Faster times expected this weekend in Eldoret at the Family Bank Group Eldoret Half Marathon, a view from Kenya

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Kirui_AbelGroup1c-Kenya12.jpgAbel Kirui training group, photo by PhotoRun.net

The following piece is on the Family Bank Group Eldoret Marathon, to be held this upcoming weekend. Justin Lagat provides RunBlogRun a weekly column on the sport, with a particularr view from Kenya.

Faster times expected this weekend in Eldoret at the Family Bank Group Eldoret Half Marathon

With a relatively faster, wider and straighter course, and the absence of athletes who would always be overlapped multiple times on the usual loop, this year's Family Bank race could post some of the fastest times ever run in any half marathon at the high altitude town of Eldoret. Add that to the fact that the prizes are expected to trickle down to the 20th finisher and a great race surely is awaiting to unfold in the "city of champions."

The race continues to be one of the most favorite for athletes in Kenya and this year's race is even expected to be more appealing to more athletes with the change of the route. The usual route would take athletes in a 3km loop seven times through the streets of Eldoret town and it often led to a lot of confusing given that the leading athletes would soon overlap slower athletes and it would be hard to monitor the positions of athletes beyond the first few leaders.

This time round, the race will start almost 20km away from the town and end at the same finish point as last year's race.

Pauline Korikwiang who won last year's edition is one of the star athletes expected to run on Sunday. Having been laid off from running by an injury for a while, Korikwiang had used the race as her come back and she had such a great race. Her winning time of 1:13:08, had been more than one and half minutes faster than her next competitor, Josephine Chepkoech who had finished second in 1:14:47 with Winny Jepkorir taking third in 1:15:29.

Jorum Lumbasi had battled hard against Isaac Koech to edge him at the finish line in 1:03:47 against 1:03:48 to win the men's race.

Of the dignitaries expected to be there, Eliud Kipchoge who was one of the main guests last year that presented the prizes to the winners and gave their speech should be there. Many fans had scrambled to take pictures with him and they should be more this time round given that he just recently added a world record to his impressive athletic profile.

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