Mary Keitany, KASS Marathon, November 10, photo by www.kenyanathlete.com
Justin Lagat wrote this piece about a two weeks ago, on the KASS Marathon. He ran into several of Kenya’s top athletes, including the two time winner of the New York City Marathon, Mary Keitany.
A moment with Mary Keitany at the 2015 Kass Marathon
Many elite athletes turned up to witness the Kass marathon event in Eldoret this weekend (November 10, 2015) and it was a great privilege for me to get a brief chat with the 2014 and 2015 New York City marathon champion, Mary Keitany, as she enjoyed the marathon.
Keitany praised the Kass marathon as one great event that help in changing the lives of new athletes, not only with the money they win here but also in enabling them get managers that would enter them in more prestigious races abroad. “Kass Marathon, unlike the races abroad, doesn’t require much money for registration, no money is wasted in fare and air tickets and accommodations, no time is wasted in traveling and no taxes are levied on the winning prize,” she said.
Albert Korir and Valary Jemeli emerged winners at this year’s edition of this marathon that is known to produce new and surprise winners every year.
The men’s race was closely contested until the last stages when Korir pulled ahead of the rest to win in 2:21.14. Bernard Kitur took second in 2:21.26 while Weldon Kirui who had won the 2012 edition came back and took third in 2:21.40. Two more athletes crossed the finish line before a minute elapsed after the winner.
Valary won the women’s race in a different version. She was able to stay clear ahead of her competitors for quite some time before crossing the finish line in 2:43.19, which was almost two minutes ahead of Loice Chebet who finished second in 2:45.06. Sylvia Tenai came in third to complete the top three podium positions in a time of 2:47.01.
For now, Keitany says she is enjoying her off season as she makes sure she eats and rests well before beginning her training again for the big races next year. She doesn’t want to make any plans or speculations now until January.
However, when I asked her about the marathon races she likes participating in, I could not help but guess what race she is most likely to be running in April. “I like the organization of London and New York City marathons,” she said, adding that, “I also like both of their courses. The New York course especially is more like the usual routes I use in my training here in Kenya.”
Other top athletes who graced the occasion included Ezekiel Kemboi, the two times Olympic and four times world champion; Asbel Kiprop; the Olympic and three times world champion; Vivian Cheruiyot, the multiple world champion; Ednah Kiplagat, the multiple world champion; Eliud Kipchoge, London and Berlin Marathon champion; Julius Yego, the you tube athlete and Wesley Korir, the 2012 Boston Marathon champion and member of parliament for Cherangany constituency in Kenya.
As they were being introduced at the dais, Wesley Korir seized the opportunity to speak strongly against doping saying that it is now time that everyone in Kenya gets serious in the fight. “All medical practitioners in the country should be given a copy of the WADA and IAAF rules and if found aiding athletes to dope should be prosecuted,” said Korir.