Justus Kimutai from Elgeyo Marakwet put up a spirited fight to win the 2018 Kakamega Forest Marathon on Saturday.
In the women's race, Lillian Matelont from Kericho clocked 2:43.01 to emerge victorious.
After a shoulder-to-shoulder battle with his close challengers in the opening 35km of the race, the 25-year-old Kimutai shifted gears in the last 10km to win in 2:18.06.
The race started at Solyo ground before ending at Chilovani area deep into the expansive Kakamega Forest in Shinyalu Constituency.
Kimutai, who finished ninth in the 2018 Lisbon Marathon, admitted the race was tough given that he was up against against experienced athletes.
“I'm grateful to God for enabling me to win. The weather was good, I was using the race to prepare myself for next year’s competitions locally and abroad,” Kimutai said.
Uasin Gishu's Walter Kemboi finished second in 2:21.44 while Hosea Mwok (West Pokot) clocked 2:22.26 for third place.
Matelont, who finished fifth in the 2018 Standard Chartered Nairobi Marathon, led Faith Cheruto (Uasin Gishu) and Leah Jerotich (Nandi) who clocked 2:46.05 na 2:49.04 respectively.
Kelvin Kiptum from Elgeyo Marakwet won the half marathon in 1:04.41.
Bernard Lagat (Baringo) and Daniel Kiprotich (Nandi) finished second and third after returning 1:04.54 and 1:05.2 respectively.
In the women’s 21km race, 2018 Chicago Marathon champion Brigid Kosgey clocked 1:12.36 to win ahead of Joyce Chepkemoi (Nakuru) and Gladys Kipsoi (Laikipia) who timed 1:16.46 and 1:17.56 respectively.
Men’s 42km race
1. Justus Kimutai (Elgeyo Marakwet) 2:18.6
2. Walter Kemboi (Trans Nzoia) 2:21.44
3. Hosea Mwok (West Pokot) 2:22.26
4. Dan Kiprotich (Trans Nzoia) 2:22.30
5. Phillip Lagat (Uasin Gishu) 2:22.40
Women’s 42km race
1. Lillian Matelont (Kericho) 2:43.1
2. Faith Cheruto (Uasin Gishu) 2:46.5
3. Leah Jerotich (Nandi) 2:49.4
4. Sheila (Elgeyo Marakwet) 2:50.1
5. Nancy Kimaiyo (Bungoma) 2:50.31
Men’s half marathon
1. Kelvin Kiptum (Elgeyo Marakwet) 1:04.41
2. Benard Lagat (Baringo) 1:04.54
3. Daniel Kiprotich (Nandi) 1:05.2
4. Joseph Mugai (Elgeyo Marakwet) 1:05.8
5. Felix Kiptok (Nandi) 1:05.30
Women’s half marathon
1. Brigid Kosgey (Nandi) 1:12.36
2. Joyce Chekemoi (Nakuru) 1:16.46
3. Gladys Kipsoi (Laikipia) 1:17.56
4. Isabela Chemurgor (Nandi) 1:18.7
5. Lydia Simiyu (Nandi) 1:19.2