Misoi, Chepchirchir win StanChart Marathon titles

Brimin Kipkorir Misoi and Celestine Chepchirchir are the champions of the 2017 Standard Chartered Marathon held in Nairobi on Sunday. Debutant Misoi braved a fall and took the men’s race honors in 2 hours 12 minutes and 39 seconds ahead of Shedrack Kiptoo Kimaiyo (2:12.52) and Joshua Kipkorir (2:13.27). “It was a tough race especially because I fell at the start. I struggled very much to keep up with the leading group after hurting my elbow and stomach. I thank God for seeing me through until I won the race,” the freshly minted champion told Citizen Digital. The men’s race started off at a steady pace lead by Jonathan Korir Kipleting covering 6.68km and 11.54km km in splits of 20.24 and 35.28. Half way the down the race Rogers Kirop commanded the race briefly covering 24.93km in 1:36.29 before Robert Waithaka, Kipkorir and Mosoi challenged him at the front. Race favourite Kipkorir increased the pace when the elite group passed the 28km marker forcing a huge number of athletes to drop leaving only four competitors to battle it for podium places. First to dropp off from the group of four was John Kipsang Lotiang who had positioned himself for the runners up position. Kipkorir , Kiptoo and Misoi kept eachother company until the 39.5km where Misoi broke off from the two and went for victory. Celestine Chepchirchir could hardly hide her joy after her maiden victory after setting a new personal best of 2:31.4.   The emotional Chepchirchir revealed that the victory was an expected though her main target was to impress an athletics scout during the race. “It was very cold before the race amd it affected me greatly. I thank God for finally enabling me to win and set a PB. My body has reponded well to training because in the last full marathons I raced in 2015 have been clocking sub 2:52 and 2:42,” said Chepchirchir. Kellen Waithira form Thika, Kiambu County was equally overwhelmed witj emotions after fishing second in 2:35.05. Waithira could hardly hide her tears of joy having finished seventh in the last edition. Peris Jepkorir Kiprono gracefully took third place in 2:35.17. Felix Kibitok and Valary Jemeli Aiyabei are this year’s winners at the 21km race in the Standard Chartered Nairobi Marathon. Kibitok crossed the finish line in a time of 01.03.26 ahead of Ezekiel Mutai who clocked 01.03.38 and Patrick Siele came in third in a time of 01.03.39. Kibitok however disclosed that he did not expect to win the race given the chilly conditions experienced in the early morning of the day. “The race was somehow difficult because it was raining but my target was to appear in the top ten position, but due to corporation with other athletes in the race I eventually emerged the winner,” said Kibitok. The Kapsabet- based Kibitok was also making his debut in the competition after he finished position 8th in the Family Bank Half marathon and position 14th in the Mullet Half marathon which are the top races that he has participated in this year. In the women, race Valary Aiyabei emerged the winner after cutting the tape in a time 01.11.04 ahead of Margaret Muriuki who clocked 01.13.28 as Alice Rutto settled for the third position with a time of 01.14.22. Aiyabei who on May this year broke the course record at the Prague marathon revealed that she was using the race for speed work as she prepares for next year’s Tokyo Marathon. ” The race was good except for some other parts that I experienced cold weather. I was using this race for speed work as I prepare for major marathons next year especially the Tokyo Marathon,” disclosed Aiyabei. The event was flagged off by the chair of the board at the Standard Chartered Bank Kenya limited Ann Mutahi a few minutes after the full Marathon race was flagged off by Nairobi County deputy governor Polycarp Igathe.

21km men results
1. Felix Kibitok 01.03.26
2. Ezekiel Mutai 01.03.38
3.Patrick Siele 01.03.39
4.Bernard Korir 01.03.59
5.Gilbert Bii 01.04.10
6. Vincent Kimutai 01.04.16

21km women
1. Valary Aiyabei 01.11.04
2. Margaret Muriuki 01.13.28
3. Alicent Rutto 01.14.22
4.Pauline Esikon 01.14.50
5. Alyce Koech 01.16.04
6. Damaris Areba 01.16.31

-Additional reporting by Gilbdert Kiprotich

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