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Nyagetari, Wanjiru win Ndakaini Half Marathon crowns

Saturday November 9 2019

Rebecca Wanjiru crosses the finish line to win the Ndakaini Half Marathon race on November 9, 2019. PHOTO | NATION MEDIA GROUP

Rebecca Wanjiru crosses the finish line to win the Ndakaini Half Marathon race on November 9, 2019. PHOTO | NATION MEDIA GROUP  

JOSEPH KANYI
By JOSEPH KANYI
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Ngong-based debutante George Nyagetari on Saturday won the men’s title of the 16th edition of the Ndakaini Half Marathon and Nyandarua’s Rebecca Wanjiru bagged the women’s crown.

Nyagetari clocked 1 hour, 10 minutes and 32 seconds while Wanjiru’s winning time was 1:45:28.

Peter Wahome and Evalyne Kamau won the 10-kilometre titles while Johnson Mbugua and Faith Kyala won the 5km titles.

Nyagetari said he was looking to close the year on a high.

“It was a tough race, but I had prepared well for this kind of course. I am delighted to have won in my first outing here and I’m looking forward to the remainder of the year,” he said.

Timaflor won the corporate race crown with a combined 31 points while the Kenya Forest Service team came in second and Citizen TV third.

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The annual Ndakaini Half Marathon was started under the auspices of the Ndakaini Dam Environment Conservation Association (NDEKA) with the aim of raising funds towards conserving Ndakaini Dam’s catchment area.

NDEKA Sports chairman James Mukuna said there was an increase in the number of runners to 2,000 this from 1,500 last year.

“We are proud to continue hosting the Ndakaini Half Marathon. The race has been instrumental in ensuring that the Ndakaini Dam catchment is conserved,” said Mukuna. Ndakaini Dam is located at the foothills of the Aberdares, 70 kilometre from Nairobi. It is in Gatanga, Murang’a County.

Meanwhile. attention today shifts to the second edition of the Wahome Gakuru Memorial Race in Nyeri County.

More than 500 runners from the region are expected to sweat it off in the half marathon and 10-kilometre road race, the latter which will be exclusively for Nyeri residents.

Six-time Safaricom Lewa Marathon winner Philemon Baaru, Africa 20-kilometre race walking champion Samuel Gathimba and former 5,000m national champion Gideon Gathimba will be the star attractions at the race.

The trio will face a huge field of local and elite runners from Nyeri and other counties in the half marathon race.

HIGH BUDGET

The organising committee faced an uphill task trying to raise the Sh9 million budget for the event out of which, Sh4 million was to be directed towards the establishment of a male ward at Nyeri County Referral Hospital and the remainder for the organisation of the race.

Nyeri Sports Executive Margaret Macharia has urged Nyeri people to turn up for the race in remembrance of their third Governor Wahome Gakuru who perished in a grisly road accident in November 2017.

"We are heavily relying on the lessons we picked from the first edition. This time we hope to stage a better and organised event," said Macharia.

Nyeri Governor Mutahi Kahiga called upon Nyeri people to turn up in large numbers for fun and for their health as well. "Running is not just about winning. It is also about your health. I am urging Nyeri people to come and run along with elite runners and for those who cannot run, we are calling upon your support either to cheer our talents or your financial support towards the mission," said Kahiga.

"It is a privilege to plan this event in memory of the late Wahome Gakuru. He was a dynamic man who believed in social justice particularly towards rendering development to the people of Nyeri. We have four events and we invite all to come and participate."

Kahiga, who is also Central Athletics Kenya chairman, advised athletes from the region to come and take advantage of the high altitude course.

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