NAIROBI, Kenya, Oct 25 – Irene Cherotich became the first repeat winner in the Standard Chartered Nairobi marathon as both course records were shattered in the seventh edition held on Sunday.
Running in only his third marathon, Moses Kigen triumphed in the men’s race setting a new personal best as well as course record of 2:10:12 while Cherotich shattered the course record in a new personal best time of 2:28:57 to add onto her 2006 crown.
The athletes pocketed Sh1.5 million each for their triumphs and an extra Sh250,000 for setting a new course record in a race held in unfavourable cold, windy and rainy conditions.
Jerotich’s win, coupled with her second place finish in last year’s race makes her the most successful marathoner in the history of the race.
“I suffered a knee injury in 2007 which kept me out for most of the year but am glad to win again. It shows am getting back to my best,” said the winner.
Behind her was another veteran Alice Chelangat – the winner of the inaugural marathon way back in 2003, who timed 2:30:38 in second place.
“I am always happy to come back and run here because running at home with your fellow Kenyans cheering on is very special,” she said adding, “I had big expectations coming into the race but I got a stomach strain which slowed me down but am still happy with my results.”
Sharon Cherop finished an impressive third just ten months after giving birth with the former World junior 5,000 metres bronze medalist clocking 2:33:53.
“For me this was like a long run as I’m working hard to get back to shape after maternity leave. My main aim is to make it back to the cross country team for next year’s world event,” said Cherop.
The men’s race lived up to the billing as one of the toughest in the world. Kibiwott Kwambai led the leading pack past the 10km mark in a fast 27:52. The pace continued with Kiprotich Baiwo going through the halfway mark in 1:06 in a batch of 16 athletes.
Twenty-eight-year-old Kigen made his move at the 30 kilometre mark going on to win and add onto his burgeoning career, “I was feeling very strong and with 12k to go, I decided to make my move.”
Nathan Naibei-a former steeplechaser – finished second in his first ever marathon. The Marakwet born athlete started as a steeplechaser and won the national junior crown in 2004 but knee and groin injuries forced him to move to road running last year.
“I missed most of 2007 and 2008 due to knee and groin injuries hence my decision to stop running the steeple and move to marathon and today I ran my personal best.”
Peter Sitienei finished third in his marathon debut. The 25 year old was second in the half marathon last year before making the leap up with success.
More than 13,000 participants braved the morning drizzle to attend this year’s edition of the marathon at the Nyayo national stadium.
42K FULL RESULTS:
Moses Kigen 2:10:12
Natahn Naibei 2:11:16
Peter Sitienei 2:11:32
Simon Mukum 2:11:39
Meshack Kosgei 2:11:45
Josephj Kimeli 2:13:15
Samuel kemboi 2:13:28
Daniel Kirwa 2:13:52
David Kipkoech 2:13:56
Elijah Mbaraka 2:14:03
Irene Cherotich 2:28:57
Alice Chelangat 2:30:38
Sharon Cherop 2:33:53
Irene Mogaka 2:35:51
Rebby Cherono 2:38:23
Zeddy Chepkoech 2:39:37
Caroline Chemutai 2:40:29
Jackline Nyangeri 2:40:44
Peris Jepkorir 2:42:08
Eunice Jeptoo 2:44:11