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Marathon grounds city motorists, church goers

Nairobians who had hoped to start their day on a spiritual note found themselves singing a different hymn as major roads remained closed for the First Lady’s Marathon on Sunday morning.

Churches along the designated marathon route became inaccessible to many worshipers as the world also marked the International Women’s Day.

The marathon, an initiative of the First Lady Margaret Kenyatta’s Beyond Zero campaign became an inconvenience for many despite its noble objective.

With Mombasa road, Uhuru highway and Langata road closed, motorists were forced to take alternative routes that did not lead to their desired destination.

“I woke early to attend the 8am service at International Christian Centre along Mombasa road,” said one church goers.

“We were diverted by the traffic police at General Motors on to the opposite side of the dual carriageway which was okay for me as I thought I could access the church from Nyayo Stadium. Sadly, that too was closed and so was Uhuru Highway.”


This forced motorists to take Lusaka road into Nairobi’s industrial area. For those in unfamiliar territory sought the assistance of the policemen who were present to deter motorists from using the closed roads.

“One policeman asked me why as a woman I had not taken part in the run as I asked him for directions,” a female motorist told Nairobi News. “I ended up returning home after driving round in circles.”

Meanwhile, some city motorists will be counting their losses as mechanics have a field day repairing their vehicles involved in minor accidents as a result of the diversions.

Nairobi News observed at least 10 cars on Mombasa road parked on the roadside as the drivers sought to arrive at amicable agreements.

“I am all for women and our mothers, however, this leaves a sour taste in my mouth. That we must have this marathon means that the government must have failed to deliver on its pledge for free maternity care,” said one motorist whose car suffered a minor dent on the bumper.

“If mothers got good medical care at public health institutions across the country, then we would be tackling other challenges,” he added.