Huge field to do battle in today’s Shoe4Africa race

Tuesday December 23 2014

Female athletes battle it out during the AK/KCB Iten Cross Country 8km senior women's race on November 15, 2014 in Elgeyo Marakwet County. Over 1,000 female athletes will compete for prizes and goodies on December 24, 2014, as this year’s Shoe4Africa Road Race goes down in Iten. PHOTO | JARED NYATAYA |

Female athletes battle it out during the AK/KCB Iten Cross Country 8km senior women's race on November 15, 2014 in Elgeyo Marakwet County. Over 1,000 female athletes will compete for prizes and goodies on December 24, 2014, as this year’s Shoe4Africa Road Race goes down in Iten. PHOTO | JARED NYATAYA | NATION MEDIA GROUP

By COPPERFIELD LAGAT
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Over 1,000 female athletes will battle it out for prizes and goodies Wednesday as this year’s Shoe4Africa Road Race goes down in Iten, Elgeyo Marakwet County.

Coming just a day before Christmas Day, the chase for lucrative prizes and electronics is expected to offer a spectacular battle, as seasoned and budding talents bid to give their loved ones a good treat.

Primary and Secondary School girls will be aiming to win running shoes given to top 20 finishers.

“Coming just a day to Christmas and with cash and electronic gifts on offer, the competition is expected to be tough,” Shoe4Africa Founder Toby Tanser said Tuesday.

The Foundation is a charitable organization which  has been offering shoes to upcoming athletes from poor communities in Africa in support of athletics and well-being.

MAKING WORLD BEATERS

Tanser, a New York-based former athlete, runs a number of projects seeking to better education and athletics help talented children in Kenya achieve their dreams, has funded establishment five schools across North Rift named after famous athletes.

A multimillion shilling Shoe4Africa Children Hospital at the Moi Teaching and Referral is nearing completion.

“I’m happy this race has been growing year after year and the fact that we manage to beat challenges gives me the strength to continue being part of the making of great world beaters,” Tanser added.

The 2013 edition of the race was not held as Tanser has not recovered well after being involved in an accident sometime in September last year.

Honolulu Marathon champion Joyce Jepkirui holds the course record standing at 16 minutes and 17 seconds and will be lining up in the race, which starts at the High Altitude Training Camp.

TOP ATHLETES EXPECTED
However, Jepkirui, fresh from winning in Honolulu about a week ago, will be facing off with defending champion Mercy Kibarus.

Kibarus recently won the Safaricom 10km in Iten, came second in both Eldoret’s Kecoso and Family Bank Half Marathons, boasts a good season and says she has trained well to defend her title.

“I have trained well for the race because I am determined to stay with the title and even try setting a new course record.” Kibarus said in Eldoret.

Dennis Kimetto, the world marathon record holder and former title holder Wilson Kipsang are expected to grace the occasion.

America-based Sally Kipyego and former Olympic Games 800 meters champion Janeth Jepkosgei are also expected.