Bi­wott, Jep­kirui ex­cel

Iten Marathon cham­pion and Ki­tur run away with ti­tles at 10th edi­tion of Kass race in El­doret

The Star (Kenya) - - Sports Local - BY STAN­LEY MAGUT @mgt­stan

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.

/STAN­LEY MAGUT

Bornes Ki­tur (L) and Evans Kipkemoi Bi­wott breasts the tape to win the women and men’s races dur­ing yes­ter­day’s Kass Marathon.

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