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Olympic champ Wanjiru drops out of race

Sunday February 8 2009

Samuel Wanjiru. Photo/FILE

Samuel Wanjiru. Photo/FILE 

By DAVID MACHARIA

Olympic marathon champion Samuel Wanjiru dropped out of the senior men cross country race at the eight kilometre mark in Karatina leaving the 2005 Nairobi Standard Chartered Half marathon winner Charles Munyeki to take the Central province title at the weekend.

Wanjiru said he was using the event to shape up for this season’s international scene which includes attempt on the 42km distance world record at the Berlin marathon.

Munyeki clocked 39:16.6 to win the race during the championships held at the Karatina Municipal stadium. Samuel Mwangi was second in 39:25.3 while the winner of the inaugural Nyahururu Elite Cross Challenge Isaac Arusei was third in 39:40.8.

The championships that was dominated by Nyandarua North district brought together 13 districts. Milicent Gathoni retained the senior women title after clocking 29:37.3 ahead of Japan-based Dorcas Obare who was timed at 29:51.3.

A promising runner John Wamahiu carried the junior men title in 25:54.5. Martin Ndung’u, 26:01.3 was second. Philemon Cheboi was third in 26:08.7

Virginia Nyambura from Nyandarua North is the new junior women 6km provincial champion after clocking 22:22.5 to win the race. Second was Miriam Gathoni also of Nyandarua North who was timed at 22:33.1. Another promising athlete Pauline Iyapan was third in 22:50.7.

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In Nairobi, Isaac Macharia, second in last year’s Dubai Marathon, yesterday clocked 34:31 to win the senior 12km men’s race during the Nairobi Province, West District cross country championships at Aga Khan High School.

Running culture

“As I plan to run possibly in London Marathon, this event was part of my build -up as well as motivational to many young people of Nairobi who do not have a strong running culture,” said Macharia. He was followed home by Evans Mayoyo in 34:53 and Josephat Wachira 35:07.

Lydia Wanjiku won the women’s 8km category in 29:39 followed by Nelly Komen in 29:40 in a close finish. In third place was Beth Wanjiru (35:18).

In Embakasi, Dickson Kimutai won the Nairobi East championships in 34:20. Philip Yego was second in 34:21 and was followed by Denis Komu in 34:40.

Doreen Kitaka won the women’s 8km category on this dusty course in 27:40 with Prisila Muthoni coming in second in 30:41. Third placed was Virginia Ndirangu who clocked 31:04.

Selected results:

Nyahururu: 6km Junior women (1) Virginia Nyambura 22:22.5 (2) Miriam Gathoni 22:33.1 (3) Pauline Iyapan 22:50.7 (4) Dorothy Karimi 22:58.1 (5) Jane Wanja 23:16.2 (6) Beth Njeri 23:16.5 8KM Junior men(1) John Wamahiu 25:54.5 (2) Martin Ndungo 26:01.3 (3) Philemon Cheboi 26:08.7 (4) Kennedy Kithuka 26:31.5 (5).

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