Kipkoech wins Baringo Half Marathon, shift focus to Prague
Isaac Kipkoech successfully defended his title at this year’s Baringo Half Marathon held on Saturday in Kabarnet, Baringo County.
Kipkoech who hails from Kericho County overcame a strong field of seasoned athletes to finish the race in a time of 1 hour, one minute and 47 seconds (1:01.47) ahead of Isaac Kibet who clocked 1.01.59 and Sammy Kiprono who finished third in a time of 1.02.02.
Unlike the previous years, the route this year was changed to the hilly course of the Marigat- Kabarnet road which, according to Kipkoech, was a really hard course compared to last year’s Kabarnet- Kabartonjo road, adding that he was considering dropping out on the way.
“Today’s race was hard unlike in last year because of the stiff and hilly course and although I almost withdrew at the 16km mark, I pushed on and finally I won,” said a delighted Kipkoech.
Kipkoech, the winner of the 2017 Marsden Madoka Half Marathon and runners up in the 2017 Family Bank Half marathon, is now preparing for next year’s Prague marathon in Czech Republic as well as for the Commonwealth Games slated for Gold Coast, Australia.
“I am now shifting my attention towards the Prague Half Marathon and the Commonwealth trials since I am planning to run in the 10,000m race,” revealed Kipkoech.
In the women 21km race, last year’s runners up Lucy Cheruiyot managed to win by clocking 1.12.19, ahead of Naomi Chebet who finished second with a time of 1.12.22, while Joy Kimuma came in a distant third after clocking 1.14.00.
Cheruiyot who finished third in this year’s Valencia Half Marathon said that she had prepared adequately for the race for the last one month, adding that it was through team work that she won.
“The race was tough because of the hilly course but through team work with my colleagues we managed to keep together until the last 2km, but I pulled away from them in the last of 200m,” said Cheruiyot.
The 23 year old from Elgeiyo Marakwet County but based at Kapng’etuny training camp in Uasin Gishu County further revealed that she is now aiming a shot at the next year’s World Half Marathon slated for Valencia, Spain in March next year.
“I am now looking forward towards the World Half marathon,” she added.
In the 10km women, Sandrafelis Chebet continued her red hot form emerging the winner after clocking 33.11, followed by Dorcas Jepchirchir who came second with 33.50, and Caroline Jepkemoi finished third with a time of 34.15.
Chebet who won in the Ndalat Gas Cross Country and Athletic Kenya Nairobi Cross Country attributed her form to hard work.”
“I am always working hard together with my colleagues and our coach because I understand well that in athletics we only have to work hard; there is no short cut,” said the Londiani-basedChebet.
In the men 10km, Vincent Kiprotich emerged the winner on 29.18 followed by Bernard Kimeli who clocked 29.32, and Emmanuel Bor came on third with a time of 29.38.
The winners in the 21km are set to pocket Sh 250,000 up from the sh200, 000 which was the prize money last year, while first runners went home with Sh 100,000 and third finisher earned sh 75,000.
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