Kirui braced for December’s Afrika Mashariki 21km showdown

Double World marathon champion and Chicago Marathon Champion Abel Kirui will grace the inaugural Afrika Mashariki Fest Kenya Chapter in Mombasa that will be held December 11, a day before Kenya celebrates its Independence Day.

Speaking at the Athletics Kenya headquarters in Nairobi during the event’s launch, the excited Kirui said that he is looking forward to the 21km showdown.

“When I was dancing after winning the Chicago Marathon, it’s because I knew I had been appointed the Afrika Mashariki Kenyan ambassador. My wish is to see Kenya always host the race and that it graduates to a full marathon event.

“I have already started my training. It will be a very special moment for me since I shall get a chance to meet and make new friends from the East Africa in the race. This is something that is deep in my heart,” the 2012 London Olympics silver medalist stated.

Athletics Kenya (AK) boss General Retired Jackson Tuwei gave the race organizers a permit for the event as a seal of approval with the race looking to help youth embrace regional integration through art, sport and advocacy.

“It’s a good thing to launch an event that goes beyond the border. We as AK are very happy to be associated with such an event. The race has been sanction by various stakeholders including Ministry of Sports Art and Culture and the Ministry of Sports.

“Kenya is very happy to host the marathon for the first time and we hope that in future we shall promote it to be a bigger event. We need such events because it brings together athletes from the EAC,” Tuwei said.

Local organizing committee chair, Adimi Kisalu, expressed high optimism in the successful organization of the race adding that registrations had already been kicked off.

“We have hosted the Mombasa Half Marathon several times before and we believe this one will equally be good. There will be challenges but by next year we are hoping all systems will be streamlined. The current registration fee is KSh1000 for the half and 10km races,” Kisalu, who is also the AK Mombasa branch Chairman stated.

In Kenya, the race will be hosted every second Sunday of December while in Uganda it will be hosted every second Sunday of April. Rwanda it will play hosts every second Sunday of July with Burundi and South Sudan yet to be integrated into its calendars due to current political unrests experienced in both countries.

Race winners for the 21km race will walk away with Ksh60,000 while the first and second runners-up will take home Ksh 40,000 and 30,000 respectively.

The prize money for the 10km winner will be Ksh25,000 while second and third place finishers will be awarded Ksh 20,000 and Ksh 15,000.