GraceKahura running for Team Kenya on Monday 28, 2018 during Boulder International Challenge in Colorado, USA. Photo/Courtesy
Kenyan athletes in diaspora have welcomed the newly launched Heart Lake Run in Brampton, Canada, saying the race will inspire many to embrace the sport.
One of the already motivated people for the event is the 2018 Vancouver BMO Half Marathon second finisher, Jane Murage, who shuttles her training between the rugged terrains of Ngong Hills in Kenya and the panoramic scenery of Ontario in Canada.
“This is a great initiative. I cannot wait to be involved. I know Ethiopians are eyeing glory in this competition so my advice to fellow Kenyan runners is that they should practice hard,” Murage said.
Having also finished second at the Victoria Times-Colonist Garden City 10Km race, Murage wants to give a shot at the Heart Lake Run.
“I’m training hard with an eye on several races in Canada, one of them being the Heart Lake Run,” she said.
Grace Kahura, who finished 14th overall in the 2018 Boulder International Challenge USA, is also focused on the Heart Lake run.
“The race offers exciting prizes which are bound to attract Kenyans in droves. Personally, I can’t wait to register for the 10km category.
“Taking part in this noble initiative will raise the Kenyan flag high at the same time put our country on the global map,” Colorado-based Kahura said.
Peel Regional Councillor, Michael Palleschi, who graced the launch of a website of the race on Friday, expressed support for the competition.
“I would like to welcome this race to be held in my ward. We will engage our community and partners to create awareness on this exciting enterprise.
“We will use the chance to focus on three areas to strengthen our neighborhood, namely Zero Hunger, Environment Conservation and Climate Change,” Palleschi said.
Kenya Women in Canada Association (KWICA) President, Pauline Mwangi, believes the event would promote local brands abroad.
“Our athletes will gain exposure. They are bound to sign long contracts with international firms to sustain their careers.
“We strongly encourage women participants to register in large numbers,”Mwangi said.
Mwangi, who is also the Canada Africa Marketing and Development Agency (CAMDA) Chief Executive Officer explained that there are plans to collaborate with the Kenya High Commission in Ottawa, Athletics Kenya and all the 47 Kenyan counties to assist local athletes to take part in the high profile challenge.
The event will start with a 3Km ‘plogging walkathon’. This contest, which involves walking, jogging and running, is slated for June 8, 2019.
“It will be a charity event in support of United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goals, which are in line with Brampton 2040 Vision Strategic Plan and Peel 2041 Official Plan,” explained Palleschi.
“We’re working closely with Environment and Economic Development Departments at Brampton City Hall to make the Walkathon a success. We plan to upgrade to 10Km and other long distance categories thereafter,” Mwangi said.