Preparations are complete for the first National Cross Country Championships outside Nairobi on February 23 in Eldoret.
Athletics Kenya (AK) will use the championships to select a formidable team ahead of World Cross-Country Championships in Aarhus, Denmark on March 30.
The national event will be held at Eldoret Sports Club Grounds and Local Organising Committee (LOC) led by AK Central Rift chairman Abraham Mutai said they are ahead of preparation and everything is in place.
“The course is ready and it has been demarcated on how the spectators and the media will be moving around,” said Mutai.
Mutai added that they have laid four obstacles and a small hill on a flat Eldoret course inspite of Denmark hilly course.
“This is a flat course and for us to attain the international standards we had to be innovative to meet the standards. The four obstacles give an athlete hard times to jump over, hence exiting the race,” said Mutai.
But the flat course according to Mutai cannot stop Kenyan runners from claiming the world cross country title the same way they have been doing.
With new blood of athletes from the regions and all forces across the country, Mutai said the course in Aarhus, Denmark was received long time ago and athletes are aware of the course.
“What we will be doing here is just selecting the team. The course was received long time ago and athletes are training according to the course and weather conditions and in Denmark. After selecting the team, coaches will deliberate and get to know how trainings will be done to make sure that Kenya wins at the world cross country title,” said Mutai.
While on tour of the course on Thursday morning, Mutai said the current crop of athletes are educated and can understand different weather conditions, hence training according to the changing weather patterns across the world.
“Looking at the quality of athletes lately, they are great, educated and can deliver at any given time. We have great and elite athletes from Kenya Police Service, The Kenya Defence Forces (KDF) and Prison Kenya who have competed well across the world and flat course in Eldoret cannot deny them a world title,” added Mutai.
He said that the competition in Eldoret will be intense, remarkable and nobody will want to miss the championships.
“The mixture of young and elite athletes will offer good competition. Young athletes like Rhonex Kipruto (the world under 20 10,000m champion, Edward Zakayo (Commonwealth Games 5,000m bronze medallist) will give good competition to the established athletes like Geoffrey Kamworor, not forgetting the regions which have been producing good athletes every year,” said Mutai.
All athletes should be in competition to get opportunity to be selected in the national cross-country team, must compete during the trials says Athletics Kenya (AK) vice-president Paul Mutwii.