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Ongori, Kilel renew rivalry at Menengai

Tuesday September 16 2014

Matthew Kisorio crosses the finish line to win UAP Ndakaini Half Marathon on September 13, 2014 in Ndakaini. The women’s race was won by Gladys Chesir. PHOTO | CHRIS OMOLLO |

Matthew Kisorio crosses the finish line to win UAP Ndakaini Half Marathon on September 13, 2014 in Ndakaini. Commonwealth Games silver medallist Caroline Kilel will renew rivalries with 2011 Boston Marathon champion Phyllis Ongori at the Menengai Geothermal Half Marathon on Sunday at the Rift Valley Sports Club. PHOTO | CHRIS OMOLLO |  NATION

By AYUMBA AYODI
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Commonwealth Games silver medallist Caroline Kilel will renew rivalries with 2011 Boston Marathon champion Phyllis Ongori at the Menengai Geothermal Half Marathon on Sunday at the Rift Valley Sports Club.

Ongori, the 2009 IAAF World Half Marathon Championship silver medallist, will be making a comeback from injury that locked her out of Kenya’s team for the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow in July this year.

Ongori made her full marathon debut in 2011, winning the Rotterdam Marathon. She holds a personal best of 1:07:38 in the Half Marathon.

Interestingly, Ongori and Kilel were both in Kenya’s team for the 2009 IAAF World Half Marathon Championship in Birmingham, England. 

Ongori settled for silver, with a personal best of 1:07:38 behind Mary Keitany, who set a championship record of 1:06:36, with Kilel, the 2013 Frankfurt Marathon winner, coming home fourth also with a PB of 1:08:16 to ensure a team title for Kenya.

MATHEW KISORIO

Athletics Kenya South Rift John Wachira said Tuesday that Kenya’s captain to the 2011 World Cross Country Championships, Matthew Kisorio, has also registered for the race.

Last weekend, Kisorio continued to retrace his steps back to stardom when he won the UAP Ndakaini Half Marathon (Murang’a County), his second race since completing a two-year doping ban.

Kisorio oozed class as he made short work of the hilly course, winning the marathon in 1 hour and 04:60minutes. Kisorio, who completed his ban in July, had won the Safaricom Jaramogi Oginga Odinga 15km Road race in Bondo the previous week.

Wachira announced a handsome package for the winners in a prize list that stretches to the top 20 finishers. Each winner in women’s half marathon will pocket Sh 300,000 up from Sh 150,000. In the initial arrangement, only the top 10 athletes in every category were expected to receive cash prizes. The marathon will also feature shorter 10km, 5km and 2km races.

Wachira disclosed that the Nakuru County Government will also sponsor 550 participants for the races.

The County Director of Communication Edie Kimani, said the County has topped up the prize money to enable the top 20 finishers in each category to receive cash prizes.

“This is the biggest race to ever happen in this county, and we are going to be big partners, especially owing to the cause of the race”, he said. The registration is ongoing and will end on Saturday at 6. p.m.  Registration points in Nakuru include Nakumatt, Naivas, WoolMart and the GDC Nakuru offices.