Victor Rotich Kipchirchir, who won the fourth edition of the Eldoret City Marathon on a bright Palm Sunday, became the first athlete to defend his championship at the event. The previous Valencia Marathon champion won in 2:13:10, while Emily Chebet, who finished eighth last year, won in 2:29:58. With more than 700 racers competing this year, the pair took home Sh3.5 million in prize money, making it the largest payout for a marathon event in Africa.
Rotich won the men’s category after a careful race that saw him finish just over four minutes behind than the leading pack of five at the 35km point. “I was well prepared, but I wasn’t optimistic about my chances today due to an ailment I’ve been nursing.” “I’m grateful to God for my victory today,” Rotich stated. Michael Mutai was second in 2:13:22, and Josephat Bett was third in 2:13:58. Felix Kirwa (2:14:38) and Timothy Kosgei (2:14:34) were fourth and fifth, respectively.
The women’s race was just as close as the men’s, but Chebet led the way for the most part, always appearing to have the race under control and only being challenged by Shyline Toroitich on few occasions. Chebet, 24, said her next goal is to qualify for the Commonwealth Games and the World Athletics Championships Oregon22, after finishing seventh at the Istanbul Marathon in November last year. “I thank God for my victory and pray that I can remain fit and well for my next races.” “I didn’t run with dread today because I was confident in the level of my preparations, and as they say, train hard and win easy,” Chebet explained.
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