PLANS FOR HIGH ALTITUDE CENTRE IN TAITA UNVEILED AS 11TH EDITION OF SAFARICOM MADOKA HALF MARATHON IS LAUNCHED

Athletes from Taita Taveta County and its environs will soon have a high altitude training centre that will be constructed by organisers of the Safaricom Madoka Half Marathon.

Plans for the construction of the centre, which will be based in Taita Hills, were unveiled today during the launch of the 11th Edition of the race, to be held on 22nd October in Wundanyi, Taita Taveta County.

“We are happy to announce this new development and our plan to take athletics in the Coast region to the next level. We want to make this region a hub for athletics in the coming years by providing proper training facilities that will see us produce high profile athletes just like Eldoret and other parts of the Rift Valley, which are well known for their training grounds,” said event Chairman and Founder, Major (Rtd.) Marsden Madoka.

Over 2,000 athletes from across the country are expected to take part in the Half Marathon this year, including athletes from Uasin Gishu, Nandi, Elgeyo Marakwet and Machakos counties. Organisers also expect a higher spectator turnout compared to last year.

“This event has over the years raised the bar for athletes in the Coast region, and we are hoping to make the region more attractive to the athletes and sponsors by stetting up this training centre,” added Major (Rtd.) Madoka.

The event has received Kshs.2 million in sponsorship from title sponsor Safaricom, and is receiving additional support from partners Huawei and SportPesa.

“This year’s edition marks 11 years of partnership with the race’s organising committee, and we’re pleased that the race continues to attract great talent and spectatorship,” said Sylvia Mulinge, Director for Consumer Business Unit – Safaricom.

She added: “As one of the biggest corporate sponsors of sports in Kenya, we are delighted be working with the community of Taita Taveta County to support the discovery of fresh athletic talent. We’ve seen what investment in the discovery and nurturing of new talent results in, as evidenced by the exploits of champions such as Conseslus Kipruto, Margaret Nyairera and Boniface Mucheru at the 2016 Olympics in Rio, and are committed to continuing to transform lives by supporting athletics – and other sports – in Kenya.”

The race will be flagged off by the British High Commissioner to Kenya Nic Hailey, and will start and end at Ngerenyi Grounds, adjacent to The School of Agriculture, Taita Taveta University.

The event will have six race categories, with winners of the 21KM men’s and women’s races receiving a cash prize of Kshs.250,000 each. Participants in positions two to ten will also receive cash prizes.

Last year's winners John Mwangangi and Winfridah Moseti have confirmed their intention to defend their titles.

Among the unique highlights of the event will also be the introduction of the 5KM Governor’s Race, which will be led by Taita Taveta Governor John Mruttu, Uasin Gishu’s Jackson Mandago and Elgeyo Marakwet’s Alex Tolgos, all of whom will run alongside veterans and corporate teams.

The female category of the same race will be led by Taita Taveta County’s First Lady, Mrs. Hope Mruttu.

The Safaricom Madoka Half Marathon is the 7th long distance race in the 2016 Safaricom Athletics Series calendar, and the second in the Coast region after the Safaricom Mombasa International Marathon.

Athletes from Taita Taveta County and its environs will soon have a high altitude training centre that will be constructed by organisers of the Safaricom Madoka Half Marathon.

Plans for the construction of the centre, which will be based in Taita Hills, were unveiled today during the launch of the 11th Edition of the race, to be held on 22nd October in Wundanyi, Taita Taveta County.

“We are happy to announce this new development and our plan to take athletics in the Coast region to the next level. We want to make this region a hub for athletics in the coming years by providing proper training facilities that will see us produce high profile athletes just like Eldoret and other parts of the Rift Valley, which are well known for their training grounds,” said event Chairman and Founder, Major (Rtd.) Marsden Madoka.

Over 2,000 athletes from across the country are expected to take part in the Half Marathon this year, including athletes from Uasin Gishu, Nandi, Elgeyo Marakwet and Machakos counties. Organisers also expect a higher spectator turnout compared to last year.

“This event has over the years raised the bar for athletes in the Coast region, and we are hoping to make the region more attractive to the athletes and sponsors by stetting up this training centre,” added Major (Rtd.) Madoka.

The event has received Kshs.2 million in sponsorship from title sponsor Safaricom, and is receiving additional support from partners Huawei and SportPesa.

“This year’s edition marks 11 years of partnership with the race’s organising committee, and we’re pleased that the race continues to attract great talent and spectatorship,” said Sylvia Mulinge, Director for Consumer Business Unit – Safaricom.

She added: “As one of the biggest corporate sponsors of sports in Kenya, we are delighted be working with the community of Taita Taveta County to support the discovery of fresh athletic talent. We’ve seen what investment in the discovery and nurturing of new talent results in, as evidenced by the exploits of champions such as Conseslus Kipruto, Margaret Nyairera and Boniface Mucheru at the 2016 Olympics in Rio, and are committed to continuing to transform lives by supporting athletics – and other sports – in Kenya.”

The race will be flagged off by the British High Commissioner to Kenya Nic Hailey, and will start and end at Ngerenyi Grounds, adjacent to The School of Agriculture, Taita Taveta University.

The event will have six race categories, with winners of the 21KM men’s and women’s races receiving a cash prize of Kshs.250,000 each. Participants in positions two to ten will also receive cash prizes.

Last year's winners John Mwangangi and Winfridah Moseti have confirmed their intention to defend their titles.

Among the unique highlights of the event will also be the introduction of the 5KM Governor’s Race, which will be led by Taita Taveta Governor John Mruttu, Uasin Gishu’s Jackson Mandago and Elgeyo Marakwet’s Alex Tolgos, all of whom will run alongside veterans and corporate teams.

The female category of the same race will be led by Taita Taveta County’s First Lady, Mrs. Hope Mruttu.

The Safaricom Madoka Half Marathon is the 7th long distance race in the 2016 Safaricom Athletics Series calendar, and the second in the Coast region after the Safaricom Mombasa International Marathon.

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