Local school girl Emily Chebet took top honours at the Shoe4Africa 5k on 23 September in Nyamira District, Kenya.
The New York based charity, Shoe4Africa, held its second race in Kenya this past Sunday, and fourth in Africa for 2006, when over 600 young ladies ran 5km in the Nyamira District of western Kenya.
All participants who were given Shoe4Africa T-shirts and race entries free of charge and the young athletes were required to attend an Aids/HIV awareness workshop during and after the exciting competition. The top three finishers qualified for an expenses paid trip to East Africa's Shoe4Africa championship race that will be held in Iten, Kenya on the 16 December where the runners will be vying for over $4000 in prize monies.
Along with the race there was a healthwalk where 50-year old Alice Osumo strode ahead to win new sneakers. Our Lady of Mercy Primary School won a computer for entering the highest number of participants. Diana Geke, 4, was the youngest participant and was given a pair of training shoes. A raffle was also held at the end of the race where winners received running shoes and other sports equipment. Over 5000 spectators were estimated to have lined the rural route that was the first of its kind in the Western region starting at the Sironga shopping centre and finished at the Viongozi Pastoral Centre along the Kisii-Chemosit road.
"Shoe4Africa does not target elite athletes who already are receiving encouragement and aid. The aim is to encourage all women to start walking and running, and to get fit. Shoe4Africa is creating awareness of HIV/Aids through sport and are organizing women events all over Africa," said Dutchman Pieter Langerhorst, a director of Shoe4Africa at the event.
On the race day...
Kiptenden, fielding elite runners, took the first 12 positions as Emily Chebet broke away from the leading group with two kilometres to the finish, to win in a time of timing 17:43.91. She was followed by team-mate Caroline Chepkurui in 17:54.54.
Rebecca Tallam shrugged off a late surge from Mercy Cherono to take third position timing 17:56.59 as Cherono, a renowned marathoner, clocked finished fourth in 18:11.47 for fourth.
Carolyn Chepkwony took the fifth position in 18:29.22 while Regina Cherotich timed 18:30.44 to finish sixth.
Chebet, Chepkemoi and Tallam will be sponsored to participate in the Shoe4Africa 10 kilometre run in Iten on December 16 where a bigger prize is on offer.
“This is great opportunity for me to run in the Shoe4Africa race as it is a good preparation for me ahead of my races in the next few months. The course was tough and it was a good speedwork exercise for me,” Chebet said after the race.
The top 10 finishers: (road and dirt trails)
Emily Chebet (Kiptenden) 17:43.91;
Carolyn Chepkemoi (Kiptenden) 17:54.59;
Rebecca Tallam (Kiptenden) 17:56.59;
Mercy Cherono (Kiptenden) 18:11.47.
Carolyn Chepkwony (Kiptenden) 18:29.22;
Regina Cherotich (Kiptenden) 18:30.44;
Pamella Anizomok (Kiptenden) 18:33.44;
Joyce Chepkurui (Kiptenden) 18:45.97;
Tabitha Chelagat (Kiptenden) 18:50.77;
Samary Cherotich (Kiptenden) 18:58.78.