“Instead of taking the usual Dodoma Road, we have decided to take the main Namanga road for safety purposes,” said Chris Honest, the Chairman of the Safari Marathon event, explaining that heavy traffic on the previous route was jeopardizing the safety of the Marathon participants.
The newly constructed (Nairobi) Namanga Road is much wider, has less motor vehicles, but also have been provided with aprons for pedestrians that will make it easy for runners to use the route without disrupting (or be disrupted with) the traffic.More than 1,500 participants are expected to run in the 2012 Safari Marathon which will be taking place on Sunday, the 9th of September from the Sheikh Amri Abeid Stadium here.
Last year the race was won by mostly Kenyans who finished in the first, second and third positions in the male category that had its overall winner in the body of David Kipchumba.The female category however, was won by a Tanzanian, Mary Naali in the first position but the second and third runners-up were all Kenyans as well. The race has been attracting participants from all over the world who treat the event as some form of ‘Sports Tourism!’
The event Secretary, Victor Mollel, stated that already tour operators have shown interest to include the annual event in their ‘Safari’ itineraries and have all asked for a full calendar of events in the coming three years.“We are going to stick for the ‘First Week of September,’ dates in that the Marathon will be held on every First Sunday of the month, which means the dates may differ but the season is to remain intact,” explained Mollel.
The first winners in both the male and female categories in the main (21 kilometres race) stand to get prizes of 1m/- each, the first runners-up will be getting 600,000/-, the third winners to earn 300,000/- each and both the 4th and 5th winners in each category are to be awarded 100,000/-.
There is also the ‘Disabled Race’ category to feature tricycles and wheelchairs and the first winner in the 10 kilometers event is set to earn 200,000/-, the second 150,000/- and the third 100,000/- while the fourth rider will earn 50,000/-.There will also be the ‘Kids Race,’ whose winners are to be provided with mattresses for school and the Corporate Challenge Race featuring local companies whose winners will be getting 200,000/- in the first, 150,000/- in the second and 100,000/- in the third categories.