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Aiyabei, Kiptum dominate Iten Road Race

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Valary Aiyabei Jemeli in action during the Safaricom athletics series Iten 10KM road race. The former Barcelona Marathon Champion crossed the line in 33.18.0 minutes to emerge the winner ahead of Lucy Cheruiyot 33.27.2 and Lydia Njeri 33.34.8 in second and third positions respectively.

NAIROBI, Kenya, Aug 25 – Former Barcelona Marathon champion Valary Aiyabei and reigning Lagos marathon champion Abraham Kiptum dominated the women’s and men’s  8th edition of Safaricom Iten 10km Road Race that went down on Saturday in Elgeyo Marakwet County.

Jemeli, defeated a host of runners to emerge victorious in women’s race that started at Bugar Centre before ending at Iten town.

Running on home ground, receiving cheers from fans lined up on the course, the 2015 Kass marathon champion stepped in the lead 100m after start and enjoyed the lead until the finish line, though she had difficulties in uphill with Lucy Cheruiyot the 2016 Madoka half marathon taking advantage to close the gap.

With her expectation high to win Beijing marathon, Jemeli who won the race, said she will be working on her way to improve on her uphill running, which has been costing her various first positions.

“I came here for speed work ahead of my Beijing marathon. Coming from the same area, I know the route and utilized it very well” said Jemeli who cut the tape in 33:18.0.

She added that as a marathoner, she did not expect to win because 10km is a faster race.

“I am surprised by the win because, as a marathoner, my speed is slow though I managed to beat them all,” said Jemeli, who has dominated local races like cross country and road races.

She finished ahead of Cheruiyot who clocked 33:27.2 before Lydia Njeri completing the podium in 33:34.8.

Nursing the injury he sustained during Kabarak half marathon, Abraham Kiptum, won the men race in 28:39.0 trouncing Daniel Kipchumba (29:08.1) Samuel Chebolei (29:09.9).

The two time Lagos marathon champion, who will be travelling to Nigeria to defend his second title said he will do his best to lower his own time.

The runner who also ran away with the Daegu marathon course record will be hoping to defend his title next year.

“My aim is to lower both course records and enter history books. Today’s race was competitive and running on home ground, it was great to win despite my back and shoulder injury, we tahnk the organizers of this race for doing a great job in Iten,” Kiptum said.

The Safaricom Area Sales Manager- Edoret Maurice Oyamo said that Safaricom will continue to support the the Road Race in order to develop more talents across the region.

“We are delighted that today’s Iten 10 Km Road Race has brought together elite runners who have shown us their mantle. We will continue to support this race going forward and also include other category races within the festivities of Iten Road Race,” said Maurice.

Safaricom has sponsored the race to a tune of KES 1 Million, a kitty that will see winners walk away with KES 50,000, while the 1st and 2nd runners up will pocket 40,000, and 30,000 respectively in both the men’s and women’s races.

Next month, the Safaricom Athletics Series will head to Mombasa for the Mombasa International Marathon, after which the Series will hold the Isaiah Kiplagat Memorial Ndalat Gaa Cross Country and Madoka marathons in October.

Leading results

10km women

  1. Valary Jemeli-33:18.8
  2. Lucy Cheruiyot-33:27.2
  3. Lydia Njeri-33:34.8
  4. Joyce Jepkemoi-33:52.5
  5. Sharon Jelimo-34:30.7
  6. Gladys Yator-34:32.6

Men

  1. Abraham Kiptum-28:39.0
  2. Daniel Kipchumba-29:08.1
  3. Samuel Chebolei-29:09.9
  4. Noah Kipkemboi-29:20.8
  5. Paul Longalecha-29:35.2
  6. Ronald Mitei-29:42.2
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