Athletes warming up before a 2.5km race during the launch of the 18th edition of the Standard Chartered Bank Nairobi Marathon in July. The build up to the 18th edition of the Standard Chartered Nairobi Marathon set for this Sunday in Nairobi has started off with virtual run being held across the country and beyond.
The virtual contest that started on Monday and will end on Sunday targets 13,500 participants, with an aim of encouraging active lifestyles.
"We feel privileged to be part of the virtual run. Just completed my 10km run and I feel rejuvenated," Peter Ndirangu, Dimension Data Chief Operating Officer, said. READ MORE
Athletes can choose to participate either in 5Kms, 10km, 21kms, 42kms or 42kms relay in the virtual competition. “We are excited to be running here today for the virtual marathon," Kariuki Ngari, Chief Executive Officer Standard Chartered Bank Kenya said.
"The registration is still open, I urge Kenyans to be part of the marathon. They can participate virtually at their own space and time and be part of the physical marathon depending on their qualifying time," he added.
The virtual race athletes are using Strava app to track their speed and timings which they then upload in the official marathon portal.
There are various hotspots across the country which have been segmented for the participants to join other runners for the virtual race.
Competitors in Nairobi can converge in green spaces at the Sanctuary, Karura and Arboretum.
Other spaces have been set up in Thika, Kisumu, Kakamega, Nakuru, Kitale, Siaya, Eldoret, Kericho, Mombasa, Meru and Nanyuki among other towns.
"We look forward to more Kenyans participating in the virtual as well as the physical run,” Ndirangu added.
The physical marathon which is limited to 2500 elite runners will be held on the Southern Bypass route with start and finish at the Carnivore Grounds.“The kit collection exercise for the physical run is still ongoing," Peter Gitau, Chairman of the Local Organising Committee said."For participants in Nairobi, they can pick their items at the Kenyatta International Convention Centre. For the ones across the country, the kits are being delivered at our offices within their regions. "For international participants, we have partnered with DHL to have them delivered in their countries."At the end of the races, participants are encouraged to plant trees in location of their choice.