Kenyans dominate Nairobi marathon

14:36, October 26, 2009      

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Kenyans Moses Kigen and Irene Jerotich, who also triumphed here in 2006, won Sunday's seventh Stanchart Nairobi International Marathon in new course records.

The Rock n Roll marathon titleholder, Kigen, mastered the high altitude race cruising home in a personal best of 2 hours 10 minutes 12 seconds after breaking off from a lead pack of five at the 32km mark. Kigen planned to take part in the Frankfurt Marathon on the same day, but failed to land it.

The father of two won January's Rock n Roll Marathon in 2:10:36,his previous career high but was in imperious shape in Sunday's race, shaving off the previous route best of 2:10:30 set by last year's winner Samson Kikwei Tuiyange by 18 seconds.

"I was in good form and came for the record and my personal best. At the end of the day, I made it. I had prepared fully for the Frankfurt Marathon but when plans to take me there failed, I decided to enter here," said Kigen who took home 20,000 US dollars as award and further 3,333 dollars for breaking the course record.

Last year, Kigen failed to finish Frankfurt Marathon in his competitive debut over the distance due to what he termed "I was not ready for the marathon."

The seventh winner of the men's race sprung out of a pack of 20 runners who were taken through the 10km mark by early pacesetter Kibiwott Kwambai in 27:51.

Kwambai's early lead in the high altitude (5,000 meters above sea level) race was overtaken as a front group of 16 surged past the half marathon mark in 1:06 swallowing him.

At 30km, the field had stretched with five runners, Peter Kiplagat, Joseph Kimeli, Simon Mukum, Nathan Naibei and Kigen pulling distance between them and chasers.

Kigen made his first move two kilometers later before pulling away from his challengers systematically after opening a gap of 100 meters and increased that to 250 meters for his unchallenged position in the last six kilometers.

"At the beginning, the race was tough since there were too many of us together but after 30km, I felt confident enough to push ahead and push further after 35km," Kigen said.

Former steeplechaser Naibei, who was making his full marathon debut after finishing 15th at this year's Lisbon Half Marathon, was second in 2:11:16 ahead of third placed Kiplagat.

In the women's race, Jerotich became the first second-time winner in the history of Nairobi Stanchart with a course record of 2:28:47.

Jerotich who edged clear of all others after 30km erasing the previous route best by four minutes and 56 seconds set last year by Emma Muthoni.

"I was feeling strong today and wanted to run my personal best. The race was good and there is no much difference between this year's race and the one in 2006, both were equally tough," Jerotich said.

Jerotich was the third finisher at Ottawa Marathon (2:34:28). Alice Chelagat finish second in 2:30:38, who was the winner of the inaugural women's race (2003) of Nairobi Stanchart. The former World Junior 5,000m bronze medallist (2000) Sharon Jemutai took third place in 2:33:53.

In the half-marathon races, Ernest Kipkurgut (1:01:54) forced former World Cross junior bronze medallist Barnabas Kosgei (1:02:12) to be runner-up with Geoffrey Ngugi (1:02:18) coming third in the men's race.

Magdaline Chemjor, the winner of 2003 Berlin Half Marathon won the women's 21km race in 1:12:18 with Consolata Yadaa (1:12:47) and Pamela Bundotich (1:12:50) secured the podium.

Wilfred Mangoe (28:13.08) and Pamela Lisoreng (32:18.13) won the 10km races.

Source: Xinhua
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