Omulo Okoth for the IAAF
16 November 2001 – Iten, Eldoret - Jane Ekimat, who won a silver medal in the World Cross Country Championships in Antwerp, Belgium, in 1991, in the junior category led from the beginning to win the first High Altitude Training Centre 10-km road race in Iten, 30-km north of Eldoret, Kenya, on Friday.
Ekimat won the race in 32:14:10 beating her nearest rival Ruth Chebii by some 200 metres in a race attended by a glittering galaxy of women marathon athletes and former Olympic and World Champions who are resident in the environs of this north Rift Valley Province town, some 400-km north west of the capital Nairobi.
The race was organised by Lorna Kiplagat, winner of Los Angeles marathon in 1997 and 1998 and also winner of the Amsterdam marathon in 1999 and second in Chicago last year, to commemorate the first anniversary of the High Altitude Training Centre for women, which she and her Dutch husband Pieter Langerhorst built in Iten.
Ekimat, 25, quit active athletics in mid-1990s, was married to fellow athlete Joseph Cheruiyot and had three children. She started her comeback trail last year and was sixth in Kenya's national cross country trials in the 4K. She did badly in the World Cross in Villamoura, Portugal last year, where she finished in 33rd position.
"I am happy that I am picking up well. Watch out for me this season and next year," Ekimat said.
She was followed by Chebii, who crossed in 34:58:46 and Emily Rotich who timed 35:03:35.
The chief guest who flagged off the race was Wincatherine Ndereba, twice winner of Boston and Chicago marathon and holder of the women’s world marathon best. Other top stars in attendance were Susan Chepkemei, who won in Rotterdam this year and holder of world best half-marathon time, twice London marathon winner Joyce Chepchumba, Esther Kiplagat, who was fifth in New York City on Nov. 4, Judy Kiplimo, who won in Cologne this year, and Florence Barsosio, who won in Paris early this year.
Former world fastest women marathon runner Tegla Loroupe and this year's New York City marathon champion Margaret Okayo were the only absentees among the cream of Kenya's marathon elite.
They were accompanied by their equally-famous male compatriots like Moses Tanui, who won in Boston twice, Joshua Chelanga, who was third in Boston last April, former Olympics champions Paul Ereng (Seoul, 800m), Mathew Birir (Barcelona, 3,000m SC), former world 10,000 metres record holder Yobes Ondieki and many other world-renowned athletes.
1 Jane Ekimat 32:14:10
2 Ruth Chebii 34:58:46
3 Emily Rotich 35:03:35
4 Mary Busienei 35:17:07
5 Jane Rotich 35:29:62
6 Risper Lagat 35:53:93
7 Catherine Mutua 35:58:10
8 Jane Kiprop 36:07:99
9 Jep Kirui 36:40:21
10 Josephine Kiprop 38:18:46