NAIROBI, October 26 – In a departure from the past where unheralded competitors carried the day, this year’s Standard Chartered Nairobi marathon was won by established athletes as Samson Kikwei Tuiyange and Emma Muthoni emerged victorious in the sixth edition held on Sunday.,
Samson Barmao, Thuita Rose Chseire, Chemolkil Chilapong all rose to fame when they won the race but there was no room this year as pedigree athletes flexed their muscles.
Thirty four year old Tuiyange won the men’s in 2:10:31 to complete a remarkable comeback after three years of injury hell.
Having made his debut in 2004 Standard Chartered Nairobi marathon where he finished 31st , the father of one who hails from Baringo was then forced out of competition in 2005, 2006 and 2007 due to an Achilles injury.
The future looked so bleak that his manager dropped him from his roster but out of sheer determination and grit, Tuiyange worked himself back to fitness.
“My manager left me after my injury but I was hopeful that I would get back to running and I am feeling so happy and content to have come back and win like I did today,” a beaming Tiuyange said.
Tuiyange started his comeback in September this year finishing 12th at the Family Bank race in Eldoret, “I had told myself that if I finished in the top 20 in Eldoret, I would enter Nairobi.”
In Sunday’s race, Tuiyange stayed well within the pack as they went past the halfway mark in 1:19:52. He then took over the lead with 11 kilometres to go, “I decided to do most of my running in the pack then with slightly over ten kilometres to go I decided to make my move and push for victory.”
2006 Nairobi half marathon winner Philemon Gitia came in second place in 2:11:01, “It’s my first ever marathon as I have previously only competed in half marathon and everything went according to plan today,” said the 27 year old.
Long time race leader Cosmas Musyoka faded in the last five kilometres finishing in third place. “It all depended on how well one had trained and I could keep up in the last part of the race.”
Kenya’s GROE representative Philemon Lisoreng finished 18th but was the first in the GROE series putting Kenya in the lead.
In the women’s race, Muthoni became the first Greatest Run on Earth (GROE) series competitor to win in Nairobi marathon in a new personal best time of 2:33:42.
The shy 27 year old who is a member of Kenya’s GROE team sliced almost five minutes from a her previous PB that she posted in Cologne marathon last year.
Muthoni first competed at the Nairobi marathon in 2006 finishing fourth. The following year, she placed fourth in Cologne and another fourth place finish followed in Singapore marathon.
“There was pushing and jostling earlier on in the race but I had energy in the second half of the race to win, said Muthoni adding that she will invest her winnings wisely as well as helping her family.
There was drama when the women’s runner up Philomena Sawe was disqualified after her microchip was found not to have recorded the entire 42 kilometres.
The 22 year old was thus struck off the finishing list awaiting further investigation and possible disciplinary action by Athletics Kenya.
2006 winner Irene Jerotich was thus promoted to second place in 2:36:59 with Jepkemboi Chesire coming in third place in a time of 2:40:07.
Both the men and women winners walked away with Sh1.5 million.
Eighteen year old Peter Kirui Chesang won the men’s 21km race in 1:02:23.
Running in his first ever half marathon, the Baringo born athlete was simply too good for the rest of the field. “I am very happy to win the half marathon because even people like Olympic champion Samuel Wanjiru started by running the half marathon so that shows I am on course.”
Peter Sitienei came in second in 1:02:34 with Gilbert Yegon taking the last podium place in 1:02:43.
In the women’s race, Catherine Cherotich Tuwei was the winner on her debut in the race.
The 20 year old Policewoman clocked 1:11:07 to edge out Elizabeth Rumokal who was second in 1:12:56 while Florence Jepkosgei who was third in last year’s race kept the same position in 1:13:29. Both winners claimed Sh150,000.
Over 12,000 runners took part in various races including the full and half marathons, 10k races and family fun run on a new course.
1. Samson Kikwei Tuiyange 2:10:30
2. Philemon Gitia Baaru 2:11:01
3. Cosmas Musyoka 2:13:10
1. Emma Muthoni 2:33:42
2. Irene Jerotich 2:36:59
3. Jepkemboi Chesire 2:40:07
1. Chesang Kirui 1:02:23
2. Peter Sitienei 1:02:34
3. Gilbert Yegon 1:02:43
1. Catherine Cherotich Tuwei 1:11:07
2. Elizabeth Rumokal 1:12:56
3. Florence Jepkosgei 1:13:29