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City Roads to be closed during Standard Chartered Marathon

The Southern Bypass in Nairobi will on Sunday be closed and traffic diverted to alternative roads for an hour starting midday so as to allow space for the StanChart Nairobi Marathon, the National Police Service (NPS) has announced.

All interchanges to the Southern bypass will be closed, but the Dagoretti interchange will be partially closed. Police will divert motorists to Dagoretti Road, Langata Road, Enterprise Road, Uhuru Highway, and Waiyaki way. Trucks from Inland Container Depot (ICD) will use Mombasa Road within the stipulated period.

“The Southern bypass at Ole Sereni Hotel and also Mombasa road turnoff at ICD shall remain closed,” read the statement from NPS.

Unlike previous years, the 18th edition of the race will start and end at the Carnivore grounds instead of the Nyayo National Stadium.

Also, the marathon has not inherited the convoluted of yesteryears. Instead, participants of the 2021 marathon will run along the scenic Southern Bypass.

These changes in route, starting point and endpoint are due to the construction of the Nairobi Express-Way.

The route was also picked due to its proximity to the National Park, which has a great scenic route and creates an opportunity to use the marathon to advance tourism.

Nairobi Traffic Police Commander (TPC) in charge, Joshua Omukata said that everything had been put in place to ensure minimal disruption to motorists and pedestrians.

“We have organized traffic diversions to ensure that residents have access to alternative routes during the stipulated marathon hours. We request that the public cooperate with our traffic officers deployed along the roads for smooth flow of traffic. We are going to secure the Southern bypass. Both lanes will be a no-go zone to all motor vehicles,” he said.

The traffic boss further assured Marathoners that their safety will be ensured during the international event.

“At the same time, all inroads to the bypass are going to be secured for the Marathon,” he noted.

With the number of participants in the physical run limited to 2,500 people due to Covid-19 containment measures, Standard Chartered is targeting 13,500 participants for the virtual run to compensate for the reduced numbers. According to the bank’s website, the marathon attracted over 17,000 participants in 2019.

To be among the 13,500 participants for the virtual run, one will be required to download the Strava app then sign up for one of 5 challenges – 5Kms, 10km, 21kms, 42kms or 42kms relay.

The marathon makes a comeback this year after it was cancelled in 2020 due to unprecedented challenges brought about by Covid-19 and the containment measures required.