Biwott, Jepkirui excel
Iten Marathon champion and Kitur run away with titles at 10th edition of Kass race in Eldoret
Fast-rising Evans Kipkemoi Biwott and Cologne Marathon champion Bornes Jepkirui Kitur secured victories at the 10th edition of Kass Marathon yesterday.
In his fifth attempt in the race, Biwott, who is also Iten Marathon champion, ascended to the podium and ensured that the title went back to Kapkitony, home to previous winner and training partner Albert Kitur, who came to cheer him.
Biwott clocked 2:19.02 for the victory beating Edwin Tarus to second in 2:19.41 and Justus Kiprotich sealed the podium places in 2:19.48. Kennedy Kiprop finished fourth in 2:20.03 while Henry Kosgei ( 2:20.20 ), Kennedy Kibet ( 2:20.47 ), Emmanuel Kipchumba ( 2:21.44 ), Jacob Rotich ( 2:24.33 ), Silas Sang ( 2:24.49 ) and Julius Tuwei ( 2:24.520 sealed the top ten list in.
Biwott calculated his moves in the chasing pack, studying the potential competitors and how to bridge the gap. At the 32km mark, the chasing pack got up with the leading pack of ten athletes, upping the pacing for about a kilometre before overtaking them. With eight athletes commanding the race, Biwott decided to break away at the 38km mark, opening a gap with every stride he made. According to Biwott, he was determined and confident of a win having prepared for it since July.
“I am very happy today for my win since I had tried it four times. I had prepared well and I came here only focusing the victory,” said Biwott, who failed to sparkle at the 2011 Hamburg marathon.
“What I needed was just endurance and speed since I had mastered the course. I knew when to increase the pace and where to keep energy because running three times here had made the course like my training route,” added Biwott. Biwott made his Kass marathon debut in 2011, finishing seventh but came back in 2013, settling fourth before finishing 14th and 4th respectively in the 2014 and 2015 editions.
“Korir, who won last year is my training mate and though he didn’t defend it, the title went back to the base,” said Biwott. In the women’s category, Kitur, who finished fifth at this year’s Copenhagen Half marathon in an impressive 1:10.00, had the last laugh at the tape after shaking off stiff competition from her competitors on the course. She clocked 2:42.57 for the crown while Vivian Kiplang’at settled for second in 2:43.43 as Sheilah Chepkoech placed third in 2:44.37.
Tecla Kirongo finished fourth in 2:46.18 while Silvia Tenai closed the top five places in 2:47.75. Harriet Chepchumba ( 2:49.43 ), Beatrice Ruto ( 2:53.33 ), Helen Chepkorir ( 2:55.59 ), Gladys Kerubo ( 3:00.0 8 ) and Nyansikera Kwamboka ( 3:00.11 ) followed in that order. The 28-yearold runner’s late surge on the course earned her the title after Kiplang’at had led for the better part of the race. “The competition was so hard and I was about to lose hope since I was not in the leading pack.
I pushed at the 36km mark until I caught up with Kiplang’at at the 40km mark and then I went ahead,” said Kitur.
Kitur, who trains in Kapsabet revealed she is already focusing on Mumbai Marathon next year. “I will be running at the Mumbai marathon next year and I hope I will do good there. I still have time to prepare and I ma very encouraged by the victory at the Kass Marathon,” she said.
Bornes Kitur (L) and Evans Kipkemoi Biwott breasts the tape to win the women and men’s races during yesterday’s Kass Marathon.