Kipngeno eyes Stanchart after retaining Ndakaini title

Kipngeno eyes Stanchart after retaining Ndakaini title

Patrick Kipngeno now has the Standard Chartered Nairobi Marathon in his sights after successfully defending the 2017 UAP Old Mutual Ndakaini Half Marathon men’s title.

The 24-year-old became only the second man to win back to back men’s titles of the annual competition after clocking 1:07:18 ahead of StanChart holder Robert Kipkemboi (1:07:34) in a repeat 1-2 finish from last year.

The win saw him match the fete hitherto matched by Matthew Kisorio who the title in 2014 and retained it the following year.

Shadrack Kiplagat (1:07:43) was third with newcomer Delvin Meringor from Kaptagat taking the corresponding women’s race in 1:16:10. Nancy Kimaiyo, who returning after a four-year absence finished 47 seconds to settle for second-place. Gladys Otero (1:18:16) finished third.

“I am happy today that I have successfully defended my title. The race was tight since the course is hilly but I thank God that I have emerged the winner.

“I am now going to embark on training as I plan to participate in this year’s Standard Chartered Half Marathon,” said a delighted Kipngeno who is also the 2016 Kisii Half Marathon champion.

According to Kipng’eno the race was tight especially considering the hilly course of Ndakaini but was overly elated by the result and will now embark on training his guns for the November 26 compettion where he will wrestle Kipkemboi for the title.

For Meringor, 25, the victory on Saturday meant she had won her second title in the space of two weeks after she won 10K at the Chemususu Dam Half Marathon in Nakuru in September 16.

While she assured she had recovered well for Ndakaini, she admitted she felt nervous at the start before the tensions faded as the race wore on.

“I had prepared well for the race although I was a little nervous before we took off but ultimately I picked the pace and despite the hard course I have at last won,” Meringor who declined to reveal her next race said.

In the 10km men, Nyahururu-based trident of Peter Njoroge, John Elimlim and Cornelius Kosgei managed to sweep the podium emerging in the top three positions respectively.

Speaking to Citizen Digital after the race Kosgei revealed that he had made huge improvements this year after he had finished last year at position eight although he also revealed that he is now preparing for the Laikipia University Half Marathon slated for October 21.

“Today it was much easier than last year, I had trained well for the hilly course but the only challenge I had is the injury that affected me in the race. Now I am going to prepare for the Laikipia University Marathon,” Kosgei who is also a Kenya Wildlife Service ranger said.

Other races in the competition included the 10K corporate race where event sponsors Royal Media Services Ltd. team was also represented.

“This is my third time now participating in this race.  It has been a good run for me since we are running for a course which is to conserve the dam which supplies a lot of water to Nairobi and its environs. More so this is also a good avenue for national unity since sports unites people together,” Samson Maunda, a producer at the company that is Kenya’s largest electronic Media House said.

The UAP Ndakaini Half Marathon is an annual event aimed at conserving the Ndakaini dam that supplies over 80 percent of water to Nairobi City.

-Report by Gilbert Kiprotich.

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