Guns kept aside
By PETER ATSIAYA
The clouds of peace engulfed Makutano town in Kapenguria, West Pokot County, as the Tegla Loroupe-sponsored Peace Race ended at the venue on Saturday.
The annual event held courtesy of renown marathoner Tegla Loroupe, is meant to foster peace among warring pastoral communities in the region.
Unlike in war scenarios where people scamper for safety as gun shots rend the air, at the Makutano Stadium, they cheered as the gun shots were fired at the beginning of every race during the Safaricom-sponsored championship.
It was the race pitting reformed warriors — both men and women — that thrilled guests drawn from Monaco, France, Switzerland, Germany and host Kenya.
The former warriors hugged and shook hands after the race, symbolising peace and friendship to the delight of spectators
Evans Toroitich from the Marakwet community excited fans as he exhibited his hidden talent by beating a field of more than 100 competetors to win the 10,000m race in 29:33.
"I cant hide my joy for winning this title. Since I surrendered my gun following the intervention of Lorupe Peace Foundation, I have been working hard to achieve this goal," he said.
The reformed warrior added: "I would like the Foundation to help me develop my talent so that I can use it to earl a livelihood".
Moses Longuka from the Pokot community came second at 29:53, while Michael Losoro (Turkana) finished third in 29:57.
Tito Dengel from the Karamajong community in Uganda finished fourth, while his fellow compatriots Martin Maket and James Lolen took the ninth and tenth positions respectively.
In the women’s category, Ugandan Nancy Chekwemoi won after clocking 35:40, followed by Hellen Chepati at 35:41, while Chemwok Longolemoro came third in 35:48.
Loroupe said the championship was a success adding that better things are in store for participants in the next year’s event.
"I’m touched with the overwhelming support I got from my friends in Switzerland, Monaco, France and Germany. They have made enormous contributions to today’s success," said Lorupe.
Pamela Lesoreni won the 10, 000 senior women’s race for the second year running.
Gladys Yator came second after timing 32:51 followed by Priscillah Lorchima (33.19), Pamela Anisomek (33:22), Karen Cheptoek (34:05), Tekla Lotungo (34:24), Rosina Kiboino (35:37), Monica Litukoi (36:40), and Naomi Kalia (38:10) in that order.
In the men’s category, Paul Lonyang’ata was declared the new champion after returning at 27:14.
He was closely followed by Hosea Nailel who clocked 27:32, while Kennedy Kimutai finished in 27:34 to take the third position.
Samuel Nakum came forth in 27:36. He was followed by Wycliff Biwott (27:48), Joseph Aperumoi (28:09), Coliins Kipkorir (28:23), Barnabas Kibii (28:30), Philiip Eko (28:48), Paul Lekualibn (28:51), Jamin Ekai (28:58), and Samuel Kemboi (29:30).
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