Voice of Sport

Margaret Kenyatta to support ‘friend and Rwanda’ at Sunday’s Kigali Marathon

Fast-rising in reputation Kigali International Peace Marathon takes place in Rwanda, a country that is now a model of peace in Africa, characterised by vibrant growth, development, one of world’s cleanest environments and a deliberate effort towards unified nationhood

Backing: Margaret Kenyatta (centre) had the support, during her charity First Lady Half Marathon in Nairobi last year, of Jeanette Museveni (left), First Lady of Rwanda and Rachel Ruto (right), wife of Kenya’s Deputy President William Ruto. On Sunday, Mrs Kenyatta will accompany Mrs Museveni at the Kigali International Peace Marathon. Photo: MOHAMMED AMIN/sports-pot.com

our website  cheap canada goose  

Margaret Kenyatt waves to onlookers during the early stages of the 2014 London Marathon

Margaret Kenyatta waves to onlookers during the early stages of the 2014 London Marathon

ALTHOUGH she never shirks from the challenge of serious long distance running, including the grueling 42km marathon, Kenya’s First Lady Margaret Kenyatta will on Sunday make a symbolic participation in the Kigali International Peace Marathon in Rwanda.

Mrs Kenyatta has recently routinely taken part in the charity First Lady Nairobi Half Marathon and astounded all by completing the full London Marathon in 2014.

Margaret Kenyatta (second from right) amidst pace setters and competitors during the London Marathon, 2014

Margaret Kenyatta (second from right) amidst pace setters and competitors during the London Marathon, 2014

canada goose Coming from a week-long tour of England and China, the Kenya First Lady did not ,perhaps have opportunity for the ideal preps for the Marathon in Rwanda and she says she will be in to support a good cause  and be alongside Rwanda President Paul Kagame’s wife, Jeanette who also has previously supported Mrs Kenyatta’s Half Marathon efforts in Nairobi.

Mrs Kenyatta said on Thursday: “I will on Sunday join Jeanette Kagame during the Kigali International Peace Marathon. Her Excellency Jeanette Kagame and I are scheduled to run the symbolic and non-competitive ‘7 KM special’ race.”

After the finish in London, Margaret Kenyatta has the support of her husband, President Uhuru Kenyatta

After the finish in London, Margaret Kenyatta has the support of her husband, President Uhuru Kenyatta

Margaret Kenyatta (second from left) had a team of ladies running with her … savouring the end of the race in London

Margaret Kenyatta (second from right) had a team of ladies running with her … savouring the end of the race in London

Congratulations and a cake from Kenya Airways for 2014 London Marathon heroes/heroines … finisher Margaret Kenyatta (second from right) and to her right men’s winner Wilson Kipsang’ and next Edna Kiplagat the women’s winner

Congratulations and a cake from Kenya Airways for 2014 London Marathon heroes/heroines … finisher Margaret Kenyatta (front row, second from right), to her right men’s winner Wilson Kipsang’ and, second from left, Edna Kiplagat the women’s winner

An estimated 6,000 athletes, diplomats and peace enthusiasts from all over the world are expected to take part in the 13th annual peace marathon.

Kenya’s First Lady Margaret, 53, mother of three adult children and wife of President Uhuru, 55, is a running enthusiast belying her age. Like ordinary Kenyan marathoners, she had months or daily training, mostly in high altitude Rift Valley, for the 2014 London Marathon. She finished the course ahead of hundreds of others in a time of 7hrs 05mins 28 secs.

canada goose

Jeannette Kagame (left) and Margaret Kenyatta happy with their finishing efforts at Nyayo National Stadium during the 2016 [Kenya] First Lady’s Half Marathon

Jeannette Kagame (left) and Margaret Kenyatta happy with their finishing efforts at Nyayo National Stadium during the 2016 [Kenya] First Lady’s Half Marathon

She ran to raise funds for her “Beyond Zero” campaign to provide maternity and general healthcare to mothers and children in Kenya. Her goal; to eliminate preventable maternal and early childhood deaths.

Twitter

Margaret Kenya is involved in the preparation of the IAAF World Under 18 Championships to be hosted by Nairobi on July 12-16. She Patron on the Local Organising Committee

Margaret Kenya is involved in the preparation of the IAAF World Under 18 Championships to be hosted by Nairobi on July 12-16. She is the Patron on the Local Organising Committee

 The professional section of the 2014 London Marathon was won by Kenyans Edna Kiplagat (women – 2:20.21) and Wilson Kipsang (men – 2:04.29). Fans followed updates of Mrs Kenyatta’s run on Twitter and congratulated her for finishing the race. One of them, @Ngendow said: Mrs Kenyatta has made history as the “first African first lady to complete the 42 kilometre marathon. This makes her a “phenomenal woman.”

