The 14th Edition of the Madoka Marathon drew hundreds of participants both locally and across Kenya categorized into the junior, senior and pro levels. Despite the not so friendly weather, it was a show of sheer ambition, tact and exceeding resilience from virtually every participant as well as the mammoth spectators by the track sidelines.
Having been flagged off by Taita Taveta County DG, Majala Mlagui, the event kicked off at around 9.00 am in a venue doted by multiple corporates and parastatals as sponsors, boldly outshined by the Title sponsors-SAFARICOM. Amid the races, saw a serious of pauses by entertainment groups and individual showcased various talents beyond Athletics.
Occasional fog, light showers, and rain, suppressed every effort of the emerging rays. It was all a mix of pomp and mad, ‘mad’ men and happy spectators in heavy attires to shield off the extremes of the weather that grew second after second. For the local businessmen a woman, the event offered a chance to make a kill at least for that weekend.[epq-quote align=”align-left”]Despite the not so friendly weather, it was a show of sheer ambition, tact and exceeding resilience from virtually every participant as well as the mammoth spectators by the track sidelines. -v2d[/epq-quote]006 journalists and invited media houses and personalities kept cameras rolling regardless of the technical risks that glared through their lenses, keeping antennas up all day to grasp every bit worthy of a news feature.
By noon, the colorful event had transcended into a muddy affair, with a serious of minor and major mishaps. Health related issues that arose in the cause of it were carefully sought Bb the meticulous St. Johns Ambulance first aid team that kept watch all day long.
Both The officials as well as spectators were treated to a surprising moment, following an abrupt finish by a section of the Pro-level male participants (about 10 of them) that completed their 21 km race in barely half the time an average race should take. This caught the curious attention of most as the participants attributed the mishap to improper planning and marking of the racecourse by officials, hence being misled to take the wrong route.
In their defense, the organizers and Athletics Kenya Official refuted the claims, terming the Athletes move of taking short cuts during the race to be fraudulent. In one of their addresses, the Athletics Kenya-Coast province official said, all rules by the governing body had to be followed to the latter without compromise.
This subsequently led to the disqualification of the athletes caught in the ‘unfortunate scenario’. Interestingly Taita Taveta, County’s Golden boy, Phanuel Mkungo, winner of the Boston Marathon, last year, was one of the disqualified athletes subject to the short-cut incident. Having been deemed a home-grown talent, who was pretty much aware of the usual route, it further begged the question of whether the shortcut decision was as a result of ignorance or sheer negligence.
Speaking to voi2day.com the project coordinator, Mr. Gerald said “We have done this for 14 years professionally and professionally taken care of all aspects. If their excuse on the confusion is poor marking and being misled by the route markers, then all the athletes should have taken the same short cut”
In spite of all the drama, at the end of it all, various qualified participants across all categories got awarded deservedly by the organizers. The winners in the main category bagged cash prizes of 300,000 Ksh, 150,000 Ksh and 100,000 Ksh from the top, among other goodies.
Peter Mutitu and Jerop Cynthia emerged winners in the 21 KM men’s and women’s race at a record time of 1.17.42 and 1.18.55 respectively. Kahora Joseph (1.18.50) and Mutune Juliet (1.19.20) finished second after beating Joseph Chege (1.19.28) and Lucy Wanjiku (1.20.12) respectively.
This edition, courtesy of Car and General Motors, Equally saw the top local participants walk away with Brand new Cycles.
In his closing Remarks, the Patron of the event, Major. Marsden Madoka appreciated the success of this edition holding on to his dream of churning out World Champion courtesy of this legacy-worthy initiative.
Following the governor’s promise of a high altitude training center being established by the county, a promise he made in the last edition of the Madoka marathon, he equally asked the Deputy Governor about the state of affairs, one year down the line, as far as that promise is concerned.
Representing the Governor at the event, in her commentary, Her Excellency, the DG expressed that budget constraints had been the limiting factor of the project whose estimates clocked over 300 million Kenya shillings. She went on to implore the corporates to give this goal a collective approach
“As County Government, we recognize the role being played by our partners in supporting sports at the grassroots, talent identification and development, your support is immense. We understand that we cannot make it alone, we, therefore, ask for your help in building our own training center, ” said the Deputy Governor.
The sponsors list included Taita Taveta County Government, Safaricom, Brookside Dairy, Kenya Revenue Authority, Kenya Ports Authority, Car and General, Qwetu Sacco, KCB, CPS, Tesia Isanga Organization, among others.
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PHOTO CREDITS | EYESEE STUDIOS
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