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Kimutai, Chelimo win Autism Awareness 5km race

Athletes compete in the inaugural Autism Awareness 5km race at the Eldoret Sports Club yesterday. [Peter Ochieng, Standard]

Wesley Kimutai and Martha Chelimo yesterday emerged top at the inaugural Autism Awareness 5km Run in Eldoret.

Organisers said the race which was staged at the Eldoret Sports Club is aimed at supporting autistic children and parents while creating a platform for autism awareness.

Chelimo, an 800m specialist who trains in Kaptagat, said she was using the Eldoret race to prepare for her transition to road races.

“I ran to support children with autism. It was a good race because I am preparing myself for road races. I feel good because I have used my talent to support a good cause,” Chelimo said.

Sharon Chepngetich and Vivian Rop placed second and third in the inaugural race.

Fredrick Domong’ole and Abraham Maiyo finished second and third respectively in the competition organised by Step Up 4 Autism and sponsored by Eldoret-based hospitals namely Mediheal and Equity Medical Centre among others.

The event was graced by Shoe4Africa founder Toby Tanser who has been fundraising through races, to build children’s health facilities such as the Children’s Hospital at the Moi Teaching and Referral.

Step Up 4 Autism founder Ruth Kenei said the organisation hopes to make the event an annual race.

Kenei said through the 5km annual race, the organisers are eyeing to raise money for the establishment of an autism centre in Eldoret.

“We need a centre where parents with autistic children can access counseling services and talk about their experiences. We are doing this for sensitisation,” she said.

Step Up 4 Autism parents coordinator Regina Keino said the event is aimed at bringing autistic children to come out and enjoy sports.