The First Lady was met at the finish line by jubilant fans and family members led by President Uhuru and former First Lady (Uhuru’s mother) Mama Ngina Kenyatta, Margaret’s mother-in-law.

The Sunday event marks the second time that both First Ladies of Kenya and Rwanda will be running together after the Beyond Zero Half marathon in Nairobi on March 6, last year.

During the Nairobi event, Mrs Kagame joined thousands of Kenyans including Kenya Deputy President William Ruto, diplomats, top corporate leaders and renowned elite athletes to complete the 21 km half marathon for which the Kenyan First Lady is known for in her campaigns to mobilize resources for the innovative “Beyond Zero” initiative.

Preps in high gear: Kenya’s First Lady Margaret Kenyatta presses the remote baton recently to launch the official website of the IAAF World U18 Championships at the Moi International Sports Centre, Kasarani. Photo: MOHAMMED AMIN

Preparations in high gear: Kenya’s First Lady Margaret Kenyatta presses the remote control to launch the official website of the IAAF World U18 Championships, Nairobi  at the Moi International Sports Centre, Kasarani. She is the Patron of the Local Organising Committee.  Photo: MOHAMMED AMIN/sports-pot.com

Over the last four and half years, the Kenya First Lady has run four successful Half Marathons in Nairobi and London and also trained for the events in Japan, Ethiopia and various parts of Kenya. She has set a global record for her commitment and participation in running the marathons. She has been at the forefront in Nairobi’s hosting of the IAAF [International Association of Athletics Federations] World Under 18 Championships on July 12-16. She is Patron of the Local Organising Committee.

The three concurrent events in Kigali are scheduled to start and end at the Amahoro National Stadium where the two First Ladies will also preside over the awards to the winners.
The top winner of the 41 km marathon will take home Rwandese Franc 2 million (approximately Sh 240,000) while the winner of the 21km race takes home Rwandese Franc 1 million (about Sh 120,000).

The week just ended, Margaret Kenyatta had not time preparing for a marathon but instead was on a busy working tour of England and China. Here she with Her Excellency Peng Liyuan (second from left) First Lady of the Republic of China and other visiting spouses of Heads of State and Government during the Belt & Road Forum for International Cooperation

The week just ended, Margaret Kenyatta had no time preparing for a marathon but instead was on a busy working tour of England and China. Here she is with Her Excellency Peng Liyuan (centre), First Lady of the Republic of China and other visiting spouses of Heads of State and Government during the Belt & Road Forum for International Cooperation

canada goose The marathons will be preceded by a Peace Torch relay on Saturday that starts from Rwanda’s memorial site in Nyanza region and ends at the Amahoro Stadium.

Adults, the youth and children will take part in the Saturday event according to the President of the Rwanda Athletics Federation, Jean-Paul Munyandamutsa.

Blistering pace (above) and conservative pace (below) at the 2016 Kigali International Peace Marathon

Blistering pace (above) and conservative pace (below) at the 2016 Kigali International Peace Marathon

The women’s category podium at the 2015 Bank of Kigali International Peace Marathon

The women’s category podium at the 2015 Bank of Kigali International Peace Marathon

All the previous events of the Kigali peace marathon have been dominated by Kenyans including last year where men and women from Kenya scooped all the first top positions in both 42km and 21 km races.

The annual Kigali International Peace Marathon plays an important part in the country’s journey towards peace, healing and reconciliation after the Rwanda genocidal mass slaughter of some of its populations in 1994 where over 800,000 Rwandese lost their lives within 100 days of senseless ethnic cleansing as the rest of the world watched helplessly.

Liberation Day

The Kigali peace marathon takes place within the Country’s Kwibuka 23 (that marks 23 years since the 1994 genocide) period  that spreads between April 7  to July 3 ahead of the country’s Liberation Day on July 4.

Despite that dark spot in its history, Rwanda has now become a model of peace in Africa characterised by vibrant growth and development, one of world’s cleanest environments and a deliberate effort towards nationhood that collectively detests profiling its citizens by their ethnic identification.

-Additional reporting by Correspondent and president.go.ke