Her Excellency First Lady Margaret Kenyatta yesterday started her high altitude training at Kaptagat region in Elgeyo Marakwet County in readiness for the second edition of the First Lady Half marathon set for March 8 in Nairobi.
Under the guidance of the 1987 world marathon champion Douglas Wakihuri, she covered a total of 15km morning long run in the scenic Kaptagat forest.
With her breezy personality, she demonstrated her endurance and determination when she covered the 7.5km from Kaptagat junction heading in and back to the starting point. “Our training kicked off well after running the 15km today (yesterday). The First Lady has clearly showed she is capable and fit for the race on the March 8 race,” said Wakihuri.
According to Wakihuri, the training programme they have drawn will enable the First Lady gain the endurance necessary for the half marathon. “In 2014, we completed the half marathon in 3 hours 43 minutes and we would like to better that time, although our main goal is to finish the race. I hope all the other participants are also training well to avoid injury.”
Two-time Boston marathon winner Moses Tanui welcomed the First Lady’s idea to train in the region, saying it acknowledges the importance of the region in terms of athletic development.
“We are very happy and we will give her the support she deserves towards her worthy cause in ensuring the health of our mothers and children,” Tanui said.
The First Lady Half Marathon is meant to raise money towards Her Excellency’s Beyond Zero Campaign aimed at reducing maternal deaths.
With only 12 days to go before the 2015 First Lady’s Half Marathon at Nyayo Stadium, all preparations for the road race are in place. The 21km race for both men and women will be flagged off at 0700hrs just outside Nyayo Stadium with the 10km runners hitting the tarmac at 07:45hrs. The 2km ‘Champions Race’ will start at 0900hrs. This year, the event will also include wheelchair and tricycle racers who will be first off the blocks at 0630hrs.
Her Excellency the First Lady Margaret Kenyatta will once again run in the 21km race, where she is expected to be joined by over 20,000 elite and non-elite runners. According to the race organiser, Peter Gacheru of IMG Kenya, all systems are in place for the race.
“We have marked the route with the help of AK and the traffic police and subsequently mapped out the first aid and water points. We are planning an exciting Expo a week before the race.”
“With 20,000 runners expected to join Her Excellency the First Lady on the March 8, we have to be ready,” Gacheru noted. In 2014, Her Excellency participated in the inaugural First Lady’s Half Marathon and the London Marathon to raise awareness and money for the Beyond Zero Campaign. The First Lady’s Half Marathon is the anchor fund raising and awareness event for the Beyond Zero Campaign that was launched by Her Excellency in January 2014. The Campaign was launched to drive public awareness and funds around maternal and child mortality in Kenya. Registration for the 2015 First Lady’s Half Marathon is currently ongoing on select Nakumatt and Uchumi branches, Equity Bank Branches across the country and the IMG Kenya offices.