Eldoret City marathon’s technical team will next Monday confirm whether this year’s edition, which is slated for April 19, will take place, as a way of curbing the deadly coronavirus.
But even as the technical team prepares to make public a decision that may lead to cancellation, postponement or allowing the third edition of the race to proceed under strict adherence to Covid-19 preventive measures, resilient athletes said they will continue with their training programmes away from camps.
Eldoret City race director Moses Tanui yesterday told Standard Sport that the fate of this year’s marathon will be sealed on Monday after a meeting of race officials and sponsors.
The Standard Group is among sponsors of the race that pays Sh3.5 million prize money for winners, making it one of the highest paying races in Africa.
Tanui, the two-time Boston Marathon champion, said preparations for the race are ongoing despite cancellation and postponement of several athletics competitions across the world.
Tanui said the date for the race remains April 19 and any decision to postpone it will be debated on.
“We are keeping a close eye on the happenings related to the global pandemic and a major decision will be made on Monday. For now, we are going on with our plans. We could not rush to postpone or cancel the race because the government had issued measures that would affect events within a 30-day period and April 19 was not within the period. By Monday, we will have assessed the situation,” Tanui said.
Last year, Mathew Kisorio and reigning Frankfurt marathon champion Valary Jemeli Aiyabei ran away with the prize money.
Aiyabei said she will not take part in this year’s race due to a hip injury she sustained early this year.
The 2018 Beijing marathon champion said the Eldoret race will offer a perfect opportunity for elite athletes who couldn’t compete in global races due to cancelled race over the covid-19 spread.
“I will not be defending my Eldoret City marathon tittle this year because I have been advised by the manager to rest until the injury heals. I hope to recover fast,” the Iten-based runner said.
New York City marathon and half marathon champion Joyciline Jepkosgei, who was set to defend her NYC half marathon title that had been set for last weekend but cancelled, said she was still training with the hope of competing before end of the year.