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Former world champion Kirui enters First Lady Half Marathon

Two-time world marathon champion Abel Kirui has registered for the First Lady’s Half Marathon race due for Sunday in Nairobi.

Kirui, who has personal best 1:00:11 from the 2007 Rotterdam Half Marathon, is among an elite field set to clash in the second edition of the race that will start and end at the Nyayo National Stadium.

The event organiser Charles Gacheru indicated that they are still sampling the elite entry lists with their times from the counties, especially Rift Valley, to know exactly who is in the race.

“Many have registered but we want to vet their times,” said Gacheru as the entries of the event closed yesterday.

The race Local Organising Committee (LOC) chairman Barnaba Korir said they have put in place all the machinery including the postponement of the second Athletics Kenya relay Series on Saturday to ensure a successful event.

“Plans for the event are in top gear and we will have a very good race. It is good that the relay series have been cancelled since we want to give officials ample time to concentrate on one race,” said Korir adding that they expect close to 20,000 participants.

PRIZE MONEY

A total Sh5.6m will be on offer in prize money with the men and women winners of the 21km races running away with Sh750,000 each. The winners of the 10km races will get Sh250,000 each.

Gacheru said although the focus of the race was on the Beyond Zero Campaign, it was important that the prize kitty reflects the stature of the race.

“The First Lady’s Half Marathon is designed to raise awareness and funds for Her Excellency’s Beyond Zero Campaign, nevertheless, we felt it was important to offer attractive prize monies to reward our budding and elite athletes,” Gacheru said.

“The prize amounts for both men and women are similar, because this race holds both runners to the same standard.”

The first runner up to fifth place winners in both the men and women 21km race will pocket, Sh500,000, Sh250,000, Sh150,000 and Sh100,000 respectively. The prize scheme trickles down to the top 20 finishers in each category.

Tricycle and wheelchair winners will take home Sh100,000 and Sh50,000 respectively in both the men and women categories.