Friday, February 1, 2013

Big-name clash in Nike Half Marathon

By COPPERFIELD LAGAT copperfieldl@ueab.ac.ke

Eldoret town, widely known as one of the cradles of athletics, reverberates back to the sporting limelight again this Sunday when it hosts the 22nd leg of Nike International Discovery Kenya Half Marathon race.

Most great marathoners of all time seemed to have seized this race to make it a launch of their volley to venture into beating the world.

Former Boston Marathon and 1997 Berlin Marathon champion Elijah Lagat, and the late Former Olympics Marathon winner Samuel Wanjiru set the pace in many past editions of the race before emerging global champions.

It will be a rush for close to 800 athletes who will strive for prizes and an attempt to earn form as the big prized Virgin London Marathon, slated for next April, enter the homestretch.

The 2006 Beijing Marathon victor James Kwambai and Frankfurt Marathon first finisher Wilson Kipsang will headline the course battle in the farming town of Eldoret.

Kipsang will have to exploit his best might to water down the soft spoken lad Kwambai, who has a number of marathon honors to his name, with one of his best show ups being Seoul International Marathon (in 2012) where he bagged bronze, having secured a third fastest marathoner in Frankfurt Marathon early on in 2011.

“I am certain I will give a fantastic show as proof of my readiness for the Virgin London Marathon,” said a confident-sounding Kipsang on a phone interview.

Athletics Kenya Secretary-Northrift, also race head organizer says the rains have posed a hasty roll of program, and that athletes should register early enough.

“We are seeking to beat the effect of rains by starting early enough so as to avoid the downpours that will certainly disrupt activities,” says Letting. “The race kicks off at 9a.m and thus runners have to register very early,” furthered Letting.

The three kilometer loop starts at Eldo Center before descending down the town.

,requiring runners to make seven-time rounds before ending at the Eldoret Municipal gardens.

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