Ruto wins gold in Gakuru memorial race, gives Sh2m

Deputy President William Ruto takes part in the Dr Wahome Gakuru Memorial Half Marathon in Nyeri County on November 10, 2018. PHOTO | GRACE GITAU | NATION MEDIA GROUP

By Daily Nation

IN SUMMARY
Ruto finished first, bagging the gold medal. Those who started with the deputy president (DP) did not go past the 200-metre mark.

The race is in honour of Governor Gakuru, who died on November 7 last year following a grisly road accident along Nyeri-Nairobi highway.

While noting that people from all walks of life attended the event, Ruto said sports is a unifying factor.

Politicians on Sunday bowed out of the 10-kilometre race in the Dr Wahome Gakuru Memorial Half Marathon, leaving Deputy President William Ruto to run in the company of his guards and a few athletes
Mr Ruto finished first, bagging the gold medal.

CONSISTENCY

Those who started with the deputy president (DP) did not go past the 200-metre mark.

Among them were governors Mutahi Kahiga and Okoth Odado (Migori), and lawmakers Ndindi Nyoro (Kiharu), Rigathi Gachagua (Mathira), Ngunjiri Wambugu (Nyeri Town) and James Gichohi (Tetu).

Mr Kahiga and a host of other MPs, however, joined Mr Ruto at the tail end of the race.

The DP crossed the finish line in one hour and six minutes after consistently jogging through the dusty and hilly terrain.

Of the leaders present, only Chinga Ward Representative Kiruga Thuku ran alongside the DP.

Hundreds of Nyeri residents turned up for the first even which comprised a 21-kilometre race for elite athletes, a 10-kilometre race and a five-kilometre corporate race.

Mr Ruto flagged off the 21km race minutes past seven at Ruring’u stadium. Participants ran from the stadium, cut through Nyeri town to Kamakwa, headed to Tetu boys and Gitero and then back to the starting point.

Deputy President William Ruto takes part in the Dr Wahome Gakuru Memorial Half Marathon in Nyeri County on November 10, 2018. PHOTO | GRACE GITAU | NATION MEDIA GROUP

PROMISE

Governor Gakuru died on November 7 last year following a grisly road accident along Nyeri-Nairobi highway.

At his burial, Mr Kahiga, who was then his deputy, suggested the marathon to honour him.

The race was to take place after the completion of the stadium, but the revamp has stalled for the last eight months due to lack of funds.

The government is upgrading the facility to international standards at a cost of Sh450million.
Mr Ruto, however, promised that the work will be finished in a year.

“I commit [to this project] and assure the people of Nyeri that the stadium will be completed in the next year, alongside other stadia whose construction has been undertaken by the government,” he said.

Deputy President William Ruto takes part in the Dr Wahome Gakuru Memorial Half Marathon in Nyeri County on November 10, 2018. PHOTO | GRACE GITAU | NATION MEDIA GROUP

UNIFYING FACTOR

While noting that people from all walks of life attended the event, Mr Ruto said sports is a unifying factor.

“This is a great moment for our country,” he said.

Titus Ekiru from Nandi County won the 21-kilometers race, bagging a reward of Sh250,000, while Titus Kipruto from Elgeyo Marakwet came second and Joseph Kiprotich from Nandi third.

Among women, Lydia Njeri from Nyandarua County won the same race while Maryanne Wangari from Nakuru County came second and was followed by Caroline Kilel from Kericho County.

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