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Kass Marathon champ now eyes World Cross

Wednesday November 23 2016

Bornes Jepkirui wins the Kass Marathon women's race in a time of 2:42:57, Vivian Kiplagat was second timed at 2:43:43 while Sheila Jepkoech finished was third in a time of  2:44:37. PHOTO | JARED NYATAYA |

Bornes Jepkirui wins the Kass Marathon women's race in a time of 2:42:57 on November 20, 2016. Vivian Kiplagat was second in 2:43:43 while Sheila Jepkoech finished was third in a time of 2:44:37. PHOTO | JARED NYATAYA |  NATION MEDIA GROUP

After punching four personal bests and claiming two medals in two marathons this year, 2016 Kass Marathon champion Bornes Jepkirui now hopes her current form will earn her a slot in the Kenyan team to next year’s IAAF World Cross Country Championships in Kampala.

Jepkirui won the Kass Marathon in Eldoret on Sunday, just slightly over nine months after finishing second to Shuko Genemo of Ethiopia at the Standard Chartered Mumbai Marathon in India.

In Mumbai, she clocked her personal best time of two hours and 32.00 minute, shaving nine minutes off her previous best set in the 2015 Osaka Marathon.

“I believe this is a year of blessings for me. So far, I feel the hand of God in my career and I hope the same continues even as I eagerly train to try my luck in the World Cross Country team,”

Jepkirui said after recovering from the effects of what she described as “a challenging and draining course.”

“I had trained well for Kass Marathon and I’m glad this became among my best performances this year. Setting to personal bests in a record 10 months is not easy,” Jepkirui added. 


She pocketed Sh1.5 million and drove home a heifer following her victory in Kass Marathon at the Eldoret Sports Club.

The 2014 Hannover Marathon bronze medallist has registered impressive performances since starting her athletics career three years ago.

She has been a fan of athletics and has been looking up to great athletes including former Olympic 800 metres champion Wilfred Bungei and former London Marathon winner Priscah Jeptoo, both her county-mates in Nandi.

Apart from penning a marathon best in Mumbai, Jepkirui also registered more personal bests in the Copenhagen Half Marathon two months ago.

At the German city, she crossed the 15-kilometre mark in 49:40 minutes, and while commanding the lead hit another PB over 20 kilometres (66:29) minutes, when she managed fifth place.

The twenty-eight year-old trains with some up coming athletes in Simatwet, a tea-growing and high altitude village about 15 kilometres out of Nandi County’s Kapsabet capital.

“I train with four athletes who have not competed in international races. It is a small team but I think my performances this year gives them faith that everything is possible and that they just have to train well to excel,” she told Nation Sports on Wednesday.

Jepkirui believes her athletics star is rising and she is quite happy with her performances so far.

She has not represented Kenya in a team assignment.

“After the World Cross, the we will see how it goes. It is early to talk about the World Championships but we shall talk about that after the World Cross as that is my aim now.”