International athletes begin to arrive for Kenya triathlon
The “season opener” for Kenya’s triathlon calendar will be held in Watamu, Kilifi county, at the Kenya coast on April 18 and 19, and over 200 local and international athletes have already signed up for the event.
The various races will be held over two days beginning with a children’s aquathon on April 18 that will see participants aged 5 to 15 years of age run and swim over various distances. The children’s aquathon seeks to bolster the development of the triathlon at the grade school level across Kenya. The Sprint and Olympic distance events will take place on April 19 with participants starting with a 1.5-kilometer swim, a 40-kilometer cycle, and finishing off with a 10-kilometer run for the Olympic distance. The Sprint distance will see competitors battle over a 750-meter swim, a 20-kilometer cycle, and a 5-kilometer run around the picturesque Watamu bay area.
H&A Sports CEO, Aida Rajab, commented, “The race is now in its sixth year and has grown in stature, and 2015 will be the most competitive in its history.” She further added that the race will include an ocean swim with a flat bike course along Turtle Bay Road and a run course through Watamu Town.
Race director and Ironman competitor, Falgun Bhojak, also added his voice when he was quoted as saying, “This year’s course has been modified, and the distances and terrain will cater for all participants from professional athletes, first-timers, and children.” He added that this year’s lineup will include three-time winner and Kenya international, Swaleh Balala; two-time, runner-up Michael Owora; and Mohammed Tarmal and Sharifa Ingosi, who will lead the women’s pack.
A local resident of Watamu and citizen of the UK, whom this correspondent met during a recent visit to the Watamu area, could not help himself in writing to this correspondent: “We are all in some sort of shock over the latest FCO advice on Kenya. You saw for yourself what is going on in Watamu, and our ‘WATAMU WOW’ campaign is doing well. Anyone who wants to visit Watamu should do so without fear. I live here, and we don’t look over our shoulders all the time or live in fear. I am sorry to say that these guys got it all wrong as far as Watamu is concerned.”
A number of foreign-based athletes have confirmed their participation, clearly believing local residents more than these anti-travel advisories, and they can expect a warm friendly welcome from their Kenyan hosts when they arrive.
Source: Eturbo News