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Seasoned runners dominate inaugural Eldoret City Marathon

Emmauel Masinde @baromeo

Past Boston Marathon winner Sharon Cherop and road running specialist runner Elkana Kibet Yego were the winners of the inaugural Eldoret City Marathon.

The race, which started at Kaprobu in Uasin Gishu County ending in Eldoret town, was run under ideal conditions, offering the best to the athletes and the organisers who recorded a good turnout.

The 2011 world marathon bronze medallist who came from a sabbatical leave ran on her own to claim the title after stepping into the lead at 5km in a race.

Cherop, the 2012 Boston marathon winner, faced little challenge from top-notch runners like Lydia Cheromei and Jane Seurei, Cherop won in 2:29.57 despite falling at 30km.

This fall was a replica of 2011 Daegu world championships where Edna Kiplagat fell and Cherop, with the team’s work spirit, lifted Kiplagat, who went ahead to win her first gold medal. With her experience in road race, Cherop said the course was tactical than hard work.

“I am happy I am back to my shape. The body has recovered well after competing in Rome a fortnight ago,” said Cherop. In men’s category, two-time Kisumu Marathon champion Elkana Yego won after overtaking probable winner Philip Kangogo.

Yego, who trains under Kangogo said the race was reduced to a coach-student affair. Kangogo, the 2015 Barcelona Marathon champion, led from 10km but after 38km, Yego overtook him and went ahead to claim the title as Kangogo came second.

Yego said the course was good and could not fail to come home with a win. “I am happy to run with my coach and Kangogo has more experience in marathon but beating him was not easy,” said Yego.

He timed 2:12.1 ahead of Kangogo’s 2:12.49 and upstart Brian Kipsang ending the podium in 2:12.52. The marathon was flagged off by the Deputy President William Ruto flanked by governors Jackson Mandago (Uasin Gishu), Anne Waiguru (Kirinyaga), as well as Soy MP Caleb Kositany at the start point Kapcherop.

The marathon was used to sensitise and create awareness on environmental conversation in the county. Speaking during the event, DP Ruto urged Kenyans to conserve environment and he lauded the initiative.

“I praise the initiative, it is a noble idea to conserve environment through sports,” said Ruto. The leaders present lauded the initiative, and said they replicate such in their counties to promote sports tourism and conservation of environment .

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