Mutai to run Nairobi Diamond 10km run
04 August 2014, 10:12
Nairobi - Kenya's New York Marathon champion Geoffrey Mutai is the latest elite runner to confirm participation in the inaugural Nairobi Diamond 10km Run, which will be held on August 17.
Mutai, 32, will be defending his New York title in November and wants a fast short race to gauge his speed. Mutai has had a poor season in 2014 over the 42km distance, finishing sixth in London.
However, he has had good run in shorter distances in Boston and New York.
He set a personal best over the 10km race in Boston in April clocking 27:19 after running 1:00:50 to win New York City half marathon ahead of Britain's Mo Farah (1:01:07) and Stephen Sambu 1:01:08.
"The focus is to win in New York. But the organisers have not confirmed the names, but I want to run there. I have started my preparations and Nairobi Diamond 10km run looks a good bet for me to test my speed," Mutai said on Sunday from Eldoret.
"I also want to help boost the profile of the race. Many times we go abroad to run and sometime we are not able to win. But here, even if I don't win, I want the race to continue being there and top athletes coming to run here."
"I will bring alone several athletes we train together with them in Kaptagat and am sure other elite runners will be coming here too. I am not running because I target the prize money, far from it. We just want support it, make it more lucrative," he added.
Mutai's best time over the 10km event is 27:19 and he wants to run as close to it as possible.
But he will not be alone as Leonard Komon, the world 10km record holder and Kenneth Kemboi, former African champion in the distance are among the athletes who have confirmed participation.
Barnaba Korir, Nairobi County Athletics Kenya chairman who is also race director, said over 2000 people have confirmed participation in a race which has a prize pack worth 120,000 U.S. dollars.
"It is promising to be a big event. We will also have the fun race. It will be a unique race starting and ending at Uhuru Park. The athletes will run through the streets in the Central Business District. Basically we aim to enhance the image of the Nairobi City and promoting the metropolis as the hub of Africa," said Korir.
"For the elite to run in a local event, it boosts its profile. Now we have big names signing and the sponsors associated with the event will get real value of their money. Mutai is not running because of money, this is the example elite runners need to show," he said.