Winners of the third edition of the Eldoret City Marathon were on Friday awarded in an event held at Eka Hotel, Eldoret.
Governor Jackson Mandago who is also the marathon’s patron attended the event that saw athletes who finished in the top 20 awarded.
Speaking at the event, Mandago thanked marathon organizers for sticking to the theme of ‘Climate Action’ and expressed optimism that it will go a long way towards ensuring a better environment.
“The theme for the marathon is ‘Climate Action’. I thank race organizers for sticking to it and ensuring over 1 million trees are planted,” Mandago noted.
The county boss also challenged young and upcoming athletes to always seek advice from successful and veteran colleagues.
He also called on Athletics Kenya to intensify training for the upcoming runners.
“Learn from your colleagues who have succeeded through the years, not necessarily in athletics but other careers. I urge AK and successful athletes to intensify training to the upcoming athletes. I would also want to see active participation for those in the global athletics bodies.
“These young people we must take care of them. We must go for them and give them advice,” Mandago noted in reference to a recent incident in which athlete Agnes Tirop was killed, allegedly by his husband.
Similar sentiments were shared by Deputy Governor Daniel Chemno, who also expressed the need for all stakeholders to join hands to ensure the environment is conserved.
“Let’s all join hands to conserve the environment because Mother Nature is very unforgiving,” he said.
County Executive Member for Sports Joseph Kurgat on his part said the Eldoret City Marathon has grown since the first edition in 2018 where only 755 athletes participated, to over 1,500 in the third edition that also attracted participants from outside the country.
Kurgat also revealed that as part of nurturing young talents, the County Government of Uasin Gishu is in discussion with primary and secondary schools to help in ensuring sports talents are nurtured and developed at a tender age.
Moses Tanui, the Race Director Eldoret City Marathon in his remarks noted that winners of the 3rd edition had proved that the marathon is the best race to launch their careers as they went on to perform better on the international stage.
He also affirmed the race’s commitment to continue championing the ‘Climate Action’ theme.”
“We have been at the lead in planting tree seedlings in selected places to ensure we increase forest cover and reserve water bodies. Over a million trees were planted this year under this initiative,” said Tanui, a former athlete.
Winners for the male and female races were awarded Ksh3.5 million each, with the top 20 also being awarded.
Eldoret City Marathon is the highest paying race in the country, and the only one, in Kenya, recognized among the Abbot World Marathon Majors (WMM).