Defending champion Hosea Macharinyang will defend the Madoka Half Marathon slated for October 21.
Macharinyang will face former Mombasa marathon winner Jackson Ruto and a host of other top elite runners in the 12th edition of the event.
Athletics Kenya (AK) Mombasa branch chairman Jimmy Kisalu said they have so far received 200 entries but expect the entries to grow by next week and surpass the target of 950 last year “ The event has grown over the years and we expect a bumper entry in all categories by the end of next week” added Kisalu.
Kisalu said with an increased prize kitty, he expects a competitive field for the race.
“When we started the event many years ago, we were paying Sh250,000 as top award but we are now at Sh500,000 and we get top quality runners for the event,” added Kisalu. Registration fee for the half marathon is Sh1000 while other categories will be free. Besides the 21-km race, the event will feature boys and girls in the under-7 and Under-12 categories and women under-20. There will also be a special category for the locals and women’s over 35 years and men over 45 category.
The prize money for the event will see winners in the half marathon receive Sh500,000 with the runner up and second runner up pocketing Sh250,000 and Sh100,000 respectively. Fourth and fifth place finishers will get Sh50,000 and Sh40,000 respectively.
The event received a shot in the arm yesterday with mobile phone operator Safaricom forking out Sh2 million and Brookeside Dairy giving a further 500,000 . Other sponsors are Kenya Revenue Authority and Amaco Insurance, who donated a similar Sh100,000. Event’s patron Marsden Madoka thanked the sponsors for supporting the event since inception. Madoka said plans were underway to have a high altitude training camp built in the Ngerenyi area for athletes to train and tap their talent.
“We have so far received land from the county government of Taita but much works need to be done in building the structures for the camp,” added Madoka.
Madoka said Coast region has been lagging behind in terms of Athletic development. “Apart from Seraphino Antao, we have not had anyone from the region putting Kenya on the map. I believe very strongly there that there is talent in the county that can to compete with the best in the country and do wonders abroad,” added Madoka.