2008 Beijing Olympic Games full marathon champion Samuel Kamau Wanjiru will make a guest appearance in Sunday’s Kigali International Marathon.
According to Rwanda’s ace athlete Disi Dieudonne, the Kenyan together with 1999 World Cross Country Champion Benjamin Kipkoech Limo, will be in Kigali to help promote the event, which is expected to attract about 1000 athletes.
Wanjiru won the full marathon in an Olympic record time of 2:06:32. Last year, he won the London and Chicago Marathon, setting new records in both events.
In 2007, he broke the 20 km road running world record.
With two days to go, only 1000 athletes have confirmed participation.
The event’s logistics officer Jean Pierre Ernzen has conceded that they will not hit their target ‘4000’ athletes.
“The small numbers are testament of poor publicity for the marathon,” he said. “We hope more locals we will register to boost the numbers.”
Kenya’s surge this year is led by 2008 winner Jacob Kenadgor, who still holds the record of 2:18:06. Others in the fray include Sammy Kipruto, Daniel Rotich and David Tuwe.
Last year’s edition was won by Kenya’s Tabut Benjamin Kipkosgei after clocking 2:21:38 while Bryton Banuelia of Tanzania set a new record in the women fray after clocking 2 hours, 47minutes and 49.
Full marathon winners will pocket $2500 while $1500 has been reserved for half marathon champions.