Former record holder Makau eyes London Marathon


Bernard Katua Muia breasts the tape to win the men senior 10km race at the ...
Bernard Katua Muia breasts the tape to win the men senior 10km race at the Kenya Pipeline Thange Cross Country in Makueni County. PHOTO/Courtesy/Enock Muswii

Former world marathon record holder Patrick Makau Musyoki has thrown his hat into the star-studded 2017 London Marathon ring as he seeks to bounce back to form in the World Marathon Majors circuit.

Makau, a two-time winner at Berlin whose bid for a third successive Fukuoka Marathon victory ended in a second finish with 2:08:57 on December 4 believes he has recovered sufficiently to scale back to the top of the ultimate distance pile.

He was speaking on Sunday when he was a guest at the inaugural Kenya Pipeline Thange Cross Country meeting held at Makueni Primary School in Kibwezi where Makueni athletes- seasoned Katua Muia and Eunice Mumbua-carried the men and women senior honours.

“Come April next year, I will do better than finishing second at Fukuoka in London,” Makau announced as he lauded the local event that was organised by the oil distribution firm to raise awareness among the community where a damaging spillage last year led to outrage.

Makau, 31, ran 2:03:38 at the 2011 Berlin Marathon to break the world record of 2:03:59 set by retired Ethiopian legend Haile Gebresellasie that had stood since 2007.

Compatriots Wilson Kipsang (2:03:23) and Dennis Kimetto (2:02:58) lowered the standard in successive years of 2013 and 14.

Makau who won Fukuoka in 2014 and 15 last ran in London in 2013 where he clocked 2:14:10 for tenth.

In the men’s 10km showdown at the Thange Cross, Muia motored through the course in 30:19 to relegate teammate John Maweu (30:31) and Stephen Mwendwa of Machakos (30:43) to the minor podium positions in the wet event.

“I could have given my competitors good pace but rains let me down,” Muia who is preparing for the IAAF Permit/AK National Cross Country Championships in February said.

The corresponding 8km women’s showdown in the event ran through a winding forested course with thick underfoot saw Mumbua fashion a strong finish to breast the tape in 26:02.

Machakos trio Sharon Muriuki (26:15), Florence Nduku (26:18) and Ruth Nundu (26:49) followed home in that order to round the top four.

“The race was good and the rainy weather was favourable to me,” Mumbua remarked following her victory.

Meshack Munguti from Ndubi and Machakos runner Benedetto Mbithe carried the day in the junior men 8km and junior women 6km competitions.

Munguti edged out a tight contest in 22:54 ahead of six Makueni athletes who followed him across the tape in that order led by Bernard Musau (22:56) and Jackson Muema (23:18) who shared the podium with the winner.

Mbithe beat Machakos teammate Victoria Mwikali in the final sprint for victory with the clocks returning 19:57 against 19:59 as Makueni runner Jane Mwongeli (20:07) finished in the bronze position.

“The motive behind the event is to nurture and discover running talent among the youth in the area and develop sporting spirit and we promise to see the talent discovered here through the next level,” Kenya Pipeline Managing Director Joe Sang said.

LEADING RESULTS
Senior Men 10km

  1. Bernard Katua Muia 30:19
  2. John Maweu 30:31
  3. Stephen Mwendwa 30:43
  4. Dominic Musyimi 31:10
  5. Joseph Mutwatheni 31:11
  6. Urbanus Mutunga 31:33
  7. Joseph Mbatha 31:50
  8. Dominic Mutuku 32:01
  9. Michael Mutisya 32:39
  10. Shadrack Munyao 32:44

Senior Women 8km

  1. Eunice Mumbua 26:02
  2. Sharon Muriuki 26:15
  3. Florence Nduku 26:18
  4. Ruth Nundu 26:49
  5. Gladys Syokau 27:01
  6. Hallen Nzembi 27:50

Junior men 8km

  1. Meshack Munguti 22:54
  2. Benard Musau 22:56
  3. Jackson Muema 23:18
  4. Joseph Kitundi 23:18
  5. Joseph Silas 23:19
  6. Phillip Mulei 23:19
  7. Simon Ngila 23:35
  8. Shadrack Ngumbau 23:43
  9. Boniface Tito 23:47
  10. Joseph Nthakyo 23:56

Junior women 6km

  1. Benedetto Mbithe 19:57
  2. Victoria Mwikali 19:59
  3. Jane Mwikali 20:01
  4. Jane Mwongeli 20:07
  5. Anna Ndola 20:11
  6. Martha Njoroge 20:17
  7. Winfred Mutile 20:30
  8. Irene Kambua 21:15
  9. Miriam Ndunge 21:28
  10. Nzilani Munyao 21:41

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Story By Enock Muswii
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