For the first time in 17 years, the annual Nairobi Standard Chartered Marathon will not take place.
This comes after organizers announced a cancellation of the premier race, which was initially scheduled for October 25. According to reports, the race has been cancelled because of uncertainties surrounding the coronavirus pandemic.
Kenya initially banned all major public events after confirming its first case of the coronavirus in March after a woman returned to the country from the United States. The ban was extended and is still in force leading to a cancellation of the race by the sponsors Standard Bank.
“Our consultations with Athletics Kenya and the Ministry of Sports clearly indicated that we would not be able to plan for a physical event with any certainty.
We have therefore made the difficult decision to cancel the 2020 edition of the Standard Chartered Nairobi Marathon,” Chairman of the Standard Chartered Nairobi Marathon Local Organising Committee, Peter Gitau said.
He added, “This was not an easy decision to make. We have held the marathon annually for 17 years, and 2020 was to be no different. However, the depth and scale of COVID – 19 is unprecedented and remains hard to predict.”
Gitau also mentioned that they had considered organizing a virtual marathon, just as it happened with the cancelled Lewa Marathon in July, but could not implement it as its success still required the majority of participants to leave their homes, a move that could compromise COVID-19 preventive measure protocols.
The 2019 edition attracted over 17,000 participants and raised over Sh30mn towards the community investment programme, FutureMakers, which provides youth in need with education, employment and entrepreneurship opportunities.
The men’s race was won by Brimin Kipkorir from Elgeyo Marakwet in 2 hours, 10 minutes and 42 seconds.
Purity Jebichi, who had just returned from a maternity break, won the women’s race in 2hrs 30minutes 33 seconds. Both walked away with Sh2 million prize money from an increased Sh1.5 million.
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