Reline outpaces Ayabei in battle for Kapsowar Girls 21km honours

Catherine Reline wins the 21km Moi Kapsowar Girls Charity Run. [Peter Ochieng, Standard]

After finishing seventh in 10,000m at the Prefontaine Classic in Oregon and missing out in Team Kenya to the Paris Olympics, Catherine Reline sent a strong message as she won 2024 Kapsowar Girls 21km contest on Saturday.

Reline edged out former Frankfurt Marathon champion Valary Ayabei who was making a comeback after maternity break.

The Telesia Half Marathon winner established a comfortable lead in the last kilometre after exchanging leads with Aiyabei from start in a tough course that started in Chebiemit and finished at Moi .

She clocked 71:40.0 ahead of Aiyabei who stopped the timer in 71:56.4. Naomy Jebet came in third in 72:04.6.

The 2024 (fourth) edition of Moi Kapsowar Girls Charity and Conservation race event was upgraded from the previous 10km road race which started in Cheptongei, finishing at the school’s grounds.

“I did not expect to win the race. I had just come from the 10,000m national trials in Eugene (Oregon) and I didn’t make the team. I decided to take part in the local race as part of my long run to gauge my form,” Kapsait-based Reline said after the win.

James Kipkoech dictated proceedings in the men’s half marathon, winning the contest in 62:02.39 in a race that saw the former Half Marathon world record holder Florence Kiplagat make a comeback after years out of competition following an anti-doping rule violation.

Newbie Kalibus Lomwai took second place in 1:03.31 while Kiptum timed 1:03:40 to finish third in the local race that attracted bigwigs.

Kiplagat is among Kenyan stars who suddenly faded in recent years.

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