The 2018 edition of the Ndalat Gaa cross-country race will see at least 30 pupils and students benefit from a mentorship program under the Isaiah Kiplagat Foundation. This as over 6000 athletes confirmed participation during this year’s competition to be held in Nandi County, the home of champions.
According to the organizers, the mentorship programme will go a long way in shaping the future of the young athletes so that they can become responsible citizens in future. It will involve training in areas around personal awareness, personality development and emotional intelligence. The programme targets 30 school going children, the first 10 in each of the junior races in the 5-12 year old categories.
The race is synonymous for being a launch pad for young athletes who have gone ahead to take on athletics as a career. Some of these include Agnes Tirop, Conselus Kipruto, Prisca Jeptoo among others.
Speaking during an inspection tour of the venue at Ndalat Gaa Girls High School, Abraham Mutai Chairman Athletics Kenya, Central Rift Region noted that everything is in place and the athletics body is ready to host all the participating athletes.
“As you can see, everything is in place ready for the action tomorrow. We expect the race to be as competitive as usual given the star studded list athletes who have already confirmed participation. As you all know, this race is billed as the biggest cross country meeting in terms of entries and spectator attendance”, Mutai said.
The race will be graced by Eliud Kipchoge, who set the new world marathon record of 2:01.39, who has been appointed as the race’s ambassador after his sterling performance during the Berlin Marathon.
The race will feature different categories: Boys and Girls, 2km 4-6 years boys and girls (school teams), 4km 7-10 years boys and girls (school teams), 6km secondary school girls (school teams), 8km secondary school boys (school teams), 4km senior women (elites), 4km senior men (elites), 6km senior women (elites), 10km senior men (elites), 4km senior women (35-45 years), 2km senior women (46 years and above), 4km senior men (40-50 years), 2km senior men (46 years and above).
Noah Kipkorir and Sandra Cherono will defend their senior race titles while World under-20 5,000m champion Rhonex Kipruto is expected to star in men’s junior race.