By Joseph Ngure
- - 29th Nov 2012 00:00:00 GMT +0300
Over 1,000 athletes are expected to compete in the Sunday Tuskys Wareng cross country championship in Eldoret.
The event marking its seventh edition will see the elite and upstart athletes battle out for the lucrative prizes on offer.
The race, the last event of the year in the North Rift Calendar, comes after Athletics Kenya (AK) North Rift affiliate staged the sixth edition of Kass International marathon two weeks ago also in Eldoret town.
“Preparations are on. All will be in order and we are asking cross-country runners to take advantage of the home event and register in plenty. We shall host it at the traditional Huruma playing grounds,” said the event director Moses Kiptanui.
Kiptanui, also a three time 3,000 metres steeplechase World Champion and Marakwet District Athletics Kenya sub-branch chairman, said the event will feature the usual four cadres – 6km junior women, 8km junior men, 8km senior women and 12km senior men.
In addition, there will be two special categories for the children and veteran athletes.
Taking place a week after the fourth Kenya Commercial Bank/Athletics Kenya Meet in Mt Elgon, the Wareng event is expected to assemble a refined field from the region if the previous performances are anything to go by.
Double World champion Vivian Cheruiyot, former World cross-country Silver medallist, Priscah Cherono and 1997 World Junior cross-country champion Rose Kosgei highlighted the previous event. Cheruiyot went on to clinch the World Cross Country Championship in Punta Umbria, Spain.
“Last year, more than 700 athletes participated in the Tuskys Wareng cross-country. We expect the number to go above the 1,000 mark,” added Kiptanui.
Tuskys Supermarkets, the main sponsors of the event, together with Komora Limited have lined up attractive prizes for top finishers that include electronic appliances.
Although it very early to predict the number and names of elite runners who would be competing, global trotting medallist especially in the junior categories would be on the start list at Huruma grounds as they seek to defend their respective crowns in their categories.
The event however, does not count towards the national cross country series, which has a jackpot prize of Sh1.2 million at stake.
Jackpot points are awarded to the first seven finishers with the winner getting one point and the seventh picking 7 points. The maximum point one can collect in the seven leg series is four.
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Tuskys Wareng cross country Eldoret