Spencer Maiyo and Nelly Koech win Uasin Gishu XC, by Justin Lagat, A view from Kenya

Junior men's 6km race ( Winner, Fredrick Kipkosgey in Kenyan kits),
photo by Justin Lagat 

Justin Lagat, our correspondent from Kenya, wrote this piece last weekend on the Uasin Gishu XC. We thank Justin Lagat for all his enthusiasm and writing, providing our North American, European readers, and his countrymen and women with an unique view into Kenyan running. 

Spencer Maiyo and Nelly Koech win Uasin Gishu County XC, by Justin Lagat, A View from Kenya

There was no jostling today (January 17) during the Uasin Gishu County cross country championships like it has always been typical in any race done in and around Eldoret. The field in all the events was relatively smaller but nevertheless a quality one because sub-county championships had been conducted the previous week to ensure that only the top six from each of the competitions were to compete here.
Little known Spencer Maiyo of Complete Sports, who also won the sub-county championships at the same venue last week, ran a tactical race to win the 12km senior men's race. He kept moving up slowly from a top twenty position in the first 2km lap of the race before moving to a top ten position in the next laps and slowly beginning to gain on the leader with about one lap to go. He started to open a gap at the lead soon after the last whistle was blown and the spectators were impressed with his running style and began cheering him. He won the race comfortably in 34:35.01
Peter Limo who had led in almost the entire part of the race managed to hold on to the second position in 34:45.09. Another impressive athlete, Wilson Kiprotich, from Complete Sports Management, who had also been running impressively from behind was threatening to beat him if only the distance was to be stretched a bit more. Kiprotich finished 3rd in 34:48.08. Edwin Kimaiyo, Geoffrey Tallam and Joash Kipkemboi finished in 4th, 5th and 6th respectively.
Joseph Ebuya who had spoken to the media about his intention to run here failed to turn up at the starting line, which was a disappointment to some fans who had hoped to see him run.
Lady in green is Nelly Koech, winner 8km senior women, photo by Justin Lagat
Nelly Koech, a track specialist who had been on a maternity leave in the last three years staged her comeback here and managed to win her race beating a strong field that included the pre-race favorite, Summary Cherotich.  A pack of three women: Nelly, Emmaculate Jebet and Naomi Jepkemboi, had stayed together in the lead until the last one kilometer when Nelly reacted and began to open a gap. She crossed the tape in 27:21.21. Naomi finished second in 27:29.03 while Emmaculate came third in 27:40.05. Eunice Jepkorir, Nelly Jepkurui and Phyllis Yator followed in that order.
The junior men's race was won by Fredrick Kipkosgey after taking an early lead in the race and maintaining it to the tape. He was followed by Willy Kimoltich and David Chemweno to take the 2nd and 3rd places.
Spencer Maiyo winner 12km senior men, photo by Justin Lagat
Winnie Koima sprang away from Ednah Jerotich as the two were running shoulder to shoulder in the final kilometer to win the junior women's race. Martha Akeno finished in a distant 3rd.
Complete sports athletes who took 1st and 3rd with their coach, 
photo by Justin Lagat
The county championships that were done today across the country will be, in next few weeks, followed regional championships, Kenya Police and Kenya Prison Services championships before the national trials to select the Kenyan team to Guiyang, China are finally done on the 14th of February next month.

Editor's note: you can find more of Justin Lagat's work on his website, The Kenyan Athlete.

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