Seasoned runner Ezra Sang obliterated a field of more than 100 elite athletes to win the sixth edition of the Maasai Mara Half Marathon at the scenic Lemek Conservancy on Saturday.
Sang stayed behind the leading pack up to the 18km mark when he engaged a devastating kick to win the race in a time of 1:05. 31 narrowly beating Charles Kimeli to second place in a time of 1:05.34.
The Kericho based runner said he was only returning to shape after recovering from a hamstring injury that has sidelined him for the better part of the season.
“I’m only returning back to form and my fans are yet to see the best from me. My rivals should now be prepared for a bruising battle going forward,” said Sang.
Kimeli appeared to be cruising to victory as he opening an early lead but he was upstaged by Sang in the latter stages of the race. Pre-race favourite Hosea Mwok finished third in a time of 1:05.36. Mwok stayed close to Kemeli, as the two athletes exchanged the lead but a charging Sang would eclipse them both.
In the women’s race, the evergreen Caroline Kilel easily retained her title after clocking 1:12.07 for first place.
“This was one of my easiest races as I controlled the race from start to finish, with no tough competitor in sight,” Kilel said. In second place was Julia Mumbi (1:12.53), with Jackline Chepngeno sealing the third spot in a time of 1:13.26.
Commonwealth 5,000m champion Caleb Mwangangi Ndiku was among the guest entrants in the men’s race.
“I was here to have fun and catch a glimpse of this famous conservancy,” Ndiku said.
Seasoned 400m runner Vincent Mumo, who also graced the event, said he was running to stay in shape as he prepares to return to competitive racing.
Event organiser, Samar Al-Kindly said the number of participants was the highest ever, with more than 3000 runners taking part.