Athletes line up before taking part in the 41 kilometers race during Eldoret City Marathon in Eldoret yesterday. 06.06.2021. [Peter Ochieng, Standard]

The long wait is almost over. Top performers of the third edition of Eldoret City Marathon will pocket their prize money on Friday. Top 20 marathoners in the June 6 race will receive their hefty prices in an invite-only award ceremony in Eldoret town.

Race director Moses Tanui yesterday asked top athletes to expect a colourful award ceremony. Winners in both the men’s and women’s category will bag Sh3.5 million each.

The two-time Boston Marathon champion said a number of athletes, sponsors, Uasin Governor Jackson Mandago and colleagues from neighbouring counties will attend the event.

“It will be an invite-only event because we are adhering to the Covid-19 pandemic protocols. We are still strict on the marathon’s Covid-19 guidelines. We would have hosted a bigger number but we must respect the existing protocols,” Tanui said.

Tanui said a maximum of 150 guests representing the athletes, sponsors and other groups are expected.

Victor Kipchirchir and Mercy Kipchumba produced commanding wins at the 2021 edition of the race in which Standard Group PLC is the official media partner.

Kipchirchir and Kipchumba shattered the course records set by Mathew Kisorio and Valary Aiyabei last year.

Athletes line up before taking part in the 41 kilometers race during Eldoret City Marathon in Eldoret yesterday. 06.06.2021. [Peter Ochieng, Standard]

Uasin Gishu county government has been the main sponsor on the race which is run across nearly all estates in the town famously known as the City of Champions because a bigger number of world beaters in athletics live and invest there.

Yesterday, the Local organising Committee was making preparation for the award ceremony which will take place at the Eka Hotel.

Last week, the race director said the delay in awarding the winners was caused by the long wait for anti-doping tests results.

Last year, the race was included in the acclaimed World Marathon Major (WMM) series, placing it among recognised marathons in the globe.

“Eldoret City marathon is one of the qualifying marathons and this is good news for us because we are now recognised by world majors and we work together so that we build this sport,” Tanui said.

It is touted as the highest paying marathon in Africa and winners in both the men’s and women’s category will pocket Sh3.5 million each in the award ceremony slated for October 22 in Eldoret.

The race, which had been pushed from April to June this year attracted a quality line up in the men and women’s races.

It has been producing new winners since the inaugural edition in 2018.

The 2021 edition saw a shift from the old-age stop watches as it lived up its billing as an international race.

 

 

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