David Macharia @PeopleSports11
Donald Mitei and Diana Chemutai are the winners of the seventh edition of Laikipia University Half marathon after overcoming strong opposition in Nyahururu at the weekend.
Both runners, who train in Iten, Elgeyo Marakwet County, made almost identical decisive moves with 10 kilometres to go and when they realised their opponents were not responding, they went all the way to clinch the win.
Mitei almost lost his lead with a few metres to go after missing the funnel entrance by two metres. He was quick to correct the mistake to win in one hour, three minutes and 19 seconds, beating second finisher Ronald Matarat from Mt Elgon by one second and pocketing Sh200,000 in the process.
Meanwhile, after finishing second at the Crim 10 miles road race in the United States of America last month, Chemutai clocked one hour, 12 minutes and 29 seconds on to also clinch the women’s winner’s prize of Sh200,000.
“I did not have it easy because there was a group of runners who were very strong until the last kilometre,” said Chemutai. Most of the top 10 finishers said they were using the race to prepare for next month’s Nairobi Standard Chartered Marathon with event director Lydia Waiya telling those who finished in the prize bracket have to wait for their doping test results before they can lay their hands on the money.
The race was flagged off by Laikipia Governor Ndiritu Muriithi at Karuga trading centre with the runners going through Nyahururu town and back using the Nyahururu-Nakuru highway to finish at the university grounds. There were also 10km races for elite runners and university students.