Athletics Kenya warned on Tueday they will discontinue races where organisers either delayed in the payment of athletes’ prize money or failed to pay up altogether.
AK President Jackson Tuwei said road running rules will be adhered to strictly and those breaking them “will be dealt with harshly.”
Tuwei was speaking at Riadha House where AK cleared this year’s UAP Old Mutual Ndakaini Half Marathon to take place on September 30 in Murang’a County but with a warning of discontinuity in future if they fail to pay athletes.
Several athletes had complained that the organisers of the race had failed to pay them on time, even after the sponsors remitted their package on time.
“We gave them the permit and a lee way to launch the event after showing proof that they have paid all the athletes. They brought the list where the last athlete was paid on May 11,” said Tuwei. “We shall not allow this to continue and shall discontinue races for repeated offenders so as to protect the athletes.”
Tuwei said all Ndakaini race athletes will be paid after the race save for those whose blood samples will have been taken for doping tests.
Tuwei said he is pleased that some improvements have been made to the course in an effort to meet international standards.
The half marathon will have the elite field starting from a dedicated starting point with the rest of the races in 10km and 5km starting 50 metres away.
Tuwei expressed AK’s pleasure at being associated with the Ndakaini race and acknowledged that the marathon has been a breeding ground for some of the country’s top athletes.
UAP Old Mutual Group head of communication Catherine Obwino announced the prize money has been increased to Sh2 million up from Sh1.5 million for the event that is set to draw 4,000 participants.
The winners in men and women’s 21km (half marathon) race will pocket Sh 300,000 each from Sh 200,000 last year while first runners up will pocket 150,000.00 and second runners up Sh 105,000.00 each.
Elite runners will pay Sh 1,200 as registration fee while the rest Sh 1,000 but there is a discounted rate of Sh 1,000 and Sh 800 respectively if participants will register online on www.uapndakaini.uap-group.com/reg.
Corporate entries of 10 participants per team will attract an entry fee of Sh 100,000.00 up from Sh50,000.
Over Sh 2 million was raised from last year’s race that attracted 3,500m participants. Patrick Ngetich and Brigid Kosgei are the men and women defending champions respectively.
The race that is organised by Ndakaini Environment Association (Ndeka) is aimed at conserving the Ndakaini Dam and its environs.