Baaru the king of Lewa Marathan with fifth title

Philemon Baaru reaffirmed his unprecedented dominance of the Safaricom Lewa Marathon remains largely unchallenged when he coasted to his fifth title in the race as Margaret Pepesi Lepakana clinched the women’s title on Saturday.

A master of the course, Baaru ran a leading 2:22.18, shaving 24 seconds off his 2016 winning time to successfully retain the title as Daniel Mbogo (2:22.53) and John Muthuui (2:25.42) completed the top podium places.

Only once over the last six years has the marathon that is primarily a fundraising initiative witnessed the crowning of an unfamiliar face in the men’s ultimate running distance and just moments after breasting the tape, Baaru was already setting his sights on a sixth title.

“There is no secret I can do it again next year. God helped me today and my hard work in practice paid off. Winning consecutive titles has become so hard especially in Kenya because the level of competition keeps getting higher. Over the past few months I have been imagining coming here to defend my title and today was perfect,” Baaru told Citizen Digital.

In 2014, injury forced Baaru out of the race that boasts one of the most treacherous courses on the planet and paved way for Elijah Mbogo to win in 2:20.18.

Margaret Lepakana
Margaret Lepakana

Lepakana outkicked her opponents to win in 2:38.48) as Naomi Njiri settled for second in 22:49.29. Dethroned champion Lodepa Fridah finished third in 2:54.53.

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Story By Matthews Mutai
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