Kiptum, Jemeli top Kabarak 21km race
Story by Ben Ahenda – Standard Media
Daegu Marathon winner Abraham Kiptum and Berlin Marathon second runner up Valary Jemeli won the second edition of Kabarak University Half Marathon yesterday.
The two produced brilliant shows to wow the huge crowd that included Kabarak University Vice Chancellor Prof Henry Kiplagat, Standard Group CEO Orlando Lyomu and West Pokot Governor Prof John Lonyangapuo.
Kiptum was in pure class as he stormed into the lead at the three-kilometre mark even as Stephen Kipruto kept close tabs.
The two went neck to neck before they exchanged the lead at the 13-kilometre point. But Kiptum deployed the afterburners to see off a pack that included Gideon Kipketer, third-placed at the Chicago Marathon in 2016 and Moses Keme. He raced to victory in 62.02.
Kiptum who set the high tempo with a scintillating sprint as he approached Kabarak University gate said: “I was too strong for Kiprop. My experience in big races helped me a lot.”
He is waiting for results from Anti Doping Agency of Kenya (Adak) in two weeks time before receiving Sh200,000 prize money iced with a heifer.
Kiprop settled for runner up spot in 63.38 ahead of Kipketer (63.51.39), Noah Kemboi (63.54) and Moses Kemei (63.57) in a race dubbed ‘running from Northern Hemisphere to Southern Hemisphere through the Equator’; all in support for needy students.
Peter Kemeli, the 2011 Paris Marathon winner and winner here six years ago, did not appear in top ten.
In men’s 10km, Vincent Kiprotich clocked 29. 44 to chalk up victory ahead of Geoffrey Koech (29.50) and Emmanuel Bor (30.01).
Valary Jemeli, who boasts 2:20.53 marathon mark set in Berlin last year, obliterated a strong field to win the women’s race in 73.21 ahead of Celestine Chepchirchir (73.48) and Joy Kemuma (74.03).
Jemeli said she used the Kabarak Half Marathon race as dress rehearsal for major a marathon race in October.
Paul Tutitoek, the Kenya Universities Athletics Chairman, said good weather conditions contributed to the fast times. “The conditions was super. Sections of the course is flat and the line up had some of the best athletes,” he said.