Kapsabet-based runner takes full honours at inaugural Wahome Gakuru race as DP Ruto leads scores braving mild weather to run

Titus Ekiru led from gun to tape while Lydia Njeri fought stiff competition to win the inaugural Wahome Gakuro half marathon in Nyeri County yesterday.

Themed ‘Enhancing Emergency Response’, the event graced by Deputy President William Ruto and current Nyeri County governor Mutahi Kahiga among other dignitaries was started in honour of the late governor who perished in a grisly road accident along Thika Road.

Ekiru, a Nandi County athlete who trains at Kapsabet says that he has been participating in marathons outside Kenya but he chose to feature in this event in preparation for upcoming competitions.

“I loved the race as this is the first time I am racing in Kenya in the distance.  I chose to participate as part of my preparations for my next race which is in December 9 at Hawaii. The weather and altitude was good and I am happy with the time I posted,” said Ekiru who posted 1:05:19 for the half-point timing. He has a two hours seven minutes personal best in the full marathon.

Second-placed in the men’s race was Titus Kipruto who clocked 1:06:41 while Josephat Kiprotich completed the podium finishes in a time of 1:06:43.

Njeri, who was coming off a second place finish at the Madoka half marathon, posted 1:17:38 for the win.

“The race was good as it wasn’t as competitive as others I have raced in before.  I have had to train hard to be able to post good results in the back-to-back events that I have raced in this year. This was my last race this year before taking a break and start basic training for next year, “ said the Iten-based athlete.

The Laikipia half marathon 2018 winner intends to improve on her Personal Best time of 1:09:49, a time she posted at the Family Bank half marathon. Internationally, she has posted one hour and 10 minutes at Berlin half marathon.

Trailing Njeri was Nakuru’s Maryanne Wangari who cut the tape in 1:18:25 while Caroline Kilel from Kericho County completed the top three women positions in a time of 1:18:41.

“I had prepared well for this race since I wanted to  finish in a better position after finishing fifth at Madoka few weeks ago. This was good preparation for my first marathon coming up in January in Thailand, “ said Wangari.

In the 10km race Ronald Kirui clinched the men’s race in 33:00.28 with John Kiprono and Razini Lemeteki were second and third in 33:02.26 and 33:50.60

The women’s gong went to Chepkemoi Mutai in 40:39, Jacinta Mawia coming in at 40:43 and Alice Kamunya in 40:57.

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