Kabuu and Kipruto to assert dominance in Ndakaini marathon

By Gilbert Wandera

Dubai Marathon Champion Lucy Kabuu will seek to gauge her preparedness ahead of the IAAF World Half marathon in Saturday’s UAP Ndakaini Half marathon.

However, the Commonwealth Games 10,000m champ will not be walking through the pack as she comes up against defending champion Emily Biwott, 2010 winner Elizabeth Chemweno and Millicent Gathoni.

“Lucy is in great form. She has been training in Iten and Nyahururu and I believe she will make a statement on SUNDAYwith a good run. The focus is to do well at the World half marathon in Bulgaria next month,” said Kabuu’s husband and training partner Josephat Kamau.

The men race will see champion Dennis Kipruto, who trains together with New York marathon champion Geoffrey Mutai, put his title on the line. One of his major challenger is Japan based Philip Mugweru.

Also expected is Philemon Kipchumba Yator the 21-kilometre race winner in 2010 and Karura Forest road race winner Jeremiah Maina. The winners will pocket Sh150,000 as the prize money.

In the 10km road race, the big name will be Ibrahim Mukunga, who is based in Japan. The event is sponsored by insurance firm UAP.

Apart from the defending champions, other top athletes expected are last year’s Nairobi marathon champion Ernest Kibenei and Mary Wangari. UAP Insurance Head of Marketing and Distribution Joseph Kamiri said they have received overwhelming entries from local athletes. 

“We have registered at least 2,000 athletes so far and expect that this figure will surpass the 3,000 mark we have set,” he said.

Attract elite athletes

The UAP Ndakaini Marathon has grown in leaps and bounds since being launched and continues to attract a lot of interest from established and up-coming athletes. Kamiri urged all those who have registered to turn up early so that all the events can begin and end on time.

“The 21km race is scheduled to be flagged off at 8am. while the other 10, 5 and 3km races will be flagged off at 30 minute intervals thereafter,” he explained.

He urged the prospective participants to get the starting point early and added that for those who wished to spend the night camping facilities are available.

Kamiri also reiterated that Olympic marathon silver medallist Abel Kirui who is also the Ndakaini marathon ambassador and Berlin marathon champion Patrick Makau will participate in the marathon in a ceremonial capacity as a morale booster to young upcoming athletes.

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