Kenyan Runners Chemutai and Kipchirchir Win UNEP 40th Anniversary Half Marathon Sun, Feb 19, 2012

With a winning time of 1:00:27 upcoming runner Victor Kipchirchir came in first among the more than 200 runners who competed in today's 40th Anniversary celebratory run for the UN Environment Programme (UNEP). Mercy Chemutai came in first in the women's category with a time of 1:12:51.

UNEP 40th Anniversary Half-Marathon Winner, Victor Kipchirchir (C), with Amina Mohamed (R), UNEP Deputy Executive Director, and Paul Tergat (L), Founder, Paul Tergat Foundation. Photo Credit: Peter Oyamo

Nairobi, 19 February 2012 - With a winning time of 1:00:27 upcoming runner Victor Kipchirchir came in first among the more than 200 runners who competed in today's 40th Anniversary celebratory run for the UN Environment Programme (UNEP). Mercy Chemutai came in first in the women's category with a time of 1:12:51.

"UNEP is proud to partner with some of the world's finest runners who have joined us today for this historic Half Marathon that will celebrate UNEP's four decades of working for the environment and raising public awareness of what more needs to be done to ensure the sustainable future of our planet. We also thank the wider public for not only joining this event but also for showing commitment to continue supporting UNEP in its work to protect the environment," said Amina Mohamed, UNEP's Deputy Executive Director.

Some runners used the competition to prepare for upcoming major international races like the London Marathon in April and even the Olympics in August.

Over 300 participants joined in a Fun Run of five kilometers, which included Paul Tergat, who held the world marathon record from 2003-2007 and Patrick Makau, the current world marathon record holder set last year at the Berlin Marathon.

The winners of the Half-Marathon (mens and womens) each took home a check for 100,000 Kenyan Shillings, with other cash prizes for each runner who finished up to tenth place.

Organized by UNEP, in partnership with the Paul Tergat Foundation and the Athletics Kenya, the two celebratory runs also coincided with the convening of the 12th Special Session of the UNEP Governing Council/Global Ministerial Environment Forum (GC/GMEF). Dignitaries and officials from 150 countries attending the meeting were invited to participate in a shorter five-kilometer run.

"This is the ultimate opportunity for athletes to demonstrate their support for the work of the UN Environment Programme in protecting the environment for the past four decades," said Paul Tergat, founder of the Paul Tergat Foundation.

"This is a landmark partnership between sports and the environment in which celebrities can use their iconic status for the cause of the environment, for which I have a personal passion and commitment," he added.

Since 1994, UNEP has been integrating its work on the environment with sport and its initiatives in the world of sport have grown considerably. Today, it advises countries and sports federations on incorporating environmental considerations into all major sporting events.

In support of the UN Conference on Sustainable Development, or Rio+20, in June, UNEP is providing assistance to the Brazilian authorities for two major future sporting events: the FIFA World Cup 2014 and the Olympics in Brazil in 2016.

For more information please contact:

Nick Nuttall, UNEP Division of Communication and Public Information Acting Director and Spokesperson, Tel. +41 795 965 737 or +254 733 632 755, Email: nick.nuttall@unep.org,

Theodore Oben, Chief of UNEP's Outreach Unit, Tel: + +254 724 255 247 or Email: theodore.oben@unep.org

Mia Turner, UNEP/Nairobi, Tel. +254-20-7625211, Mobile : +254-710620495,Email : Mia Turner@unep.org

Simon Chebon, The Paul Tergat Foundation, Tel. +254-722871152, Email: Simon@paultergat-foundation.org

Notes to Editors:

UNEP has compiled major milestones of its history. For more information please visit: http://www.unep.org/40thAnniversary/milestones

UNEP

The United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) is the voice for the environment in the UN system. Established in 1972, UNEP's mission is to provide leadership and encourage partnership in caring for the environment by inspiring, informing, and enabling nations and peoples to improve their quality of life without compromising that of future generations. UNEP is an advocate, educator, catalyst and facilitator promoting the wise use of the planet's natural assets for sustainable development. It works with many partners, UN entities, international organizations, national governments, non-governmental organizations, business, industry, the media and civil society. UNEP's work involves providing support for: environmental assessment and reporting; legal and institutional strengthening and environmental policy development; sustainable use and management of natural resources; integration of economic development and environmental protection; and promoting public participation in environmental management. For more information, please visit: www.unep.org

The PAUL TERGAT FOUNDATION (PTF) is the initiative of Paul Tergat, the World Marathon record holder and five-time World Cross Country champion, an internationally renowned athlete and philanthropist. For more information please visit: www.paultergat-foundation.org/

Athletics Kenya: http://www.athleticskenya.or.ke/

National Olympic Committee of Kenya: http://www.olympickenya.org/

 
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