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Budapest athletes to grace inaugural Kisumu City run

A team of professional athletes from Budapest is set to headline the inaugural Kisumu City Run, slated for September 24, 2023.

Other big names in the sport, among them Catherine Ndereba, Mary Moraa, Benjamin Limo, and Mercy Cherono, among others, have also confirmed participation.

Kisumu City Manager Abala Wanga said the event, which is the first of its kind, has also attracted athletes from Kisii, Eldoret, and Nandi, which are powerhouses in the sport.

This, he said, was set to put the city on the world map as the athletes compete to support Kisumu’s greening initiative.

The race, which coincides with Kisumu County Tourism Week, will see participants, spectators, and residents plant trees to help green the city.

Wanga said the city management has issued a notice to area residents that the day of the run will be a car-free day and no vehicles will be allowed in the Central Business District (CBD).

He revealed that there shall be a community service event on Saturday, September 23, 2023, a day before the event, where all city streets and estates shall be cleaned.

After the cleaning, he said, all city residents have been asked to plant a tree, with a total of 250,000 trees expected to be planted.

“We have so many roadside tree nurseries, and we are asking all Kisumu city residents to spare Sh30 each and purchase a tree for planting on that day,” he said.

Abala said that apart from tree planting, other activities such as family fun events, local Ohangla music, and traditional Luo cuisine have been lined up after the race on Sunday to showcase the best of Kisumu to the world.

On Monday, a summit for students has been organized to be followed by a tour of key attraction sites in Kisumu the following day.

On day three, the city will play host to a tourism conference where different players in the sector will discuss issues affecting the sector.

The event will culminate with an evening party, with visitors treated to the city’s best nightlife.

Wanga asked the business community to support the organisers by giving donations to make the event a success.

Kisumu County Athletics Kenya Secretary Ignatius Oluoch said the race will feature 21km and 10km races for elite runners, 5km race for family fun,  5km tricycle for people with disabilities, and  1km run for children.

“Our role here is to give technical advice to the organisers. We have already drawn the maps for the race and are raring to go,” he said.

Registration for the race is ongoing online and at Kisumu Huduma Centre, Khetias Supermarkets, and Tuffoam Mall, with the organisers targeting to register over 5,000 participants.

Registration for adults is Sh2,100, children Sh1,500, while exhibition space is Sh20,000, exhibition booths at Sh50,000 for (6×6m) and Sh 30,000 for (3×3m) booths.

By Chris Mahandara

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