BY WILLIAM NJUGUNA
Runners go through difficult conditions to realise a dream
Moses Kosgei and Georgina Rono carried the day in the second edition of the First Lady’s marathon at the Nyayo Stadioum, Nairobi, yesterday.
Kosgei’s killer sprint stopped the clock at 51:01.28 in the 21 kilometre race while Rono was home in 1:04.50 as she proved to be in a class of her own.
Following Kosgei in the men’s race was Andrew Kimutai who crossed the line in a 1:01.38 ahead of Matthew Kisorio who finished in 1.01.53.
The sweltering hot conditions took their toll on the athletes in the men’s category. After six kilometres it was Kisorio who had the lead followed by Kimutai and Kosgei with the chasing pack of 10 hanging on their coat tails.
Kimutai surged to the lead at 10 kilometres and opened a 20 metre gap but Kisorio and Kosgei soon caught up with him and seized the lead after 12Kms . The three then exchanged leads for the reminder of the race. It was only in the final kilometre where Kosgei was able to grap and hold onto the lead before sprinting into the final 600m.
Kosgei, who pocketed Sh750,000 for his effort, termed the race tough.
“The conditions were difficult. There was an early breeze but as we went on it became quite hot. I paced myself to win the race in the final kilometre.” Kosgei added.
Second place was worth Sh500,000 for Kimutai while third placed Kisorio went home with Sh250,000.
In the womens category, Georgina Rono carried the day as he cruised home in a time of 1:04.50. Rono was in class of her on and seized the race lead with six kilometers to go opening a 50 meter gap to second place Mercy Kibarus who clocked 1:08.13 with former Boston marathon champion Caroline Kilel coming third in 1:08.23. Mercy Chemutai came home fourth in 1:08.42 with Maureen Kipchumba fifth in 1:08.49
Rono said the pace was slow in the opening 10 kilometre and opted to surge to the front with the chasing pack. At the 15 kilometre point she increased the tempo of the race and Kibarus and Kilel could not respond as she coasted to victory
Rono was delighted with the victory.
“The paced was slow in the early part of the race and the competition was tough we had very good marathoners there like Kilel and winning the race gives some confidence that I can do well in the upcoming race slated for later this year” added Rono
Kilel one of the race favourites for the race was disappointed to come third.
“Running at altitude is not easy I had paced myself well until the final few kilometers and Rono was too strong in the homestretch,” added Kilel
In the mens 10km race James Mwangi clinched 29.03 with Emmanuel Ngatuny second in 29.05. Geoffrey Kirui finished third in 29.07. Mwangi took Sh250,000, Ngatuny won Sh100,000 and Kirui Sh50,000,. The same cash prizes were awarded in the women’s category which was won by Jane Kipsang in 30.25. Gladys Cherono was second in 30.28 followed by Kamulu Kaveke in 30.35.
First Lady Margaret Kenyatta posted 3:24.54 and was received at the finishing line by President Uhuru Kenyatta.
She was accompanied at the finishing line by two time 3000m steeplechase Olympic champion Ezekiel Kemboi, former women’s world marathon record holder Catherine Ndereba and former world half marathon champion Lornah Kiplagat tackled the new course.
Other dignitaries that competed in the marathon included Deputy President William Ruto, Devolution secretary Anne Waiguru cabinet Secretary for internal security Joseph Nkaissery, Elgeyo Marakwet senator Kipchumba Murkomen and Nairobi senator Mike Sonko amongst other top government officials
Over 15,000 participant braved the hot weather conditions to ran in the event.
Courtesy of the-star.co.ke