Olympian Charles Yosei Mneria and Perin Nenkampi from Kenya Defence Forces won the men and women races during the second edition of Mutuini Half Marathon in Dagoretti South, Nairobi County on Sunday.
Mneria clocked 1 hour, 03 minutes and 48 seconds beating Beyond Zero Half Marathon champion Josphat Bett from Keringet to second place in 1:04:33.
Mneria, who finished second in 10,000m during the trials for 2016 Rio Olympics in Eldoret but ended up competing in 5,000m, said he was using the race to prepare for the track season.
“I had an injury when I finished fourth last year in this race but I came well prepared having worked on my endurance and speed,” said Mneria, the 2016 Africa Cross Country bronze medallist.
Mneria will take a shot in 10,000m with the hopes of representing Kenya at the World Championships planned for September 28 to October 6 this year in Doha, Qatar.
Bett, who is also the 2008 World Under-20 10,000m champion battled to edge out Sammy Kipchumba , who settled third in 1:04:38 with the 2018 Kabarak Zane Branson Memorial third-place finisher Edmund Kipng’etich coming fourth in 1:04:44.
Nenkampi, the 2017 Kajiado County Half Marathon champion, romped home in 1:15:25 to claim victory in the women’s race.
Nenkampi was fresh from winning the Yangzhou Jianzhen International Half Marathon the previous Sunday in Japan in career-best time of 1:08:04, the second-fastest winning time ever in Yangzhou after the course record of 1:07:21 set by fellow Kenyan and world champion Peres Jepchirchir in 2016.
Bomet’s Norah Chebet, who won Doha Half Marathon, Doha on January 11, finishing second in 1:16:36 with Alice Koech (Litein) wrapping up the last podium place in 1:17:15.
Mutuini Half Marathon is organised to raise funds to support Mutuini Hope Centre, a project for children in need.
The centre currently supports 150 children and youth. Close to Sh 4 million was raised at last year’s inaugural event.