Josphat Bett and Alice Abrot wins senior races at Tuskys Wareng Cross Country Championships, (Nov. 22), a view from Kenya, by Justin Lagat

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This piece was written by Justin Lagat, our Kenyan correspondent in late November. Due to a family emergency, I am just getting to the piece now. I hope that you enjoy the piece...

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Pamela Jelimo running in the senior women's race (yellow jersey), photo by kenyanathlete.com
Josphat Bett and Alice Abrot win senior races at Tuskys Wareng Cross Country Championships, by Justin Lagat (story from Nov.23)
One would expect that with no world cross country championships next year, many star athletes would miss out in the local cross country races here in Kenya. But, the Tuskys Wareng cross country event that took place this Sunday (Nov.22) in Eldoret proved otherwise. The competition here, if not better, was as big and exciting as it has always been in the previous years. Perhaps many stars were here to build up their training ahead of the Olympic Games next year.
For the first time, the senior races were broadcast live on television for fans across the country to watch.
DSCN7809.JPGJunior men in action (group), photo from kenyanathlete.com.
Every stage of the senior men's 10km race was spectacular. The first 800m seemed to have been a different race altogether among the sprinters and renowned pace setters. Andrew Rotich, Asbel Kiprop's pace setter led the field through the first 600m before Abraham Kiplagat, the 800m Commonwealth Games medalist took over up to around the 1km point.
Then, slowly by slowly, the real cross country runners made it to the leading pack. The pack would grow bigger at some points then one athlete would surge forward, which is typical of any competitive cross country race, and the few who would go with him ended up forming a smaller pack again at the front as the race progressed. With two kilometers to go, the top ten contenders were already following each other in a single file with Peter Kipkemei on the lead with a gap of over fifty meters. But, Josphat Bett started gaining ground on him slowly by slowly over the last one kilometer. This created an exciting finish since it was not clear who was going to win the race. With less than 100m to go, Kipkemei was caught, then the two athletes engaged in a sprint to the finish and Bett was the one who crossed the finish line first. Edwin Kiptoo completed the three podium positions.
DSCN7839.JPGAlice Abrot, photo by KenyanAthlete.com.
Alice Abrot, fresh from winning the 10km race at the Kass Marathon last weekend, beat a competitive field in the women's senior race to emerge the winner. For the first part of this race, Pascalia Jepkorir looked as though she was in control as she stayed ahead of the rest, but she was soon overtaken by Abrot and Pauline Korikwang. Abrot seemed to have been determined to make sure that she was clear ahead of everyone before the finishing stages of the race and the relentless pace she set at the front saw Pauline, who wanted to stick with her, fade to 4th as other athletes passed her towards the end. Pascalia Jepkorir came back to take 2nd and Nancy Jepkemoi settle for 3rd.
The senior women's race also saw the coming back of Pamela Jelimo, the 2008 800m Olympic champion and the Golden League jackpot winner later that year. Although she appeared not to be in her best shape yet, it is worth noting that more than eight months remain to the Olympic Games in Rio and that time is quite enough for her to prepare well.
The junior races too had a lot of competition. Peter Kipserem won the boys' race followed by Antony Kiptoo in second and Nicholas Kimeli taking the third position. Sandra Chebet and Emmily Chebet, two related runners, took the first and second positions in the girls' race while Roseline Chepketer took the third position.
DSCN7923.JPGJosphat Bett at the closing stages of the men's senior race, photo by Kenyanathlete.com.
Moses Kiptanui, the former world 3,000m steeplechase champion, is the founder and organizer of the Tuskys Wareng Cross country event which is being sponsored by the Tuskys Supermarket.
Selected Results:
Senior men (10km)
1. Josphat Bett
2. Peter Kipkemei
3. Edwin Kiptoo
4. Evans Kurui
5. Fredrick Kipkosgei
6. Lucas Rotich
7. Hosea Macharinyang
8. Wilfred Kimutai
9. Stephen Arita
10. Emmanuel Kiprono
Senior Women 8km
1. Alice Abrot
2. Pascalia Jepkorir
3. Nancy Jepkemboi
4. Pauline Korikwang
5. Jemimah Jelagat
6. Iyata Rotich
7. Judith Kiyeng
8. Georgina Ronoh
9. Dorcas Jepchirchir
10. Naomy Chebet
Junior Men 8km
1. Peter Kipserem
2. Antony Kiptoo
3. Nicholas Kimeli
4. Ronald Kiprotich
5. Solomon Boit
6. Daniel Kipchumba
7. Moses Koech
8. Robert Kiprop
9. Nicholas Kasimbei
10. Kimutai Rotich
Junior Women 6km
1. Sandra Chebet
2. Emmily Chebet
3. Roseline Chepketer
4. Ruth Chebet
5. Gladys Jemaiyo
6. Daisy Kimeli
7. Gloria Kite
8. Edna Cherotich
9. Gladys Koech
10. Jepkoech Evaline

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