Irene Cheptai and Ronald Kirui win senior races at Tuskys Wareng Cross Country

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DSCN8496.JPGMoses Mukono and Ronald Kirui sprinting to the finish line in the men's senior race,

photo by Justin Lagat

DSCN8417.JPGIrene Cheptai leading the women's senior race, photo by Justin Lagat

Justin Lagat wrote this piece for us on the November 27 cross country race. Justin provides a weekly view from Kenya for RunBlogRun readers! We thank our friend for his detailed observations of running in Kenya.

It was another fantastic day at the annual Tuskys Wareng Cross Country championships this weekend in Eldoret. Ronald Kirui and Irene Cheptai beat quality fields to emerge as the winners in the senior races.
With about 3km to go in the women's race, one fan shouted, "money in the bank!" At the front, Cheptai started to open up a sizeable gap on Vivian Jemutai who they had been exchanging the lead together for much of the early stages of the race. But, as Cheptai continued to stretch out the gap, Jemutai started to fade slowly as Gladys Chesir started gaining ground on her.
Cheptai, who had finished second behind Alice Aprot last month at the Ndalat Gaa cross country, had her day as she ran the last 2km loop alone till she crossed the finish line to win the race comfortably. Chesir overtook Jemutai with about a kilometer to go and continued running strong to finish second as Jemutai came in to finish third.
The men's senior race that had a huge number of over 500 entrants almost followed the same script as the women's when Moses Mukono separated himself from the leading pack of three, including Timothy Ronoh and Ronald Kirui, that had remained together for some time and started to move away. However, with less than 2km to go, Ronald closed the gap again and the two ran together creating some excitement for an imminent sprint to the finish line.
Mukono was slightly behind with about 400m to go, but closed the gap and the two got into a 100m dash for the tape with Mukono appearing to be moving slightly ahead. But, there were no clear directions by the race staff at the finish and Kirui caught up with Mukono as he slowed down to ask for directions, Kirui led to cross the tape first as the clearly disappointed Mukono followed to take second place. Ronoh finished 3rd.
The junior men and women races, which were also very competitive, went to Nicholas Kimeli and Lilian Kasait respectively.
Given the thousands of fans that turned up to watch the event to the many prizes that were being given out to athletes at the finish, Tuskys Wareng Cross Country continues to be one of the most favorite athletic events in Kenya.

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