Kurgat, Mwaniki top Graceland Upcountry Run

Sammy Kurgat speaks after his Graceland Upcountry Road Race victory. PHOTO/Courtesy
Sammy Kurgat speaks after his Graceland Upcountry Road Race victory. PHOTO/Courtesy

Sammy Kurgat and Mary Mwaniki romped to the men and women victories at the sixth edition of the Graceland Upcountry Run in Kieni Constituency, Nyeri County on Saturday.

There was drama in the women’s race when Mwaniki led six other front runners off course and after running for about six kilometres, they were diverted back to the designated 25km route to finish their event.

In the end, having covered an extra 12km, Mwaniki was timed at 2:09:17 when she arrived at the finish line with Norwegian Barene Jankovich (2:16:11) finishing further back in second as Millicent Nyawira (2:33:22) closed the podium.

There was no such confusion in the men’s race where Kurgat displayed his class to prevail over the hard-chasing Isaac Kipkoech in the final sprint for the victory in 1:24:16 against 1:24:20 posted by the closest competitor.

Paul Maina led the challengers’ home by stopping the clock at 1:25:45 in third.

“The major challenge was the terrain since we had to change from tarmac to rough roads,” Maina remarked.

Harun Ngunjiri won the men’s 15km category when he completed the course in 50:00 a minute ahead of Nahashon Ndegwa in second as James Baaru finished third.

The corresponding women’s race was taken by Rosemary Wangai (1:15:15) ahead of Theresa Muthoni (1:17:58) and Marte Sendstad (1:18:33) who rounded the top-three.

Graceland Girls School Director Nderitu Wachira said the main purpose of the annual event is to assist the needy students who lack schools fees.

“It also helps in integrating the high paying students with those who cannot afford to pay,” Wachira added.

Royal Media Services was the event sponsor.

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Story By Emilio Muriithi
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