Family Bank Half Marathon champion Nancy Jelagat and Mathew Kimeli on Saturday won their respective races in Athletics Kenya (AK) Cross-Country County Championships held in Iten, Elgeyo Marakwet.
Jelagat, who has been training in Iten, led in women’s 10km race from the start and broke off from the leading pack in the last two kilometres to cross the line in 32 minutes, 48.6 seconds ahead of Sheila Jebiwott who timed 33:15.7 while Beatrice Cheserek settled for third in 33:34.3.
“I had prepared well for this race and I’m very happy that I ran well and won. My body responded well during the race, which is a sign of good things to come,” said Jelagat.
She is now focusing on competing in regional cross country championships to be held in Lodwar in Turkana from where a team to represent North Rift Region at the national championships will be named.
“My aim is to represent Kenya in the Africa Cross Country Championships in Lome, Togo,” added Jelagat.
Kimeli managed to shake off a number of athletes to cross the line in 28:09.9, beating Edwin Kimutai (28:22.0) to second place, followed by Weldon Langat (28:29.7).
Kimeli is also eyeing a slot to represent Kenya in the Africa Cross Country Championships slated for April.
“It was a tough race but having done my training here I was confident I would do well,” said Kimeli.
AK North Rift Branch Public Relations Officer, Boniface Tiren, said that the regional competition will start early in the morning to shield athletes from the high temperatures.
“We shall hold our regional championships in Lodwar. Athletes should be ready to run early in the morning because the place is very hot,” said Tiren.
Felix Kemboi won the 8km junior race after crossing the line in 22:41.7 ahead of Bravin Kiprop who clocked 22:46.4 while Shadrack Kiplagat was third in 23:13.4.
In the 6km junior women's race, Winnie Kimutai emerged victorious in 19:15.7 with Brenda Jepchumba coming in second place after she timed 19:23.0 while Diana Kipserem sealed the podium in 19:33.6.
Winnie Kimutai 19:15.7
Brenda Jepchumba 19:23.0
Diana Kipserem 19:33.6
Viola Chelang’a 19:45.9
Beatrice Cheburet 19:52.4
Felix Kemboi 22:41.7
Bravin Kiprop 22:46.4
Shadrack Kiplagat 23:13.3
David Kiboi 23:22.8
Timothy Kibet 23:23.3
Nancy Jelagat 32:48.6
Sheila Jebiwott 33:15.7
Beatrice Cheserek 33:34.3
Rebecca Chesang 33:40.1
Jackline Chelal 33:46.4
Mathew Kimeli 28:09.9
Edwin Kimutai 28:22.0
Weldon Langat 28:29.7
Mark Kibet 28:30.9
Elvis Cheboi 28:39.8