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Kilel wins the Kenya Airways Maasai Mara Marathon to get ticket to London

By - JONATHAN KOMEN | October 6th 2013


Former Boston Marathon winner Caroline Cheptanui Kilel

Former Boston Marathon winner Caroline Cheptanui Kilel braved huge odds to win the Kenya Airways Maasai Mara Marathon staged at the Lemek Conservation in Narok County.

The 2011 Boston Marathon winner blasted off a forest of legs mid-way through the race even as obstinate wild life seemed to obstinate the glory thirst runners.

It was simply a fierce battle as the first five athletes earned their entry into next year’s London Marathon that comes up in April.

The five were selected upon the conclusion of the 2013 edition of the Kenya Airways Maasai mara Marathon which was held over the weekend at Lemek Conservancy.

Faith Jeruto will partner with Kilel in the women’s race, while Leonard Kipkoech, Ezra Sang and homeboy David Oloisan will take the Maasai Moran fight to United Kingdom’s flagship 42km race next year.

Kilel, who sprung into limelight at the Kebirigo 10km race in Nyamira, won the 21km race in a time of 1:11.15, upstaging a surging Faith Jeruto who breezed the tape in 1:11.56.

Lucy Liyavoga checked in third in 1:12.20 as Chepng’eno Langat (1:13.04) and Naomi Chepngeno (1:13.26) trailed.

Leonard Kipkoech wore the men’s 21km crown in 1:03.0 as Ezra Sang, who timed 1:03.53, followed. Nicholas Kipkemboi settled for bronze in 1:04.0.

Bernard Kitur (1:04.20) and Henry Sang (1:04.21) completed the top five runners.

Apart from the trip to the Virgin London Marathon, Kilel walked home with Sh500,000 as did men’s victor Kipkoech.

Runner-up finishers in the two categories won Sh200,000 each, while third place finishers went home Sh100,000 richer, where the prize money trickled down to the 10th finishers who received Sh4,000.

top three

Risper Chebet won the 5km race in a time of 25:10 minutes followed by Naserian Joan in 29:15 as Jackline Chepkemei completed the top three in 33:02.

Isaac Korir emerged top in the men’s 5km race in 18:20 as Moses Koiyan took the silver medal a second slower with Meshack Leina winning bronze in 18:35.

The winners in the two categories received Sh20,000 while the second finishers won Sh16,000 each as third place finishers got Sh10,000.

Kenya Airways CEO Titus Naikuni said the airline will sponsor five athletes to participate in the 2014 London Marathon set for April.

The five include Kilel and Jeruto in the women’s category while Leonard Kipkoech, Ezra Sang and local runner David Oloisan will run in the men’s race.

The Kenya Airways Maasai Mara Marathon 2013, a joint initiative of the airline with the Lemek Conservancy Council, was used to commemorate Kenya’s 50th anniversary this year and the marathon that has been held annually since 2009.

The funds raised in the event will go towards addressing shortfalls in education facilities, access to medical infrastructure, improvement of sanitation utilities, anti-poaching projects and provision of clean drinking water to its residents.                              —[email protected]


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