Elgeyo Marakwet county government has feted athletes who won in the Iten marathon held in December last year.
All the athletes who took the first 20 positions were awarded cash prizes with those in first position getting Sh1 million each, second position Sh750,000 while those who took third position got Sh500,000,
In the 42km race, Carolyne Chemutai and Suzy Chemaimak from Elgeyo Marakwet County took the first and second positions respectively while Martha Akeno from Turkana County came third.
In the men’s category, Samwel Naibei from Trans Nzoia came first, Joshua Kogo (Uasin Gishu) emerged second while Albert Kangogo from Elgeyo Marakwet took the third position.
Jonah Chesum who was among the top 20 who received cash prizes thanked the county government for holding the event in Iten saying this enabled most athletes from the county to participate in the race noting that majority fail to attend such races due to financial and logistical challenges.
“I am appealing to the county government to continue holding the races here at home so that majority of us can participate,” he said.
Speaking when she presided over the event, deputy governor Prof. Grace Cheserek advised female athletes to guard against falling for men who masqueraded as coaches but ended up luring them into love affairs but later conned them their hard earned money.
She also called on all athletes to seek financial advice which would enable them invest their monies in profitable ventures that would benefit them in future.
“I urge you to invest what you are earning now in profitable ventures so that it will help you when you can no longer participate in athletics,” she said.
She also congratulated them for running a clean race devoid of doping saying this had negatively affected the life of many athletes in addition to affecting the image of the country.
Prof. Cheserek called on athletes facing addiction challenges to seek assistance from Iten rehabilitation centre.
By Alice Wanjiru and Jasmine Saina