Joyceline Jepkosgei and Eric Kiptanui are expected to defend their Kenya Army cross-country titles at Nairobi’s Kahawa Garrison today.
The event will also see the infantry branch select athletes who will do battle with their Kenya Air Force and Navy counterparts at the Athletics Kenya Defence Forces (AKDF) competitions.
World Half Marathon record holder Jepkosgei won a double in last year’s championships as she clinched the 10km women’s title after cutting the tape in 34:52.4 adding to a 5,000m crown she had won in 16:28.7.
The 24-year-old will face stiff competition from winner of the Standard Chartered Nairobi Marathon 21km Eunice Jeptoo and Viola Yator who claimed the 2017 La maraton Vert in France.
Jepkosgei is coming off a win in the Family Group half marathon on October 8 where she ran away with the title in 1:11:01. She also finished second in 1:06: 55 at the New Delhi Half Marathon on October 21. Last year, she shuttered four world records in10km, 15km and 20km as well as the half marathon record.
In the men’s category, Kiptanui will be hoping to pipe his counterparts in the 10km distance. The Lisbon and Berlin Half Marathon champion has been in good form throughout the year, running 58:42 in Berlin to set the fifth fastest time ever.
Kiptanui, who was barely known before the inaugural Army games, was the surprise package at this year’s AKDF games, beating big names to book a place in the national championship.