Nairobi, Oct 16 (IANS) Kenya’s Julius Kipyego Keter is relishing the chance to set a new course record when he competes in the Nairobi International Marathon on October 28.
With the organisers expecting over 25,000 entries, Kenya’s premier road race will have one of the biggest entries running for a variety of different reasons, reports Xinhua news agency.
Keter, who finished second at the 2017 Hong Kong Marathon, faces a stiff challenge in his quest for glory, as Edinburgh Marathon champion Julius Kiplagat Korir has also thrown his hat into the ring.
“I’m targeting a fast time at home. It is a high altitude course, but that does not mean nobody can run faster than two hours and ten minutes,” Keter said.
The current record time in Nairobi stands at 2:09:11 set by Wesley Kibet back in 2005. The organisers have pledged to pay the winner $15,000.
Kenyan sports minister Rashid Echesa urged fans to come and cheer on the athletes and register for the race itself, which will have six event categories.
“I will be running in this year’s race,” said Echesa. “We want more people to come out and support the race and have a good time as we enjoy the city view.”
This will be the 15th running of the Nairobi Marathon since its debut in 2003.
No foreign national has ever won the event. However, several Chinese runners, especially in the women’s competition, came close when the race was part of the Greatest Race on Earth (GROE) initiative. In 2007, Chinese teenager Li Lu finished second in a time of 2:37:10.