Kipchirchir, Kipchumba win Eldoret City Marathon titles


Kipchirchir, Kipchumba win Eldoret City Marathon titles
Mercy Kipchumba on her way to victory during the Eldoret city marathon on sunday. (PHOTO/Gilbert Kiprotich)

In Summary

  • It was another Sunday morning when Eldoret town came to life as athletics enthusiasts rushed to streets of the ‘Home of Champions’ capital to witness an international action unfold before them
  • While Covid-19 fears may have slowed the excitement associated with the event, a sizable crowd still showed up for the only marathon to be held in the country amidst the pandemic

Victor Kipchirchir from Uasin Gishu County and Mercy Kipchumba from Elgeyo Markwet County are the winners of the third edition of the Eldoret City Marathon held Sunday in  Eldoret town, Uasin Gishu County.

It was another Sunday morning when Eldoret town came to life as athletics enthusiasts rushed to streets of the ‘Home of Champions’ capital to witness an international action unfold before them.

While Covid-19 fears may have slowed the excitement associated with the event, a sizable crowd still showed up for the only marathon to be held in the country amidst the pandemic.

Kipchirchir, the 2016 Valencia Marathon champion, won the men’s race in 2 hours, 8 minutes and 56 seconds ahead of Leonard Langat who finished second in 2:10:49 while Emmanuel Bor rounded the podium in 2:11:10.

“I am really happy to win this marathon for the first time. I had prepared well for today’s event and did not experience any challenge along the way. I have been competing both in half and full marathon,” said Kipchirchir who trains in Kaptagat.

In the women’s race, defending champion Valary Aiyabei went for an early lead only to drop the pedal off the gas as Mercy Kipchumba from Elgeyo Marakwet took the top honours in 2:28:10 to win her first marathon title.

“I am very happy to have won my first marathon today. My coach had promised me if I win today then he would find more international races for me,” Kipchumba said.

The 26 year old said she was not worried by the huge gap as Aiyabei was pulling away, “I just competed on my own and it was not until 30k than I realized someone was ahead of us and we pushed until we caught up with her,” said Kipchumba who trains alongside world marathon record holder Brigid Kosgei.

Kipchumba was closely followed by her training mate at Kapsait Athletics Camp Judith Korir who clocked 2:28:31 as Jackline Chelal settled for bronze in 2:29:47.

The winners of the event in both categories went home with Ksh 3.5million with top 20 athletes getting prizes.

This year’s event was themed “Climate Action” as it seeks to promote conservation of the environment through planting of trees.

Uasin Gishu governor Jackson Mandago and his Elgeyo Marakwet and Nandi counterparts Alex Tolgos and Stephen Sang graced the event.

Also present were world marathon record holder Eliud Kipchoge, Athletics Kenya president Jackson Tuwei amongst other guests.

Leading results

Men

1Victor Kipchirchir 2:08:56

 Leonard Langat 2:10:49

3 Emmanuel Bor 2:11:10

4 Bernard Kipkemoi 2:12:38

5 Emmanuel Rutto 2:12:43

Women

1 Mercy Kipchumba 2:28:10

2 Judith Korir 2:28:31

3 Jackline Chelal 2:29:47

4 Martha Njoroge 2:30:37

5 Jackline Chemweno 2:31:15

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Story By Gilbert Kiprotich
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