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Kipchirchir, Chemutai top UNEP run

NAIROBI, Kenya, February 20- Upcoming distance runner, Victor Kipchirchir and Mercy Chemutai won the UNEP 40th anniversary celebratory run on Sunday.

Kipchirchir breast the tape in 1:00:27 to claim the men’s main half marathon race with Chemutai stopped the timer in 1:12:51 in the corresponding women’s event as both took home Sh100,000 ($1,220) apiece.

World marathon record holder, Patrick Makau Musyoki and his predecessor, Paul Tergat were the star athletes who took part in the 5km fun run in the event organised by UNEP, Athletics Kenya and Paul Tergat Foundation.

“This is the ultimate opportunity for athletes to demonstrate their support for the work of the UN Environment Programme in protecting the environment for the past four decades,” said Tergat.

“This is a landmark partnership between sports and the environment in which celebrities can use their iconic status for the cause of the environment, for which I have a personal passion and commitment,” he added.

The celebratory runs also coincided with the convening of the 12th Special Session of the UNEP Governing Council/Global Ministerial Environment Forum (GC/GMEF).

Dignitaries and officials from 150 countries attending the meeting were invited to participate in a shorter 5km run.

In support of the UN Conference on Sustainable Development, or Rio+20, in June, UNEP is providing assistance to the Brazilian authorities for two major future sporting events: the FIFA World Cup 2014 and the Olympics in Brazil in 2016.

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