NAIROBI, Kenya, October – Excitement is at fever pitch at the ‘home of champions’ as another edition of the New York Marathon draws near.
This World Marathon Majors race has been a stomping ground for Kenyan athletes since its first edition 52 years ago and this year promises to be no different — what with the plethora of elite runners in the start list of the men and women’s race.
Despite the withdrawal of defending champion Evans Chebet and two-time winner Geoffrey Kamworor, there are still plenty of reasons why every Kenyan should be glued on their screens come Sunday.
United States-based Edward Cheserek will be counting on the home crowd’s support to edge him to victory in what will be his first foray into the 42km.
Another Kenyan, Albert Korir, be seeking his second ever title in the Big Apple, having clocked 2:08:22 to take top honours in 2021.
In the women’s race, defending champion Sharon Lokedi will be flying the Kenyan flag as will be Boston Marathon champion Hellen Obiri, Olympic champion Peres Jepchirchir and immediate former world record holder for the women’s marathon, Brigid Kosgei.
Other Kenyans who will be bearing the hopes of approximately 50 million countrymen and women include Edna Kiplagat – a New York City, Boston, London and World Championships Marathon winner – Olympian Viola Cheptoo Lagat and Mary Ngugi-Cooper.
With a prospect of a tantalising race on Sunday, numerous elite athletes and upcoming ones in Iten will have the chance to cheer on their counterparts as they tackle the tough New York course and the ever-lurking challenge of their Ethiopian archrivals.
Thanks to Bank of Africa (BOA), they will be able to congregate at a watch party — dubbed “viewerthons” — where they will not only follow the action closely but also learn more about the bank’s “Mwanariadha” Account and Asset Finance.
This is a distinctive package tailored for sportspersons to enable them make wise investments and financial decisions.
BOA-Kenya CEO Ronald Marambii says it was a no-brainer to revive the viewerthons — halted during the Covid-19 period — due to the benefits they offer to local athletes.
“This is the seventh year we are sponsoring the Viewerthon series as part of our commitment to support our world class athletic talent pool. We are reviving the “Viewerthons” after they were temporarily put on hold due to the Coronavirus pandemic with the series taking a break in 2020, 2021 and 2022,” Marambii explained.