In a remarkable display of athleticism and determination, 24-year-old Janet Chepngetich from Kuresoi, Nakuru clinched victory at this year’s 10Km Belgut road race.
Peter Mwaniki, 28, from Kipipiri, Nyandarua county emerged victorious in the men’s race.
The event, which was organised by Belgut Member of Parliament Nelson Koech, aimed at raising funds for underprivileged students at Belgut’s Starehe Girls High School and Starehe Boys High Centre.
Chepngetich proved her mettle as she crossed the finish line with a remarkable time of 33 minutes, 15.40 seconds, securing not only the coveted winner’s title, but also a cash prize of Sh100,000, a trophy, and tree seedlings.
Mwaniki left spectators in awe as he clocked an impressive 29 minutes, 16.0 seconds, as he secured victory.
Like Chepngetich, Mwaniki also received a Sh100,000 cash prize, a trophy, and the symbolic tree seedlings.
The road race, which is a true testament to sporting excellence and community unity, saw about 800 athletes take part.
The race commenced at the Chepnyoga trading centre before ending at the Sossiot Stadium in Belgut constituency.
Mwaniki said the challenging Belgut road race course resembles his arduous training grounds in Nyandarua.
“After a frenetic start, I found my rhythm around the fourth kilometre and maintained the pace to the end,” he said.
Mwaniki added that the Belgut race served as a preparation for an upcoming road race in Uasin-Gishu county.
Reflecting on her triumph, Chepngetich acknowledged the daunting nature of the course and expressed her surprise at emerging victorious.
“Despite the course’s numerous uphill sections, I am grateful to have conquered it and emerged as the champion,” she said.
Chepngetich unveiled her future aspirations, setting her sights on the upcoming 10km race in Prague, Czech Republic.
Koech said the race continues to give the needy students hope and reason to face tomorrow.
“These students hail from our local community and lack the means to pursue higher education. This annual bursary initiative ensures their access to education,” said Koech.
He further said his vision is to expand the sponsorship program to encompass even more deserving students.
Koech’s efforts through the Constituency Development Fund have already borne fruit, with more than 100 students, who might have otherwise dropped out of secondary school, pass
ing their Kenya Certificate of Secondary Education.
Koech’s commitment extends beyond high school, as exemplified by a recent success story of a former beneficiary at Moo Tea Girls Secondary, who secured admission to study medicine after passing her KCSE.
As the athletes crossed the finish line, their sweat and determination transformed into hope for the less fortunate.
Road Cabinet Secretary Kipchumba Murkomen applauded the road race, saying its a breeding ground for future athletes.
“With Kericho and Bomet serving as the breeding grounds for top athletes, next year’s edition is slated to extend from 10 kilometers to 20 kilometers. Subsequent years could see a further expansion to 41km,” said Murkomen.