Kass marathon that begins in Kapsabet and ends in Eldoret is unique and tough.
November 8, 2018
Winners of a past Kass marathon event
The fact that Kass Marathon starts from one town and ends in another one may not be that unique, but what is really unique is that crowds line up the entire route from Kapsabet town to Eldoret town to cheer the athletes, just like it happens in cross country meetings. This only happens when a race is run across villages that produce past, present and future world record holders and champions.
Kass marathon marathon is more about discovering new talents than anything else. It continues to provide opportunities for new athletes to get recognized. Many of them get to meet their managers just at the finish line who would then enter them in international competitions abroad and build their careers.
Time is not important in this marathon due to it being run on a hard course. The winning time for men is usually around 2:17 to 2:20. These times would perhaps translate to 2:03:02 if it is considered that Geoffrey Mutai won this race before going to run the world’s fastest marathon time at the Boston Marathon in 2011. But, no one should worry about the times because finishing Kass marathon is a huge achievement in itself, no matter in what time you do it. Some runners run just to complete this course believing that if they can just finish it, then they can easily conquer any other marathon out there.
Athletes running the full marathon usually travel in the evening to Kapsabet so that they would wake up in the morning near to the starting point. Most hotels there do not open early enough for runners to get their breakfast before the marathon, but there are women who usually make tea in open fires near the starting point and athletes take them with some snacks before warming up. Although as one warms up, they may end up finding a hotel at some street somewhere far from the starting that is already open.
The women's race starts at around 7:30AM; some speeches are made in the next 20 minutes before the men's race could start. The men's race begins at around 8:00AM.
With tough hills on the route that at times athletes wonder whether they would not be moving faster if they walked instead of running, the first half of the Kass marathon is very tough. The last stages of the course, about fourteen kilometers to the finish, are relatively faster. The only problem is that to get to those last kilometers is next to impossible.
Whoever finishes the Kass marathon surely has a story to tell.
The race ends inside the Eldoret Sports Club. The whole place here is a big party. Locals turn up in very large numbers and there are many forms of entertainment in place. The change of the venue beginning in 2014 was a great service to the Kass International Marathon and as the organizer promised, the marathon seems to be becoming better and better each year.