Sammy Kibet eclipsed more experienced runners to win this year's edition of the annual Kenya Flourspar 10km road race held in Keiyo district, Kenya today (Sept 21). Mercy Kibarus was the women’s division winner. Both races were run in course records.
Last year’s winners, Barnabas Kosgei (men) and Hellen Kirop (women), did not appear at the starting line despite having registered to compete.
Kibet, who hails from Mt Elgon District but trains in Iten, beat a field of 506 participants to win the men’s title in 27:47.9. This clocking, as were the times in general, was extremely quick given the heat, humidity and altitude, and is perhaps to be questioned, though the magnitude of Kibet’s victory certainly is not.
Kibet, who had, until the last lap trailed the leading pack, defied hot sunshine in the scenic Kerio Valley and used his finishing kick to smash the previous course record of 28:28.2.
"I enjoyed running in the unusually humid conditions. I am happy to win for the first time,” said Kibet after the race.
Titus Masai, also from Mt Elgon in 27:54.0 ahead of Qatari Salim Belal (formerly Raymond Katui), who dominated the first three laps of the 2.5km circuit, finished strongly to take third (27:59.0).
Katui said I'm "myself as I look forward to World Half. I feel I am ready for Rio de Janeiro." The Qatari who is preparing for the IAAF / CAIXA World Half Marathon (12 Oct).
Sammy Koech, an individual entrant, finished fourth in 28:05.8.
In the women’s race that attracted 110 participants, Mercy Kibarus of Adidas Iten set a killer pace that saw her overpowering Administration Police’s Alucia Jepchirchir to win. She clocked 32:27.1, a new course record, as Jepchirchir trailed in 32:35.1. This was faster than the previous record of 32:35.2 held by marathoner Hellen Kirop.
Emmy Rotich, was in third position in 32:43.8 in the race flagged off by Olympian Prisca Jepleting, while Jane Kiptoo, who was third over 3000m at the World Athletics Final in Stuttgart last weekend, finished in fourth position.
2006 winner Joan Jepkorir Ayabei faded to sixth place timing 33:21.0 behind Hela Kiprop who managed 33:07.5.
Nairobi Standard Chartered Marathon champion Rose Cheruiyot (2007) finished 8th in 33:45.5 but felt contented as she was using the shorter event for speed. “The 10Km was good to me as I am working on my speed. I am preparing to defend the Standard Chartered Nairobi Marathon. I hope to do well,” said the mother of two.
David Macharia (Daily Nation) for the IAAF
1. Sammy Kibet 27:47.9,
2. Titus Masai 27:54.0,
3. Salim Belal 27:59.0,
4. Sammy Koech 28:05.8,
5. James Taiget 28:10.1,
6. Nickson Kiprono 28:11.7,
7. Kurui Chesang 28:12.7,
8. Andrew Kemboi 28:15.3,
9. Christopher Boit 28:15.9,
10. Meshack Kipkurui 28:25.0.
1. Mercy Kibarus 32:27.1,
2. Alucia Jepchirchir 32:35.1,
3. Emmy Rotich 32:43.8,
4. Jane Kiptoo 32:54.7,
5. Hela Kiprop 33:07.5,
6. Joan Ayabei 33:21.0,
7. Diana Chepkemboi 33:30.7,
8. Rose Chesire 33:45.5,
9. Sarah Jeptoo 33:54.4
10. Dorcas Cherop 34:09.5.