ELITE runners all the way from Kenya will compete in this year’s Destination Basingstoke Shire Half-Marathon – adding a greater competitive edge to the event and raising its profile.
The two athletes from the Run Fast training camp in the town of Iten in the Rift Valley will join other participants on Sunday, October 7 in the second annual event.
Iten is known as the long-distance running capital of Kenya and nearly all of the residents are professional or aspiring athletes. The two runners, Andrew Lesuuda and Agnes Chebet, train alongside top athletes including Olympic and world champion Haile Gebrsellasie.
Andrew finished in second place in the Bucharest Half-Marathon and also won the Stroud Half-Marathon last year in the UK. Agnes is on her first trip outside of Kenya and has already set a course record at the Portsmouth Victory five-mile race.
Tom Snow, athlete manager at Run Fast, said: “Both athletes are very excited about running in Basingstoke. Andrew has said that he hopes the course is well marked so that he doesn’t get lost at one of the many roundabouts he’s been told about!”
Felicity Edwards, managing director of Destination Basingstoke, which is organising the event, added: “We are very excited that the Basingstoke Half-Marathon has attracted interest from Kenyan athletes.
“They will add a new dimension to the race – not to mention a new challenge for other competitors.”