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Rising runner Jeptoo beats strong Family Bank field

Sunday October 4 2009

Prisca Jeptoo of Kapsabet is cheered on by fans outside the Eldoret Municipal Market on her way to victory during the Family Bank Eldoret Half Marathon on Sunday. Photo/ JARED NYATAYA

Prisca Jeptoo of Kapsabet is cheered on by fans outside the Eldoret Municipal Market on her way to victory during the Family Bank Eldoret Half Marathon on Sunday. Photo/ JARED NYATAYA 

By JONATHAN KOMEN

Rising road race star Prisca Jeptoo beat a classy field that included milers Elizabeth Rumokol and Viola Bor at the third edition of Family Bank Half Marathon race held in Eldoret town on Sunday.

Jeptoo, who trains at a Kaptagat Nike-sponsored club, produced a storming run to post her first win this season in sprinting the last 200 metres. She shook off Rumokol and Bor in an impressive time of one hour, 18 minutes and 38 seconds. Bor timed 1:19:55.

The more than 700 runners braved the scorching sun and the muddy course near the town’s main market in the chase for cash prizes running into Sh235,000.

The runners, who comprised a mix of upstarts and the globe-trotting elites, were from Nyanza, South Rift and the Central Rift.

 “It was a very competitive race. The market area saw me post a poor time but I’m happy with the victory,” Jeptoo, 26, said of her maiden podium finish. “The victory helped me to prepare for next year’s World Cross Country championships in Poland.”

Moses Kigen, another upstart, obliterated a strong field which featured pre-race favourite Michael Kiprop to win the race in 1:50:03. Kiprop and Stephen Chelang’a clocked 67.32:09 and 67:39:09, respectively.

Somon Naibei Bushendich, the 2006 Amsterdam Marathon champion and last year’s winner, missed the competition, as did his counterpart Agnes Kiprop.

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