Safaricom has partnered with the Deaf Athletics Association of Kenya to sponsor the Safaricom Deaf Half Marathon in Meru. The marathon now in its 5th edition bring together deaf athletes from all over the country.
The annual event includes 21Km and 10Km races for both men and women, with the top three in the half marathon walking away with KES75,000, KES65,000 and KES55,000. The winner, 1st and 2nd runners up in the 10Km race takes home KES30,000, KES20,000 and KES10,000 respectively.
“This event has become very important in our athletics calendar, as it shows us the form our athletes are in before the season begins. Most of the expected participants are already in training, and we expect a fantastic show this weekend,” said Bernard Banja, Secretary General – Deaf Athletics Association of Kenya (DAAK).
Last year Safaricom spent KES5 million sponsorship. As the race has gained more prominence within the DAAK calendar, Safaricom has gradually increased its sponsorship from the KES2 million support given in the race’s first year.
In 2013, Kenya received a total of 17 medals during the 22nd Summer Deaflympics games held in Sofia, Bulgaria, placing the team 8th out of 72 countries that took part in the competition.
In June 2016, Triple World Deaflympics Champion Simon Kibai retained his title after clocking 13:59:02 in the men’s 5000m race at the National Deaf Track and Field Championships.
A week before that Kibai had defended his title in the 21km Safaricom Deaf Half Marathon held in Bomet County, finishing in a time of 58:46:02. The Safaricom Deaf Half Marathon is the first of 11 races under the 2017 edition of Safaricom Athletics Series.