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Kones Kibet gunning for Lukenya University One Million Trees Marathon title


Men’s 21km, Kones Kibet preparing ahead of the marathon race to be held at the university Main Campus in Mtito Andei, Tsavo East on March 26, 2023. [Joshua Kitili,Lukenya University]

Athletics Kenya Western Region Cross Country Men's U20 champion Kones Kibet is among the hundreds of athletes who are gunning for glory in the inaugural edition of the Lukenya University One Million Trees Marathon.

The high profile race will be held on March 26 at Lukenya University Main Campus in Mtito Andei, Tsavo East.

The younger brother to the 2020 Monaco Diamond League winner Wilberforce Kones says he is targeting a sub 65 in the men's 21km category.

"This will help me to improve on my personal best which currently stands at 67 minutes.

"But my body is fit, I could definitely lower the PB further," he told Standard Sports.

Kibet has been stepping up training since the Lukenya One Million Trees Marathon was announced last year.

He did a rigorous one month exercise at Ngong Hills with the Kenya National Police in order to get in shape.

"I was able to learn better skills in Ngong, I took my athletics experience to another level," he underlined.

So far, the second year Education Science  student at the Lukenya University has worked on his speed and endurance ahead of the race.

He will perfect his finishing kick in the remaining days ahead of the contest.

While explaining how he balances between books and athletics, Kibet says: "I have come up with a proper training schedule at the university.

"I wake up at 4am and do personal studies till 5.40am.Then I head for the long runs of a bout 20km at the designated marathon route or at the University stadium.

"I also do some workouts and easy runs in the evenings."

The soft spoken 20-year old reiterated that he is taking part in the marathon because he believes in its cause.

"This is a good race, the situation here in Makueni County is a bit challenging in terms of climate, so coming up with such an event will help us to conserve our environment," he stated.

Kibet is grateful for great inspiration he has received from his brother Kones saying the world beater gives him training tips as well as kits and lots of encouragement whenever he is down.

In the next five years, Kibet is dreaming to be a world champion, mostly in road races.

Currently, his role model in athletics is World Half Marathon record holder Jacob Kiplimo (57.31), he believes the Ugandan is so disciplined and very social.

"You can discuss anything under the sun with Kiplimo, he is someone that is so easy to get along with," he underscored.

Lukenya University selected line-up for the One Million Trees Marathon

Gladys Jepkoech - Women's 21km

Mercy Kiprotich- Women's 21km

Kimutai Victor -Men's 10km

Nathan Ruto- Men's 10km

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