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1st edition of Koitalel half-marathon held in Nandi

The first edition of the Koitalel Samoei Nandi15-kilometre marathon took place on Sunday in honour of the late Agnes Tirop, the slain Olympian with this year’s theme being ‘Run to end Gender Based Violence (GBV)’.

Athletes and cyclists who participated in the half marathon display a poster showing the theme of the marathon ‘run to end Gender Based Violence’ as they take a walk around the Nandi Hills stadium after completing their race. Photo by Linet Wafula

The marathon which was spiced by 21-kilometres cycling race started at Eliud Kipchoge Sports Complex ending at Nandi Hills Stadium.

Athletes who won the marathon took home Sh100, 000 each for the ladies and their men counterparts whereas the cycling winners earned Sh10, 000 each.

Nandi Governor Stephen Sang who graced the event applauded all participants terming it a coordinated effort against GBV.

Sang also said the half marathon will be an annual event to be held every year in the month of October to mark the anniversary of Koitalel Samoei, the leader of the Nandi community with an aim of nurturing young upcoming talents as well as reaching out to them to educate them on the need to end GBV.

“As a government, we want to condemn GBV among people of Nandi and the Country at large. We want to ensure both male and female are not subjected to GBV. All who turned up for this marathon whether you won the prize or not you stand counted in the fight against GBV,” pointed Sang.

Deputy Governor, Yulita Cheruiyot urged police and local chiefs to abstain from solving defilement, rape and GBV cases through ‘Kangaroo Courts’ as a way to ensure victims get justice.

“Today marks the end of the 16days of activism against GBV. I therefore call for everyone to act as ambassadors fighting against defilement, rape and GBV,” noted Cheruiyot.

Those who led in the 15-kilometres in men category are: Amos Kiplagat position one, Samuel Naibei position two, Hillary Kipkoech position three; while in the women category: Beatrice Chelel, Jackline Chelal and Gladys Jepkirui respectively.

Cycling was divided into mountain bike and racing bike with positions one two three as follows, mountain bike men; Peter Rwara (1), Peterson Kamali (2) and Morris Ngure (3), racing bike men; Salim Kipkemboi (1), Evans Kimani (2), Gibson Alwada (3).

For the ladies, mountain bike; Kendia Masiga (1), Rachael Ndung’u (2), Susan Chebet (3) while in racing bike, Tabitha Ndung’u (1) and Debbie Chepkorir (2).

In the 5km race in cooperative category Alfred Lagat, Margret Chepchumba and Mercy Cherop took positions one, two and three respectively while in the masters category Benard Cheruiyot (1) Abel Kirui (2) and Dan Kibowen (3).

Amos Kiplagat who led in the men 15-km marathon expressed his happiness saying the heat is a good initiative and called on the government to come up with more such events to help curb the rising incidents of defilement, rape and GBV.

“It is so unfortunate that we lost Agnes Tirop who was an Olympian through GBV. We hope through this marathon such incidents are going to cease completely, ” he stated.

Among the sponsors of the marathon were Nandi County government, Kenya Commercial Bank, Equity Bank, Imarisha Sacco, Nandi Tea, Kapchorwa Tea, Eastern Produce Kenya and Koitalel University.

By Ruth Mainye

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