Joyce Jepkurui’s road racing star kept shining when she won the inaugural women's race in the seventh edition of the Baringo Safaricom Half Marathon on Sunday (6).
From this year women who in the past ran 15 kilometers will be running the Half Marathon distance just like the men.
The Iten-based runner broke away at midway and opened an unassailable 40-metre gap which she maintained up to the end despite the presence of a strong field of chasers, among them World Cross Country regular Pamela Lisoreng of West Pokot and seasoned road runner Viola Bor.
With two kilometers to go, Jepkirui, the 2011 Gothenburg Marathon winner and last month’s Nairobi Standard Chartered Marathon 10Km winner, was in celebration mood as she stepped out of forested section of the scenic route towards the finish.
She romped home in 1:10:59 and expressed her future plan and feelings prior to the race saying, “I was afraid the morning drizzle could deny me better times but I am okay. I now prepare to race at the Dubai 10km race early next year.”
Jemimah Chelagat (1:12:57.0) and Bor (1:13:23.7) checked in second and third respectively as Lisoreng (1:14:22.7) was fourth. Others behind them were Christine Chepkemei (1:14:51.2), Rose Jepkemoi (1:15:09.2), Mercy Jemutai (1:16:04.4) and Pamela Jemeli (1:16:18.4) came in that order.
The men's race was taken by little known Solomon Kiptoo (1:02:23.1) from Uasin Gishu who beat Peter Kosgei (1:02:39.1) and Joseph Apermoi (1:02:42.6).
Hosea Nyalel (1:03:00.1), Justus Munyera (1:03:06.8), seasoned Enock Mitei (1:03:06.8) and Cross Country regular Benard Koech (1:03:08.1) followed.
The 24-year-old Kiptoo said after the race: “After finishing fourth in two local races, the Ndalat Gaa cross-country meeting and Keberigo 10km road race, I began to plan for this race and I am happy that my dreams came through.”
The event was founded by former World Marathon record holder Paul Tergat to tap talent in his rural home area.
David Macharia (Daily Nation) for the IAAF
Leading results (extended times) -
1. Solomon Kiptoo 1:02:23.1
2. Peter Kosgey 1:02:39.1
3. Joseph Apermoi 1:02:42.6
4. Hosea Nyalel 1:03:00.1
5. Justus Munyera 1:03:06.8
6. Enock Mitei 1:03:06.8
7. Benard Koech 1:03:08.1
8. Wilson Kiprop 1:03:08.2
9. Luke Kimutai 1:03:28.7
10. Robert Kipkorir 1:03:32.1
1. Joyce Jepkurui 1:10:57.1
2. Jemimah Chelagat 1:12:57.0
3. Viola Bor 1:13:23.7
4. Pamela Lisoreng 1:14:22.7
5. Christine Chepkemei 1:14:51.2
6. Rose Jepkemoi 1:15:09.2
7. Mercy Jemutai 1:16:04.4
8. Pamela Jemeli 1:16:18.4
9. Roselyn David 1:16:27.1
10. Regina Cherotich 1:16:36.8