Joel Kimurer sprints to the finish line at the 2010 Discovery Cross Country race in Eldoret (David Macharia) © Copyright
General News Eldoret, Kenya

Kimurer and Chemweno power to victories in Eldoret

Joel Kimurer of Kenya police finally managed to win a local title when he ran away with the senior men's crown at the 19th edition of the Discovery Kenya Cross Country championship held in Eldoret today (31).

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