By Joseph Ngure

Former Africa junior bronze medalist Peter Kimeli braved bruising opposition to become the winner of the 22nd edition of Nike International Discovery Kenya half marathon in Eldoret on Sunday.

Kimeli, also winner of Kabarak Half Marathon and last year’s Sotokoto runner up, brushed a crowdedfield of  407  runners to claim the top honours in 1:03.06 despite the strong winds in Eldoret.

“This is my second big victory in local races after I won Kabarak Half Marathon. It was a good race although the wind was very strong,” said Kimeli, 23, a younger brother Mathew Kisorio of the Muge’s siblings.

But the winner finished almost three minutes of the course record set by 2008 Chicago Marathon champion Evans Cheruiyot in 2010. The mark stands at 1:01.57.

It was not a walk in the park as the budding runner had to tame rivals who pushed the first 10km in 32:30 along the 7-lap 3 kilometres loop starting outside Eldoret Centre and ending outside Eldoret Municipal Hall.

“This was my third attempt in this race. I have understood the course and was determined to change my position this year. I have been ranked fifth two times,” said the 2009 Africa 5,000 m bronze winner.

In the absence of last year’s winner Edwin Kipyego, who was present but opted not to defend the title as he is competing in Rak Half Marathon in India on February 15, new comers came to the limelight.

Jackson Limo, a self-trained talent from Chepkorio in Keiyo South, took the runners up position after clocking 1:03.18 during the annual challenge sponsored by Sports Manufacturer Nike and co-sponsored by Imperial Bank.

“I have no coach and I have been training on my own in Nyaru. I believe I can do better if I have a coach like others,” said Limo, a former student at Kitany Secondary School.

Victor Kipchirchir from Iten, retained his last year’s rank after arriving third in 1:03.33 with new comer Allan Kiprono winding up fourth timing 1:03.41.

Thomas Ekiru (1:04.01), John Lotiang (1:04.02), Benson Moto (1:04.08) and Laban Mutai (1:04.15) completed the first eight positions this year.

The Nike Discovery event came a week after the 22nd edition of Nike Discovery Cross-country that took place at Eldoret sports Club last Sunday.

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Nike International Discovery Peter Kimeli Kabarak Half Marathon