver a world class race next month.
Two-time Boston marathon winner Moses Tanui, who is the race director said the course has been assessed and is ready for use as athletics battle for the Sh3.5 winning prize.
“Everything from security along the course to health safety is ready. Registration is ongoing and we expect athletes to prepare well,” he said.
Uasin Gishu Deputy County Police Commander Zacchaeus Ng’eno said security agencies will provide adequate security in Eldoret town and along the 42km and five kilometre courses.
Last Friday, the organising committee said electronic timing will be used for the first as the race meets the world class standards.