Stars grace first ever Mully race
Commonwealth champion Cheyech leads stellar cast of marathon wannabes in Yatta.
The Commonwealth Games women’s marathon champion Philomena Cheyech braved the sweltering heat and challenging course to win the inaugural Mully Half Marathon in Yatta, Machakos County, yesterday.
Hastings and Surrey (UK) half-marathon winner Sammy Dismas Nyokaye secured the men’s bragging rights as both winners bagged Sh450,000.
Nyokaye’s victory ended his winless streak in local races when he stopped the timer in 1:01.42.
Cheyech, a former Paris Marathon champion graced the race to cheer her younger sister, but unsurprisingly ended up winning the race by breasting the tape in 1:09.53.
“The competition was tough but the course was good. It was flat with few hilly areas,” Cheyech said.
Hot on Cheyech’s heels was Madoka Half marathon champion Lucy Cheruiyot, who clocked 1:10.10. The 2012 Dusseldorf (Germany) marathon champion Agnes Barsosio finished third by returning 1:11.18 as the former Commonwealth Games 3000m steeplechase champion Mercy Njoroge, a Kenya Defence Forces officer, found the going tough, finishing eighth in 1:13.20
Nyamira-based Nyokaye, whose last participation in a local race was at Kisumu Marathon where he finished third, beat Copenhagen (Denmark) marathon third-place finisher Daniel Kipkosgei (1:01.49) to second place.
The Gold Coast Marathon (Australia) immediate former course record holder Nicholas Kamakya limped off after just 5km to put paid his intentions of winning.
The 2011 Africa Country silver medalist Mary Munanu won the women’s 10km race by timing 32:28 as the former Nandi Re- Discover 10,000m race winner Emmanuel Bor won in the men’s category by clocking 28:10.
The World Masters half marathon silver medallist Stephen Kamande, aged 74, was the best placed veteran by finishing at the top of the log.
The Mully Half Marathon will be an annual event.