Previous winners dominate new course Baringo Half Marathon
It was familiar sights at the finish line of this year’s as 2016 edition winners carried the day even as the course of the annual Marathon was changed.
Isaac Kipkoech who won last year’s edition slashed one minute to finish first in a time of 1:01:47 in the 21KM men category.
The scenario was replicated in the ladies category when Lucy Cheruiyot who finished second in the previous edition clinched the first position in the Women’s 21KM race.
Both winners said they had prepared well for the event and the win was thus not a surprise to them.
Kipkoech who hails from Kericho County said the course was not a challenge to him because he trains in flat and hilly Vori sports camp in Kericho which has the same conditions as this year’s course.
The 25 year old said he had just recovered from typhoid fever which could have hampered his chances of defending his position.
The 23 year old Lucy who hails from Elgeyo Marakwet County said she expected stiff challenge from last year’s winner, Edith Chelimo, but her absence made her win easier.
A former student of Mokwo Girls in Kaptagat Lucy said she has now fully concentrated in half marathon events now that she has completed her secondary education, adding that National Champion, Vivian Cheruiyot, was her mentor.
Others who completed for the top three podium finish were Isaac Kibet from Elgeyo Marakwet County who managed 1:01:54 and Sammy Kiprono who clocked 1:02:02.
In the ladies race, Naomi Jebet came in second with a time of 1:12:22 while Joy Kimuma came in third by clocking 1:14:00.
The event also comprised a10Km Men and Women as well as 6KM Junior race for both boys and girls.
This year’s event was to take place on November 4th but was postponed due to heightened political activities in the Country.
However, two Ethiopians who were invited to take part in the marathon did not finish the race due to the challenge of the tough running course and the climatic conditions.
The Marathon was sponsored by Lotto Foundation to a tune of Sh. 5million shillings with other partners, including Boresha Sacco, Kisii University Kabarnet campus and Rift Hills Resort.
The Principal Secretary of Sports, Amb. Peter Kaberia and President of the National Olympics Committee of Kenya, Paul Tergat graced the Half Marathon with Baringo Deputy Governor, Paul Chepkwony, area Member of Parliament, Joshua Kandie, London Marathon winner, Mary Keitany amongst other invited guest.
By Benson Kelio/Christopher Kiprop