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Manela shines at the 10km race meet in Nyahururu

Michael Manela won the 10km distance men’s race during the Fifth Edition of the Annual Saba Time Race in Nyahururu, Laikipia County, clocking 29 minutes and 18 seconds.

This was his first major victory since graduating to senior level two years ago.

Mary Nyaruai won the 5km race for women in 15 minutes and 48 seconds, which was a huge improvement from her sixth position last year.

Manela managed to beat the muddy sections of the Murram route to win the race that had several renowned athletes, including many Japan-based champions who said they were using the race to acclimatize, after recently returning home for holiday.

He blamed the rough road, due to protruding pebbles, for his failure to break the course record, which stands at 28 minutes and 36 seconds.

“I was surprised to win but it was my day. I was very worried about the many prominent marathon stars who had joined the race, especially from Japan but I managed to triumph over them,” Manela said.

Francis Abong, who finished second in 29:21, said he has to work on his finishing kick, saying it cost him the victory.

Wilson Lemangale, 29:2, and Joash Ruto 29:27 finished in that order for third and fourth positions.

Nyaruai pulled away from her closest challenger Yvonne Chepchirchir, who clocked 15:50, with 50 metres to go to win the women’s race.

Nyaruai and Chepchirchir join last year’s winner, Judy Chepng’etich, as women runners who have covered the 5km distance in under 16 minutes.

Joyce Njeru and Lucy Nduta finished third and fourth respectively in 16:43 and 16:45.

The top 30 finishers in the men’s race and 20 in the women’s category, earned a monetary token from the sponsor, Korean businessman, Jang Young Ki.

The route of the race at Siron villages in Marmanet location, Laikipia County, has a long athletics history, being the one used by John Ngugi for speed work, when he won the World Cross Country title five times, between 1986 and 1989.

By Antony Mwangi

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