Meru County Government on Monday launched its inaugural Mt. Kenya Mountain Running Championships in Africa to help raise funds to fight cancer, boost environmental conservation and promote the region as a tourist and investment hub. The Championships, which will be held on the 22nd of February 2020, targets to attract 5,000 participants and spectators; and is scheduled to feature four race categories as follows: 2km family fun run; 6km and 8km junior run and a 12km elites\u2019 race through the challenging Mount Kenya forest tracks. Speaking during the event, Meru Governor Kiraitu Murungi said the event will offer participants a unique sporting opportunity to challenge the heights of Mt. Kenya and in the process raise funds to address the cancer raise in the county, foster environmental conservation issues affecting residents of the county. The rallying call for the run is Challenging the Heights. \u201cThe Mt. Kenya Mountain Running Championships is a great way for participants to combine passion for sport, test boundaries, and have fun,\u201d said the Governor as he appealed for corporate sponsorships. Proceeds from the Championships will be used to fund the establishment of the Meru Cancer Center at the local Level 5 Hospital and a sanctuary for the mountain bongo and rhinos. Meru is one of the 11 counties with high prevalence of cancer, according to a report presented to the National Assembly by the National Cancer Institute in June, 2019. The report reveals that men and women are at a higher risk of prostate and breast cancer, respectively in the county. The event will also be used to showcase the county as a tourist and investment hub. \u201cTo attract and promote growth-oriented investments that are innovative and sustainable we established the Meru County Development Corporation to spearhead various initiatives. Through the championships, we are convinced that participants will be able to sample out numerous investment opportunities available,\u201d said Kiraitu. Meru is an extremely rich agricultural region with attractive climate conditions. As a key breadbasket of Kenya, it has vast opportunities for those wishing to invest in agricultural value addition that is key in transforming the economy of the region. The elite winner of the 12KM race category will take home KShs 500,000 while runner-up will take home KShs 250,000; while the second runner-up will take home KShs 100,000.