Hundreds aiming at the Imenti South Road Race honours

The Safaricom Imenti South Road Race is expected to draw close to 500 athletes from across the country for its tenth edition on Sunday in Nkubu, Meru County.

Title sponsor, Safaricom, has maintained its sponsorship kitty of KSh1m for the race that seeks to tap and nurture athletics talents, promote cohesion, create employment opportunities for the youth, promote tourism, promote health and enhance healthy living.

The competition is expected to attract a bigger percentage of locals with the 2010 Hong Kong Marathon champion Cyprian Kiogora and the 22nd edition of Volkswagen Prague Marathon gold medalist Lucy Karimi among the stars in line for the top honours.

“Our desire is to see more talented young people take advantage of such events. The race provides opportunities for lives to be transformed through sports,” Athletics Kenya (AK) Meru branch vice chairperson Jane Matiri said.

The event will kick off at 8am at Kanyuuruko near Igoji market and end at Nkubu Stadium in Nkubu town.

This year’s race will have 9 categories for awarding including: Seniors men & women (15Km), best placed 10 local athletes (15Km senior men & women), Primary schools cross country individual winners (11-15 years girls and boys – 4Km), secondary schools cross country individual winners (15-19 yrs) 6Km (girls) and 8Km (boys).

Other categories are 800m fun races for children below 10 years, 4Km Masters (over 50 years) race Men & Women – and 2Km executive fun race for sponsors and partners.

The local organizing committee Chairman Kimathi Mutuerandu said the race will be run smoothly as all is set for the event.

Last year, Thomas Lokomwa from Gilgil and Pauline Njeri who hails from Embu County won the race after clocking  49:49.6 and 58:10.9 respectively, each bagging a Sh100,000 cash prize.

The main race winners this year both men and women will pocket KSh80,000 with the best places local athletes taking home KSh15,000 for the first position.

Mary Munanu, the 2011 Africa Cross-Country Championships junior women’s 6km bronze winner, will join the hundreds of young talents in the race.