World Half Marathon record holder Joyciline Jepkosgei proved her prowess destroying the field to win the Family Group Eldoret Half Marathon. Little-known Kelvin Kiptum Cheruiyot upset favourites form book to win the men’s title.
A red-hot favourite when she registered, Jepkosgei was in the leading pack right from the beginning but broke at the 16KM mark clocking 71:01 minutes to emerge victorious. Flomena Cheyech finished second place 71:04 minutes while Antonina Kwamba finished third in 71:13.
“I came to run in this race to encourage the young and upcoming athletes to compete in the local races as they offer a platform for international races. I started here before going for the world record and I must say it is a good race to gauge your performance,” said Jepkosgei who finished the Family Bank race in second place in 2016.
For Kelvin Kiptum Cheruiyot, it was a sweet victory after failing in 2014. He outpaced his rivals finishing way ahead in 62:01 minutes. Mathew Kisorio finished second in 62:18 minutes while Wilfred Kimitei finished third in 62:31 minutes.
Dubbed Champions Run for Autism, the race was flagged off by Uasin Gishu County Governor H.E. Jackson Mandago, Family Bank Chairman Dr. Wilfred Kiboro and World Marathon record holder Eliud Kipchoge.
“Congratulations to the winners today and just like those who have won before, we have no doubt that you will go on and conquer the world. For those who did not take the top prizes today, you have won for the community because your participation helps us raise funds towards inclusive education in supporting children living with autism,” said Family Bank Chief Operations Officer Godfrey Kamau.
Mr. Kamau added that Family Group values the partnership and support that the bank continues to receive from the institutions and business community in Uasin Gishu County and the Rift Valley region as a solid financial services provider.
On his part, Uasin Gishu Governor Jackson Mandago pledged continued support for the race, which is the oldest in the region. He urged athletes to shun doping as it comes with dire consequences. He asked them to follow Eliud Kipchoge’s footsteps for his tremendous performances in a clean way saying doping not only has a negative effect to their career but dangerous to your health as it shortens their life.
This year’s race was the first under the new name ‘Family Group Eldoret Half Marathon’. This was after companies under Family Group joined hands to make it even bigger. The companies are Family Bank, Daykio Plantations, Kenya Orient Insurance, Kenya Orient Life Assurance and Alpha Africa Asset Managers. The race also adopted a new route to make it more competitive.