Kampala, UgandaUganda’s Isaac Kiprop and Kenyan Caroline Chepkwon won the men’s and women’s divisions respectively at the East Africa Regional Half Marathon Championships that started and ended at the Mandela Stadium, Namboole, just close to the capital Kampala on Sunday (25).
Men - Kiprop exhibits strong finish
The absence of pre-race favourite Wilson Busienei Kipkemei meant the race was left to a battle between Kiprop and fellow Ugandan Martin Toroitich, a silver medallist at last year’s World Mountain Running Trophy, and a strong Kenyan, Boniface Wambua. The trio shared the lead during the race but Kiprop’s strong finishing showed the difference as he escaped from his opponents 500m from the stadium to break the tape in 1:06:51.
Toroitich finished second with 1:06:53 and another Ugandan claimed the third spot with 1:07:01, while Wambua was relegated to fourth with 1:07:18.
“We ran together, shrugging off our opponents early in the race. We had to create a big gap with the rest. We did not want to take chances because with the Kenyans, anything can happen,” said Kiprop.
Women - Chepkwony too strong for her opponents
Kenyan Caroline Chepkwony ran an almost solo race quickly creating a lead of 600m gap on the rest of the field. She won in 1:17.57, while Uganda’s Half Marathon champion, Adero Nyakisi managed placed second with 1:20:13, and another Kenyan Margarete Symbua crossed in third position with 1:20:27.
“The race was good although I would have loved to compete against tougher opponents. This one was a just a walk over because I ran almost all alone upfront for the biggest part of the course,” said Chepkwony.
The regional half marathon attracted athletes from Kenya, Tanzania, Djibouti, Sudan and Uganda.
Daniel Senfuma & Namayo Mawerere for IAAF
Leading results (Ugandan unless shown)
1. Isaac Kiprop 1:06:51
2. Martin Toroitich 1:06:53
3. James Kibet 1:07:01
4. Boniface Wambua (Ken) 1:07:18
5. Alfred Kiptoek 1:08:26
6. Evans Mayoyo 1:08:58
1. Caroline Chepkwon (Ken) 1:17:57
2. Adero Nyakisi 1:20:13
3. Margarete Symbua (Ken) 1:20:27
4. Jackline Okemwa (Ken) 1:22:43
5. Jossephine Muthio (Ken) 1:23:06
6. Jane Suuto 1:24.03