Cherop, Yego bag Eldoret race: 2012 Boston winner makes history as first ever winner of Eldoret City race
Deputy President leads five governors in five kilometre race as inaugural Eldoret City Marathon is born.
The 2012 Boston marathon Champion Sharon Cherop and Elkanah Yego are the winners of the first edition of Eldoret City Marathon.
Cherop, 34, was just back from Boston Marathon and on a mission to atone for the dour display in the US. She did.
She crossed the finish line in 2:29.59, while her compatriot Lydia Cheromei came in second three minutes later.
Despite the chilly weather, experienced and upcoming athletes came out in their numbers for the new marathon race in Kenya, where the winners in the men and women categories each stood to win Sh3 million.
And just before the clock ticked 8am, the athletes set out to chase the bumper prize in Eldoret, the City of Champions.
Security personnel, in their hundreds, dotted the meandering and busy Eldoret-Ziwa road.
As they crossed the 14km mark near the University of Eldoret, the men and women had been separated from the boys and girls.
Cherop, who hails from Chesoi village in Elgeyo Marakwet, said the win came as a surprise to her. “I did not expect to win this. I wanted to be among the top three because I knew athletes from Nandi and Uasin Gishu who are famed for road running would not give me an easy time. I was praying to be among the top three and I’m grateful I got to win,” said the marathoner.
She dedicated the memorable performance to her 18 month old baby Nadia Chepchirchir.
In the men’s race, 24-year-old Yego clocked 2:12.44 five seconds before Kass Marathon champion Philip Kangogo to take home the coveted prize.
“I’m happy because I am the current holder of the course record. I did not expect to win, but I did my best. The only challenge I had is the injuries, but when I got to the 40km mark, I knew I could win this and that is how I sprinted off,” said Yego.
Deputy President William Ruto led a host of governors in finishing 5km races that kicked off at Kao la Amani to the finish line near Zion Mall.
He was accompanied by Governors Jackson Mandago (Uasin Gishu), Anne Waiguru (Kirinyaga), Josphat Nanok (Turkana), Alex Tolgos (Elgeyo Marakwet) and Stephen Sang of Nandi.