Athletics Athletics

Melly, Waruguru top Karura XC


NAIROBI, Kenya, July 30- Joel Melly and Pauline Waruguru won the Men’s and Women’s 16km Mau Mau Trail at the inaugural G4S Karura Cross Country Challenge, in Karura Forest on Saturday.

Melly, bet a strong field that included several elite Kenyan athletes clocking a time of 48:00, to beat Titus Kimani (48:01) to second position.

“The course was smooth and I ran my race to emerge the champion. I’m very happy,” the winner told reporters.

Before clinching the title, Melly had exchanged the lead with several athletes, including Titus Kimani, Moses Mbugua and Victor Kipchirchir before taking control of the race with four 4km left.

Pauline Waruguru clocked 59:49 to win the corresponding women’s race forcing Emil Samoei to accept second position in 59:54.

In the 9km –Trail of fire – event Wilson Mwangi romped home in 29:59 to win the race, as Jeremiah Maina came home second in 30:36.

Japan based Lucy Kabuu, the 2006 Commonwealth 10000m champion, clocked 32:55 seconds to win the women’s event ahead of Lucy Karimi returning 33:13 for silver.

In the corporate Challenge, the title sponsors G4S scooped the top position, with Fairview and Tribe hotels following the leaders to the podium in that order.

Hundreds of Nairobi residents turned up to cheer the runners through the winding paths of Karura Forest.

Winners in the 16km event received a cash award of Sh50,000 ($550) each, while the 9km winners received Sh25,000 ($275) each.

More than 15 corporate teams participated in the conservation run; these included Kenya Shell, and the British High Commission which entered a team, and contributed Sh250,000 ($2,748) each towards the Karura Forest conservation efforts.

Apart from organizing the race in partnership with Friends of Karura Forest, to raise awareness and financial support for the conservation efforts of Karura Forest, G4S Kenya is also offering professional risk management services worth Sh3.4m ($37,364).

Organisers have a target of Sh20m ($219,780) which will be used to improve various infrastructure; in particular around the waterfalls and caves, building a mountain bike trail and obstacle course in Sigiria, equipping scouts with a radio system to improve security and safety in the forest, fencing the KFS headquarters as well as building a bird walk and picnic sites.