Road closures for the 18th edition of the Standard Chartered Nairobi Marathon

Standard Chartered has today announced road closures for the physical marathon set for 31st October 2021.

 The physical marathon will be limited to 2500 elite runners from Kenya and other key countries such as Uganda and Ethiopia and will be held on the Southern Bypass route. The start and finishing points will be at the Carnivore Grounds and will feature different race categories namely: 10km, 21km, 21km Wheelchair Race, 42km and the 42km Corporate Relay.

To allow for safety provisions for the runners, the Nairobi Traffic department has designed an elaborate road closure diversions schedule that will see traffic to and out of the Southern Bypass diverted to alternative roads between 12AM and 1PM on 31st October 2021. All interchanges to the Southern bypass will be closed with the Dagoretti interchange partially closed. Motorists will be diverted to Dagoretti road, Langata road, Enterprise road, Uhuru highway and Waiyaki way. Trucks from Inland Container Depot (ICD) will be redirected to Mombasa Road within the stipulated period.

Speaking at Carnivore during the announcement the Nairobi Traffic Police Commander (TPC) in charge, Joshua Omukata said that everything had been put in place to ensure minimal disruption to motorists and pedestrians.

‘’We have organized traffic diversions to ensure that residents have access to alternative routes during the stipulated marathon hours. Users of the Southern Bypass are advised to use alternative routes provided. We request that the public cooperates with our traffic officers deployed along the roads for smooth flow of traffic. We also want to affirm that strict security measures will be in place to ensure safety of participants.’’ He said.

Different from previous marathon routes, the Southern Bypass route was chosen due to ongoing road constructions along Uhuru Highway and Mombasa Road. The route was also picked due to its proximity to the National Park, which has a great scenic route and creates an opportunity to use the marathon to advance tourism.

Speaking during the announcement, Peter Gitau, the Chairman of the Local Organizing Committee expressed confidence that the marathon would go on without hitches.

“This year, we have adopted a hybrid format that combines the traditional mass participation physical race for elite runners only with a virtual option for the rest of the participants. Because of covid protocols, we’re limited to the number of people who can participate in the physical marathons which is why we’ve also introduced a virtual one. We’ve also partnered with running clubs and Kenya Forest service to encourage participants to use green spaces for their virtual runs.’’ He said

The physical race will cover 10KM, 21KM, 21KM wheelchair race as well as the 42KM corporate relay. Qualifying times for elite athletes have been adjusted to allow for more reach and inclusion, with registration for the physical marathon done on a first come, first serve basis.

‘’We expect that 2,500 elite runners will take part in the physical marathon this year with a total prize money kitty of KES 10,550,000 up for grabs. With a significant representation of elite athletes, we expect good competition and spotting of running talent. The Nairobi marathon is more than a competition to us. It is a platform to encourage wellbeing, support athletes who are launching their international careers and gain proceeds to go towards our Futuremakers initiative; a global initiative to tackle inequality and promote greater economic inclusion for young people. This year, our theme is centered on running as one which speaks to connectedness and partnership. Our partners have reflected this and to date, we have received sponsorship worth KS15Mn from our partners, for which we are very grateful.

We look forward to a successful 18th edition of the marathon and hope that all our participants have a great experience, ” he concluded.

Participating Kenyan elite athletes include Daniel Simiyu, Ronex Kipruto, Chemutai Riunotukei, Fridah Jepkite Lodepa Ptoo and Brilian Jepkorir Kipkoech, who have participated in and won in international marathons. 

The marathon makes a comeback this year after it was cancelled in 2020 due to unprecedented challenges brought about by COVID-19 and the containment measures required. Registration is still open at with all proceeds channeled towards the Futuremakers initiative.