First Ladies of Kenya and Rwanda (centre) running during ‘Beyond Zero Half Marathon’ in Nairobi, Kenya

Kenya’s First lady Margaret Kenyatta will join her Rwandan counterpart Jeannette Kagame to sprint in the Kigali Peace Marathon scheduled for Sunday .

“I will on Sunday join my counterpart in Rwanda Jeannette Kagame during the Kigali International Peace Marathon,” Mrs Kenyatta Tweeted.

This is the 13th edition of the Kigali Peace marathon – it will be embraced under the theme, “Run for our Heroes” in a bid to honor the lives lost during the struggle to liberate the country, 23 years ago.

The race will start from Amahoro stadium via Chez Lando, Gishushu, MTN Centre Nyarutarama, Gacuriro and back to Gishushu, then Parliament, Umubano Hotel and then to Gishushu, Gisementi, Tigo, University of Rwanda – College of Education (former KIE), Control Technique, Sports View Hotel and back to Amahoro stadium.

The Marathon will comprise of three categories including; Full Marathon (42km), Half Marathon (21km) and Run for Fun (7km).

Kigali Peace Marathon sponsored by MTN Rwanda that promotes peace through sport also attracts professional runners and the general public to run for peace.

The 7km Run-for-Fun will start from Amahoro stadium via University of Rwanda – College of Education (former KIE), Control Technique, Sports View hotel and then back to the stadium. Mrs Kagame and Mrs Kenyatta are part of this category.

“We are looking forward to receiving @FirstLadyKenya, Mrs Kenyatta for the 7km ‘Run for Peace’ during the annual @KigaliMarathon,” tweeted First Lady Jeannette Kagame on her Twitter account.

Yesterday Nairobi, today Kigali 

Mrs Kenyatta and the First Lady of Rwanda Jeannette Kagame have trained to run together in a similar sport.

In March 2016, Mrs Kagame joined Mrs Kenyatta for the ‘Beyond Zero Half Marathon’ and run 10 Km alongside President Uhuru Kenyatta, several Kenyan officials and other runners.

Mrs Kenyatta started this initiative – Beyond Zero Campaign – in 2014 to partner with the government in reducing maternal and child mortality.

The Campaign is part of the initiatives outlined in her strategic framework towards HIV/AIDS prevention, promotion of maternal, new born and child health in Kenya.

The First Lady of Rwanda passionately supports such initiatives through her organization, Imbuto Foundation.

In the last 15 years of existence, Imbuto Foundation has won many accolades for protecting, educating and advancing the Rwandan girls, supporting child growth, promoting culture of competition and excellence among the youth and support to family initiatives.

Participation of Kenyan First Lady in the Kigali Marathon will be an added value for the Kenyan participants who always dominated the competition.

Last year, James Cheritich Tallam won gold in men’s 42km race using two hours, 19 minutes and 3 seconds ahead of compatriots Rono Kibet (02:19:20) and William Rutto Chebdi (2:20:11). Theoneste Kayiranga (02:24:06) was Rwanda’s best finisher in 7th place.

In the women category, Jeruiyot Chemweno from Kenya won the race clocking two hours, 38 minutes and 20 seconds, ahead of Alice Cheroti Milgo Serser (02:41:32) while Jacqueline Nyetipei Kipromoo (02:53:56) got the bronze medal.

In the men’s half marathon, Benson Kipruto took the gold medal in 1h:4:13 while Rwandan Felicien Muhitira came in 5th position.

The women’s gold was won by Kenyan Anges Jeruto in one hour, 13 minutes and 31 seconds and Rwandan Salome Nyirarukundo scooped silver clocking 1 hour, 13 minutes and 55 seconds.

Meanwhile, preparation of the itineraries is in high gear and registration of participants is open until May 20 at MTN  centres of Nyabugogo, Biryogo, Nyamirambo CHIC and Downtown.

However, Full and Half Marathon runners will register at Amahoro Stadium. But must pass free medical checkup at the same venue before they compete, according to organisers.




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