Agnes Tirop and Rhonex Kipruto win cars at the Tuskys Wareng Cross Country Race in Eldoret, Kenya

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Tuskys XC women.jpgAgnes Tirop battles at Tuskys XC, photo by Justin Lagat

Tuskys XC men .jpgRhonex Kipruto leads at Tuskys XC, photo by Justin Lagat

This is Justin Lagat's piece from last week, November 25, on the Tuskys Wareng XC race. We missed it, with all of the holiday events last week. We hope you enjoy!

Agnes Tirop and Rhonex Kipruto win cars at the Tuskys Wareng Cross Country Race in Eldoret, Kenya

The 2018 edition of the Tusky's Wareng cross country turned out to be one special and historic race today. It was the first time that a car was given out as prize money in a local competition in Kenya. This was even more amazing given that it wasn't a road running event, but a cross country race.

Even earlier on in the morning as athletes registered for the event, some still doubted whether two cars were actually going to be won.

However, as the day progressed, two well decorated and brand new cars were driven towards the finish area. It was becoming real. The atmosphere seemed to change as spectators got more curious and alert to see who was to become the first ever athlete to win a car in a local competition in Kenya. There was a masters' race that took place before the senior women assembled themselves at the starting line of what was expected to be a tough competition.

Soon after the gun, a large pack began to detach itself from the rest. It began more like a single file, but then the group rejoined together at the front in what looked like a tactical race in which nobody wanted to act as a pace setter for the rest.

With Agnes Tirop, Norah Jeruto, Janet Kisa, Alice Aprot, Sandra Chebet, Valary Ayabei , Yasemin Can and many other big stars in the leading pack, a great race was in the offing.

At some point, it was Sandra Chebet who tried to break away and got the pack leaner at the front. A smaller pack closed it before it was Valary Ayabei's turn to try her luck in shaking the others off her back, but with no success. It was Agnes Tirop who finally made a move with about three kilometers to go that no one else could match.

Rhonex Kipruto made the men's senior race look like a one man's show after he opened up a huge gap at around the 3rd kilometer point and did a solo run at the front for the rest of the race. This was almost in the same version he ran to win the Ndalat cross country last month to win it ahead of Abraham Kiptum who later on went to break the world record in Valencia. This goes on to show the level of fitness that Rhonex Kipruto is currently in and whether he will be in the same form at the world cross country championships in Denmark next year.

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