Robert Kipkemboi and Naom Jebet are the winners of this year’s Nairobi City Marathon held at the Nairobi Expressway on Sunday.
Kipkemboi clocked 2:08:30 to win the men’s category as Jebet cruised to the tape in 2:24:33 to lift the women’s title.
Maxwell Rotich (1:00.11) from Uganda and Gladys Chepkurui (1:09.06) from Iten emerged champions in men and women’s 21km races.
The winners of the full marathon went home Sh3.5 million richer while those who won the half marathon each got Sh150,000.
Those who finished in the top 20 places in the full marathon were also rewarded with second place finishers getting Sh2.2 million while those who finished third each got Sh1.5m.
The total prize money in the full marathon was Sh11.4 million.
“It’s a good day for me. My hard work has finally paid off, I did elaborate training in Kaptagat before I came for this marathon,” Kipkemboi, 33, told Standard Sports.
He was to race at Stockholm Marathon in Sweden last month but was not lucky with his travelling schedule as his visa delayed.
So, instead, he opted to try his luck at the Nairobi which he is so happy to have won.
“I’m also glad that some of the athletes I train with in Kaptagat have posted impressive results in this race,” he said.
He said that his focus was to make it to the podium hence was not bothered by the presence of men’s defending champion Brimin Misoi.
“This victory has boosted my morale, from here I’m going home to start preparing for the next race, the Istanbul Marathon in Turkey in November,” he said.
Jebet from Elgeyo Marakwet was over the moon with her first victory in marathon.
She admitted the win came as a surprise as she did not elaborately prepare for the race.
“This victory confirms all things are possible if you believe so,” she said.
“The other ladies had pushed the pace but when they slowed down, I decided to try my luck and they couldn’t react. That’s how I managed to win. It’s good motivation for me to continue training hard,” she said.
Jebet says she will head back home to continue with her training in Iten as she has no other races lined up in the course of the year.
Rotich attributed his 21km men’s victory to training twice a day in Iten.
“The course favoured me but it was very cold in Nairobi. I’m yet to acclimatise here,” the Ugandan said.
Chepkurui says she will now head for the marathon next season after her triumph in the women’s 10km last year and the half marathon this year.