Standard Chartered Marathon cancelled for the first time in 17 years

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The 2020 edition of the Nairobi Standard Chartered Marathon, which was earlier set for October 25 has been cancelled by organizers due to uncertainties brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic.

““Our consultations with Athletics Kenya and the Ministry of Sports clearly indicated that we would not be able to plan for a physical event with any certainty. We then considered a virtual marathon event and consulted other stakeholders, amongst them, running clubs, coaches and past corporate running teams.

“After benchmarking with local and international virtual races our conclusion was that this format promoted improved safety but for it to be successful it still required the majority of participants to leave their homes in order to cover the race distances; a move that could compromise COVID-19 preventive measure protocols,” said Peter Gitau, Chairman of the Standard Chartered Nairobi Marathon Local Organising Committee.

He added; “This was not an easy decision to make. We have held the marathon annually for 17 years, and 2020 was to be no different. However, the depth and scale of COVID – 19 is unprecedented and remains hard to predict.”

Gitau also mentioned that they had thought of organizing the event virtually, just as it happened with the cancelled Lewa Marathon in July, but could not implement it as its success still required the majority of participants to leave their homes, a move that could compromise COVID-19 preventive measure protocols.

Last year, the Standard Chartered Marathon in Nairobi attracted over 17,000 participants and raised over Ksh. 30million towards FutureMakers (community investment program which provides youth in need with education, employment and entrepreneurship opportunities.)