NAIROBI, Kenya- Seasoned IAAF World Cross Country Championships campaigner, Hosea Mwok Macharinyang is seeking to defy all odds and become the first man to successfully defend the annual Safaricom Madoka Half Marathon title on October 21 in Taita Taveta County.
The three-time team title gold winner with Kenya at the World Cross, where he has made a record eight appearances, showed his intent to conquer the roads last year when he blasted to the 67:14 Madoka Half course record, to obliterate the previous standard of 67:56 posted by John Mwangangi in 2015.
Macharinyang made his World Cross debut in 2004 as a junior and went on to make Team Kenya for the 2005 (junior), 2006 (long race) as well as the senior events of the 2007, 2008, 2010, 2011 and 2013, surpassing the domestic appearance record at the global event held by Paul Tergat who made seven appearances from 1994 to 2000.
Lucy Cheruiyot, who is also returning in a bid to retain her crown, also set a new course record in the corresponding women’s race by stopping the clock at 79:24 with Edith Chelimo (80:13) and Paul Wangui rounding the podium.
Organisers are aiming at enlisting a bumper field of over 2000 runners for the 13th running of the event where the men and women winners of the half marathon will pocket KSh500,000 with those finishing second taking home KSh250,000.
“So far we have attracted over 200 elite athletes and it’s our hope the number that is likely to grow in the coming few days. We intend to review the prize money soon so that we can have even more athletes in future,” event founder and former Cabinet Minister, Maj (Rtd) Marsden Madoka stated.
Race Manager, Gerald Mshaga, further announced the inclusion of Kosmas Koech and Shelimita Muriuki winners of the men and women 42Km races at the 34th Safaricom Mombasa International Marathon last month to the field.
Integrated communications giant, Safaricom (KSh2m) and Brookside Dairies (KSh500,000) are among the sponsors for this year’s event.