The hilly course in Wundanyi, Taita Taveta County will witness elite long distance battle for top honours during this weekend’s Safaricom Madoka Half Marathon.
The race is set to provide a perfect opportunity for last year’s winners Isaac Kipkoech and Nancy Kiprop to defend the men and women titles respectively.
Marking its 13th anniversary since inception in 2005 is set for October 20 starting and finishing at the Ngerenyi Farmers Training Centre.
Event co-ordinator Gerald Mshanga said preparations are in top gear and more sponsors have shown interest of coming on board to support the event. “We are happy as Madoka Half Marathon has been attracting major sponsors every year,” said Mshanga.
He said Safaricom are the title sponsors.
Other sponsors are, Kenya Ports Authority (KPA), Grain Bulk Handlers, Brookside Dairy, Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA), NHIF, National Oil, KCB and County government of Taita Taveta Mshanga revealed that the winners of the 21km both men and women would pocket Sh500,000.
He added that there would be several races exclusively for the locals. Reigning Mombasa International 10km men’s champion Stephen Mwendwa from Makueni’s Ndumbi Athletics Club and women 10km winner Naomi Jepngetich from Kapsabet have also confirmed their participation at Madoka event.
Launched in 2005, race founder and former cabinet minister Marsden Madoka said the event has played a big role in churning out athletics greats such as the 2012 World Half Marathon bronze medallist John Mwangangi among others.