Wednesday, 12 September 2012

Standard Chartered Marathon is launched

By Fred Maingi
Athletics Kenya (AK) has called on Standard Chartered Bank to resume
the Greatest Race on Earth (GROE) series to promote marathon running.
AK chairman Isaiah Kiplagat said the series were competitive that they
promoted athletics and the social economic status of its participants
with the lucrative prize money.
“Kenya dominated the series by winning all the editions of GROE
bringing home about Kshs20 million,” he said.
GROE was a four-part series of marathon races in a relay format, which
included the Nairobi Marathon, Singapore Marathon, Mumbai Marathon and
Hong Kong Marathon.
The competition was won by the team of four athletes who had the
lowest cumulative time across the four marathons, with each team
member competing in only one marathon as part of their respective
team's relay.
It was created and sponsored by Standard Chartered in 2004 before
ceasing its sponsorship in July 2009, bringing the competition to a
Kiplagat was speaking during the launch of the 10th edition of the
Standard Chartered Nairobi Marathon at the bank’s headquarters,
yesterday, scheduled for October 28 in the Kenyan capital.
The chairman said the Standard Chartered Nairobi Marathon was the only
race in Africa to be certified by the Association of International
Marathon Series (AIMS) and recognized by the International Association
of Athletics Federation (IAAF) who has placed it in the calendar of
“I call for more support to this event as it is prestigious in this
continent so that it can be able to attract elite runners from across
the globe with lucrative prize money,” he said.
Standard Chartered Bank Kenya Chief executive Richard Etemesi said the
marathon which is used for a charitable course has raised Sh95 million
in the last 10 years to treat cataract in children where about 4,500
patients have benefited so far.
Sports minister Dr Paul Otuoma appreciated the event and said the
government will continue ensuring that it organized in a conducive
He challenged local sports federation to bid for and host
international championships in the country.
Otuoma noted that such endeavours would market the country as world
sporting nation thus attracting sports tourism and inspire Kenyan
youth into getting involved more in sports.
During the occasion, the minister affirmed the government’s commitment
in improving training programmes and facilities to ensure that local
sportsmen and women have an edge over other competitors in the world.
He revealed that the ministry was now focused on making Kenya an all
round sporting nation by undertaking various initiatives to revamp
dormant disciplines.

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