Nearly 600 runners are set to compete when 'The Greatest Race on Earth,' the world's only relay of marathons, kicks off at the Standard Chartered Nairobi Marathon on 23 October.
578 runners, double the number from last year, will take part in the four-race series that spans across four countries in Asia and Africa. Following Nairobi's high altitude race, runners will compete in the Singapore (4 December), Mumbai (15 January) and Hong Kong (12 February) Marathons chasing a prize pool of US$1.57 million.
A team competition, this year's series includes 32 men's and 11 women's teams. In the new women's event, Tegla Loroupe will lead a Kenyan squad against a strong Chinese contingent. While east Africans are strongly represented in this year's field, the Nations Challenge includes a line up of 30 teams representing individual countries.
The Main Team Challenge is open to any team of four runners, professional and amateur alike. The Nations Challenge – open to National Athletic Association teams only. Teams are divided into the following regions – Africa, Middle East, South Asia, South East Asia, North East Asia, Americas and Europe & Oceania.
"It is an extremely competitive race that makes an individual sport into a team event," said Mike DeNoma, Group Executive Director of Standard Chartered Bank. "We are also looking to attract stars of the future – The Greatest Race is a platform for up-and-coming runners to break into the international athletic arena."