- Category: News and Highlights
Kenya Institute for Public Policy Research and Analysis (KIPPRA) staff were among thousands of Kenyans who participated in the second edition of the First Lady's Half Marathon that took place on 8th March, 2015 at the Nyayo National Stadium.
First Lady Margaret Kenyatta led participants in the race aimed at raising funds to buy mobile clinics in all the 47 counties in Kenya. The marathon is part of the First Lady’s Beyond Zero campaign whose mission is to reduce maternal and early childhood deaths.
The race comprised of four categories: wheel chair and tri-cycle race, which started at 6:30am; half marathon (21km), which began at 7.00am; the 10km race, which kicked off at 7.45am and 2km champions race, which began at 9.00am. Seventeen KIPPRA staff members participated in the 10km race.
The marathon was a star-studded affair, attracting dignitaries from the political, sports, corporate and many other spheres. Among the participants of the 21km race were the Deputy President William Ruto and his wife Rachel, Supreme Court Judge Njoki Ndung’u, Cabinet Secretaries James Macharia and Hassan Wario, World and Olympic 3000m steeple chase star Ezekiel Kemboi, former world marathon record holder Catherine Ndereba and former world half marathon champion Lonah Kiplagat.
The First Lady received a rousing welcome as she entered the stadium and headed to the finish line where President Uhuru Kenyatta was waiting to receive her. Later, not even the President was left behind as the entire stadium broke into jubilation and dancing while singing along to favorite local tunes.
Given that the marathon coincided with the International Women’s Day celebrated the same day, men, including the President and the Deputy President, sat patiently and listened to women leaders address the participants.
In her speech, the First Lady noted that although thousands of events are held worldwide on March 8, to mark International Women’s Day and celebrate women’s achievements, approximately 800 women still die daily from preventable causes related to pregnancy and childbirth, 99 per cent from developing countries.
“We are halfway through our journey, as we need to raise additional funds to purchase more clinics so that each of our 47 counties has a mobile clinic to service the healthcare needs of our mothers and children,” she said.
The First Lady thanked participants for their generous contributions towards the Beyond Zero initiative.