Standard Chartered has announced the launch of its annual Nairobi Marathon slated for 31st October, 2021. This year the marathon, which has previously been fully physical, will adopt a hybrid format that includes both physical and virtual participation.

The marathon was cancelled last year due to unprecedented challenges poised by the COVID-19 containment measures. The newly adopted hybrid format will combine the traditional mass participation physical race for elite runners only with a virtual option for the rest of the participants.

The physical marathon restricted to 2,500 local and international elite athletes will be held on the Southern Bypass with Carnivore Grounds as the marathon venue. With a great view of Nairobi National Park along the bypass, this year’s Marathon will be a great showcase of our city and its potential in the tourism sector.

The virtual marathon will be targeting 13,500 participants to encourage active lifestyles among participants will be done between the 25th and 31st of October, 2021.

To participate, entrants will be required to check the Standard Chartered Nairobi Marathon website on the registration portal and pay a standard fee of Ksh. 1,000. Optional donations to the Future Makers Initiative are encouraged by clicking the donations buttons on the registration portal on the marathon website.

Speaking during the launch, Kariuki Ngari, CEO Standard Chartered said, “Upon cancellation of the marathon last year, we took time to engage with a couple of stakeholders and gained some useful insights for future marathons. One of the key things that came up was the adoption of virtual marathons and the emergence of virtual running communities across the world. This has been reflected in our hybrid marathon this year which will allow for virtual participation.”

The races for the day will include 10 Kilometers, 21 kilometers, 42 kilometers and the 42 kilometers relay. The first race of the day will be done at 7:00 a.m.

Commenting during the launch, Athletics Kenya Chairman Rtd Gen. Jackson Tuwei said, “This is an opportune moment for athletes to come and prove themselves in the marathon. Last year was a difficult year for athletes and this year, together with various stakeholders, we are planning every event with the athlete’s welfare in mind.”

To be selected among the 13,500 virtual participants, one will be required to download the Strava app. Then he/she will be required to sign up for the challenge (5Kms, 10km, 21kms, 42kms or 42kms relay). Once completion of the challenge, they will be issued with a reward which may include Strava virtual badges, slots for physical warm up races, Strava premium subscription for a year, shopping vouchers and LFC merchandize.