07 NOV 2010 General News Baringo, Kenya

Kipkorir surprises to take victory at Baringo Half-Marathon

Robert Kipkorir (l) and Augustine Rono battle it out in the final stages of this year's Bringo Half Marathon. Kipkorir won in 1:02:25. (David Macharia)Robert Kipkorir (l) and Augustine Rono battle it out in the final stages of this year's Bringo Half Marathon. Kipkorir won in 1:02:25. (David Macharia) © Copyright
An upstart 25 year old Robert Kipkorir upstaged about 300 runners to take this year’s edition of Baringo Half Marathon.

Kipkorir who trains in Kaptagat area near Eldoret, clocked 1:02:25 to win the race after managing to shrug off a resilient opponent Augustine Rono who finished second in 1:02:41.

The race was flagged off by Athletics Kenya treasurer Joseph Kinyua at Kabartonjo trading centre and followed a scenic route that runs through forest before ending at Kabarnet town.

At 5km, the pace was thrown into disarray after one runner Sammy Kirui broke from the rest and maintained a 20 metre lead gap after being cheered on by former winner of the race Richard Yatich. He however lost the lead when a pack of about 20 athletes caught up with him at the 10km mark that was at the first hill climb of the route. From that point on the lead remained in a group of runners who ended up taking the top ten positions with Kirui holding the tenth spot in 1:03:56.

Augustine Rono came in second with a time of 1:02:41 while Sammy Kigen was third in 1:03:08. Victor Kipchirchir was fourth  in a time of 1:03:18. Others in top ten were Gilbert Maina, 5th in 1:03:22, Thomson Cherogony 1:03:48. Two runners who finished 8th and 9th had their names missing in the finishing list because they disappeared into the crowd before being listed.

Veteran athletes who witnessed the event included Moses Tanui, Daniel Komen, Patrick Sang, and Joshua Chelang’a attended the event that was the 6th edition. The founder of the race Paul Tergat was absent for the first time since he was in New York where he was to receive the Abebe Bikila award.

The women 15km race had a strong line up that included the Commonwealth marathon champion Irene  Jerotich. She finished 5th in 52:25.5.

The race was won by Joyce Jepkurui from Bureti district in 50:25.9 ahead of another elite runner Sally Chepyego who clocked 51:27.3. Veteran runner Irene Kwambai finished 4th in 51:46.0 after being overtaken by Rose Chepchumba with less than one kilometer to go. Chepchumba clocked 51:31.9.

Amsterdam marathon winner Magdalene Chemjor finished 7th in 52:43.8.

David Macharia (Daily Nation) for the IAAF