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Rionotukei eyes top prize at Stanchart Marathon

ATHLETICS By Ochieng Oyugi | October 18th 2021
From Left- Business Development Executive AAR HealthCare Mercy Ngugi, Chairman Standard Chartered Nairobi Marathon, Peter Gitau, Mary Wangui Subaru Kenya and Nairobi Traffic Police Commander, Joshua Omukata during a presser by The Standard Chartered Nairobi Marathon Organizing team at The Carnivore grounds on Monday, October 18, 2021. [Jonah Onyango, Standard]

Former Taiyuan Marathon champion Chemtai Rionotukei has her sights on winning the 18th edition of Standard Chartered Nairobi Marathon at Nairobi’s Southern Bypass on October 31.

The 35-year-old mother of two is motivated by her second place finish in 2019.

“I was third in 2015, I worked hard to be runners up two years ago, now I’m headed for the glory,” she told Standard Sports.

The 2016 Dongquan Marathon champion who hails from West Pokot says she has been upping her training under head coach Elkana Ruto in the last four months preparing for the race.

“I failed to win the race in 2019 because I had a slow start, my finishing kick was good though it was too little to late to beat the winner who had opened a huge margin.

“This time, I’m working on my speed to balance my start and end to the race,” the 2017 Shanghai Half Marathon winner said.

The 2012 Paraguay Marathon champion will be taking part in the race for the fifth time, having won the women’s half marathon category in 2011.

“I’m currently doing long runs almost everyday in Iten, with Sundays set for rest,” the 2013 Grand Rapids 25km Road Race winner said.

“I will reduce the 30km daily stretch just ten days to the event to help my body relax for the competition. My target this year is to win the race or at most make a podium finish,” she added.

Apart from Rionotukei, the race has attracted other 2500 elite athletes, mostly from Kenya, Uganda and Ethiopia, among them Daniel Simiu, Erick Kibet Kogo, Fridah Jepkite Lodepa Ptoo, Brillian Jepkorir among others.

Standard Group PLC are the official media partners.

Nairobi Traffic department has designed an elaborate road closure diversions schedule that will see traffic to and out of the Southern Bypass diverted to alternative roads between 12am and 1pm on October 31.

Interchanges to the Southern bypass will be closed.

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