•World-class organisation of next Saturday's Mount Kenya Mountain Running Championship is enough evidence of the county's capacity
•Preparations for the second edition of the annual championship are 99 per cent complete
•Registration is ongoing at the different sub-counties as well as at the head office
Athletics Kenya (AK) Eastern region chair Fredrick Rimbere believes Meru County is more than equipped to host a World Mountain Running Association (WMRA) event should Kenya be accorded the opportunity in the future.
Rimbere said the world-class organization of next Saturday's Mount Kenya Mountain Running Championship is enough evidence of the county's capacity to stage a global event of such magnitude.
"Mountain running is a relatively new event in the country, which has been thus far organised by AK. Meru County is one of the counties, which have embraced this sport. We have organised this year's edition according to world standards because we are not only doing it for Meru but for the world," Rimbere said.
He added: "I believe we have the capacity to host any world mountain running event should Kenya be given the chance to. Thus far, we have not compromised on the standards of organisation for Saturday's event."
Rimbere further said the preparations for the second edition of the annual championship are 99 percent complete.
"On the ground, it is all systems go. We have been working on the routes and this time it will be tougher than the last edition. We are well set and are just finalising on the start and finish points. This time, we will have two start points for 8km and 13km to avoid a clash between the athletes participating in both races," he said.
He urged those interested in running the event to continue registering before the deadline to do elapses on Thursday next week.
Registration is ongoing at the different sub-counties as well as at the head office and is open to individuals and corporates.
"Quite a substantial number have so far registered for the event, including corporates. We anticipate that we will also have prominent personalities including CEOs, ambassadors, and even UN officials. We are encouraging more to register, especially nearby universities, such as Chuka, KeMU, and Tharaka, among others," Rimbere, also the vice-chair of the technical committee, said.
He added: "We anticipate a high turnout of fans and more well-wishers to join us in this cause. We have done a lot to publicise the event unlike the first edition and have used various athletics competitions in the country to popularise it. We encourage everyone to attend even if it is to see and have a feel of how mountain running looks like."
The one-day competition seeks to raise funds for the construction of the Meru Cancer Centre in addition to the construction of a mountain bongo and black rhino sanctuary at the Muceene area in Ntirimiti.
Rimbere's plea is for all to join in this noble cause. "Everybody should join hands in this noble idea to fight the scourge. And I am calling on scientists to research the high prevalence of cancer to help us understand the factors behind it," he said.