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December 17, 2018

Standard Chartered Marathon numbers hit hard due to the recent political climate

Family Run  in Stan chart Marathon   /file
Family Run in Stan chart Marathon /file
The hot political temperatures experienced in the country for the past few months has seen the Standard Chartered Nairobi Marathon register a huge decline in the number of participants.
The event’s secretariat has indicated that as of Wednesday noon, 15,000 people had registered for the event, whose route has slightly changed.
James Gatundu, member of the Local Organising Committee attributed the decrease of over 10,000 entries, to the political uproar in the just concluded  electoral process.
Gatundu intimated that groups and organisations, which normally enter over 100 runners have this time enrolled significantly fewer number or none at all.
“Groups that normally give us 100 runners have this time enrolled 30 to 50, and others have not entered at all. From their feedback, the political volatility was the main reason for the decline,” said Gatundu.
“It is not about the finances. The people who had shown interest in the race had not prepared themselves to run,” he added.
This year, the marathon course has changed and will start on Haile Selassie Road around Railways Club, before the road’s intersection with Uhuru Highway. The finish line for the 42km race will be at the same point as the starting.
In addition to the regular five races, the event organisers have added the Standard Chartered Bank CEO’s run to this year’s card. The other five are full marathon (42km), half marathon (21km), 10km, 5km family run and wheelchair race.
Previously, the event’s starting and finishing points have been at Nyayo National Stadium which is currently under renovation, hence unavailable to host any activities.
From the start line, athletes will route towards the CBD to the railway roundabout in the opposite direction of normal traffic and back to Parliament Road. They will then go around Kenyatta International Convention Centre (KICC) before heading to Museum Hill via Uhuru Highway, then return to the CBD through Kipande Road into University Way and back to Uhuru Highway to Mombasa Road.
The Mombasa Road loop will be repeated twice to build up the distance required for full marathon. On return to Lusaka Roundabout, runners exit to Uhuru Highway towards Bunyala Roundabout in the daily traffic direction into the City Centre and branches back to Haile Selassie (outbound on normal traffic direction) to the finish line outside the Railway Club.
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