The 2019 Mutuini 10km Road race champion Daniel Simiyu and Prague Half Marathon bronze medallist Lydia Njeri are the winners of the inaugural Cooperative Alliance of Kenya (CAK) Ushirika 9.1km race.
The pair from Iten was fresh from winning the annual Sotokoto Half Marathon a fortnight ago in Kiambu County.
The leading pack teased each other before Simiyu decided to break at the 6km mark and went all the way to triumph in 25 minutes and 10.9 seconds after no one challenged him.
Simiyu, who finished seventh during the Beyond Zero Half Marathon in March this year, said he was using the race to prepare for Baringo Half Marathon due next month and later an international half marathon race in South Africa.
“The morning weather was cool and competition proved tough in the initial stages," said Simiyu.
The 24-year-old Simiyu edged Edwin Kiplimo from Keringet to second place in 25:34.1 as Kaptagat’s Emmanuel Kipchirchir took the last podium place in 25:36.1.
The 34-year-old Njeri, who settled second at Paris Half Marathon in March before pacing at this year’s London Marathon in April, engaged rivals in a thrilling battle before she proved stronger and took charge at the 7km mark to win in 28:55.7.
She outclassed training partners Nancy Chelagat and Judith Cherono to second and third places in 29:07.7 and 29:13.5 respectively. “I want to keep myself in shape for any race that could crop up,” said Njeri, who is with the One4One Management.
“I just couldn’t keep up with Njeri’s pace and went out of gas in the last two kilometres, “said Chelagat. The 29-year-old Chelagat also lost the battle at Sotokoto to Njeri, finishing second.
African Games 10,000m champion Alice Aprot from Kenya Prisons and experienced Beatrice Mutai, who has represented Kenya in several World Cross Country Championships, finished fifth and sixth in 29:52.1 and 29:52.7 respectively.
The race that intended to the raise close to Sh50 million for charity saw Geoffrey Mutai from Magereza Sacco winning men’s 7km race in 26:33.1, beating teammates Ezekiel Rono and Dickson Kimeli to second and third places in 26:33.9 and 27:50.9 respectively.