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Cabinet Secretary for Sports Amina Mohamed announced that in May 2022, Nairobi will be hosting a world-class marathon. Mohamed said that it will rival World Marathon Majors (WMM). The WMM includes Boston, New York, Tokyo, London, Berlin, and Chicago.

According to the online publication, “Nation” Mohamed said, “We have always watched our athletes win in some of the world’s major city marathons but it’s now time we watched it happen here in Nairobi. It has always been our dream to host a major marathon and I want to announce a cabinet memo has gone through and the country will have it’s first-ever city marathon.”

The only marathon in Nairobi at this time is the Standard Chartered Bank Nairobi Marathon.

The new marathon will offer prize purses that will rival the WMM. For example in 2021 the London Marathon had a prize purse of $313,000 USD. The men’s and women’s winners earn $55,000. In Berlin, the marathon winners receive $50,000 each. Boston pays the most at $150,000 each, while Chicago is at $50,000.

Tokyo marathon: world record holders to toe the line

World record-holders Eliud Kipchoge and Brigid Kosgei lead a star-studded field for the first race in this year’s World Marathon Majors series. The Kenyans have run 2:01:39 and 2:14:04, respectively. Kipchoge is coming off a Tokyo Olympic Marathon gold medal performance, while Kosgei picked up the silver behind fellow Kenyan Peres Jepchirchir.

Tokyo was postponed in 2021 due to the coronavirus pandemic. The race will now happen on March 6, 2022.

The third-fastest marathon runner in history, Ethiopia’s Birhanu Legese, who is a two-time Tokyo Marathon winner is racing. Fellow Ethiopian Mosinet Geremew, fourth on the all-time list, will also toe the line. Geremew’s PB of 2:02:55 was from the 2019 London Marathon where he finished behind Kipchoge.

Shura Kitata, who ended Kipchoge’s seven-year unbeaten run in the marathon at London in 2020, and Olympic bronze medallist Tamirat Tola as well as Kenya’s Amos Kipruto, a world bronze medallist are racing. It’s a deep field.

Kipchoge wants to win his third Olympic marathon in Paris 2024.

Kosgei will be expected to win after not winning the Olympics or London in 2021. She will face fellow Kenyan Angela Tanui, who won the 2021 Amsterdam Marathon in the time of 2:17:57.

Ethiopians Gotytom Gebreslase (2:20:09, Berlin 2019) and Ashete Bekere (2:18:18, London 2021) are also top contenders.

Sara Hall (2:20:32, Chandler, AZ, 2020) from the US is also racing. She always seems to be a top-5 threat and at 38-year-of-age broke Deena Kastor’s national half-marathon record with her 67:15 in Houston in January 2022.

Tokyo performances may dictate how these athletes perform this summer during the 2022 Eugene World Athletics Championships.