Message from Athletics Kenya President
Meru is no doubt the home of mountain running in Kenya if their commitment
to the sport is anything to go by.
The county has in the recent past identified themselves with this unique sport and the fortunes are already looking good.
Despite mountain running being a relatively unknown sport in Kenya, the country has already produced some of the most illustrious athletes including current world champions.
Our very own Lucy Murigi is a two-time winner of the World Masters Mountain
Running Championships in addition to other mountain running events in which she has posted impressive results. Geoffrey Gikoni has also flown the Kenyan flag high by participating in a series of mountain running competitions in Europe.
The duo's accolades far and beyond our land are testament that Kenya is a gold
mine of talent in mountain running that is waiting to be explored and unearthed.
In Kenya, the Meru event has already set an unbeatable pace as the best event on our mountain running calendar.
At Athletics Kenya, we are also trying to build on the Meru event to spread the mountain running gospel throughout the country. Despite our programmes being adversely affected by Covid-19, we staged the inaugural Naivasha Mountain Running and the interest was overwhelming.
It is also part of AK's agenda to popularise the sport in Kenya with the end goal of solidifying the country's reputation as an athletics powerhouse.
Besides Naivasha, AK has planned to stage similar mountain running events countrywide to ensure no rough diamond remains in the dirt, rather is transformed into a polished gem.
In addition to Meru and Naivasha, it is our hope that Bomet, Kilgoris, Nandi Hills and Nyamira will play host to other mountain running meets as AK has planned this year.
For us, mountain running is an alternative to track considering the high numbers
of runners the country produces.
It is no secret that the country is endowed with talent and the best we can do as those entrusted with the future of talented athletes is to provide them with several opportunities, mountain running being one of them.
As we prepare for the Meru Mountain Running, I welcome all stakeholders to
work with us towards this new endeavor that I ultimately believe will reap dividends for the country and all individual athletes involved.
Finally, I would like to thank the Meru County Governor, His Excellency Kiraitu Murungi, for remaining true to the cause of promoting the event and making it the region's flagship.
Lt. Gen. (Rtd) Jackson Tuwei