Joel Kimurer sprints to the finish line at the 2010 Discovery Cross Country race in Eldoret (David Macharia) © Copyright
The 22-year-old ran a tactical race to avoid the mistakes that caused him to only manage a fifth place during the Police cross country championships held a week ago in Nairobi.
“The victory was a surprise to me although the weather was favourable. The win now inspires me as the national championships approaches,” Kimurer said after beating 347 other runners.
He clocked 36:14.0 ahead of Sammy Kitwara, 10th at last year’s World Half Marathon Championship in Birmingham, who clocked 36:18.6, while Wilson Kipsang was third in 36:23.5.
The event held at the usual Eldoret Sports Club ground under clear skies and windy conditions was also attended by top runners, among them 2004 Olympic Marathon champion Stefano Baldini of Italy, former Marathon record holder Paul Tergat, Olympic Champions Samuel wanjiru and Pamela Jelimo, Olympic silver medallist Janeth Jepkosgei, former Boston Marathon champions Robert Cheruiyot and Moses Tanui who is also the founder of the Discovery race.
The first man to run 10,000m in under 27 minutes, Yobes Ondieki, was also present. Top Athletics Kenya official led by chairman Isaiah Kiplagat, secretary David Okeyo and treasurer Joseph Kinyua were present as well as National Olympic Committee of Kenya chairman Kipchoge Keino.
Tergat hailed the race as “the only race that gives opportunity to all runners including young children.”
The senior women's race was won by Gladys Chemweno who apart from gunning for a share of the jackpot money in the national Cross Country championship is also widely expected to make the national team to the World Cross Country championships set for Bydgoszcz, Poland next month.
She clocked 27:17.0 to beat a seasoned runner Pamela Lisoreng, 27:23.1, and Gladys Kemboi 27:32.8 who finished in that order for position two and three.
The winner said, “The race was tactical and with seasoned runners like (Flomena) Cheyech, I had to also run tactically and it worked in my favour.”
John Kemboi beat 447 entrants in the junior men's 8km event to emerge the winner in 24:21.0. Simon Cheprot and Abraham Bartum were second and third respectively in 24:21.6 and 24:22.9.
Mercy Cherono, the silver medal winner at last year’s World Cross in Amman, continued with local exploits by finishing second in the junior women 6km race. She was beaten by Purity Cherotich who retained the title she won last year.
Cherotich clocked 20:30.4 while Cherono returned 20:32.9. Third was Esther Karuri in 20:55.9 in the race that had 125 entrants.
The event also had fan races for children starting with 500 metres for boys and girls under 10 years. Girls 12 years old covered 1km and boys 2km, girls and boys who over 14 ran for 4km.
David Macharia (Daily Nation) for the IAAF
Leading Results -
Senior MEN (12 km) -
1. Joel Kimurer 36:14.0
2. Sammy Kitwara 36:18.6
3. Wilson Kipsang 36:23.5
4. Peter Kirui 36:30.4
5. Levi Matebo 36:38.9
6. Peter kamais 36:39.5
Senior WOMEN (8 km) -
1. Gladys Chemweno 27:17.0
2. Pamela Lisoreng 27:23.1
3. Gladys Kemboi 27:32.8
4. Flomena Cheyech 27:46.6
5. Emily Chebet 27:53.5
6. Florence Chepkosgei 28:03.9
Junior MEN (8 km) –
1. John Kemboi 24:21.0
2. Simon Cheprot 24:21.6
3. Abraham Bartum 24:22.9
4. Charles Kibet 24:25.0
5. David Maiu 24:29.5
6. John Kiplimo 24:30.4
Junior WOMEN (6 km) –
1. Purity Cherotich 20:30.4
2. Mercy Cherono 20:32.9
3. Esther Karuri 20:55.9
4. caroline Chepkoech 21:03.3
5. Chepkorir Kipkoech 21:06.3
6. Gladys Kemboi 21:06.6
- Joel Kimurer sprints to the finish line at the 2010 Discovery Cross Country race in Eldoret (David Macharia) © Copyright
- World Cross silver medallist Mercy Cherono (195) leads Purity Cherotich in the 6km junior women race during the 19th edition of the Discovery Cross country held in Eldoret, Kenya. Cherotich retained the title. (David Macharia) © Copyright
- Gladys Chemweno (851) leads Pamela Lisoreng in the senior women 8km race during the 19th edition of the Discovery Cross country. (David Macharia) © Copyright
- John Kemboi (2316) winner of the 8km junior men race during the Discovery Cross Country leads Abraham Bartum (2087) and Simon Cheprot (2399). (David Macharia) © Copyright