It was a weekend full of cross country action in Kenya as Geoffrey Kamworor and Hellen Obiri win their races

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The cross country season is short and tough in Kenya. Here is Justin Lagat's column on the races over the January 13-14 weekend. I am just getting caught up on these updates.

Kamworor_Geoffrey-PreC16.jpgGeoffrey Kamworor, photo by PhotoRun.net

ObiriLedsKipyegon-Campaccio17.jpgHellen Obiri, Campaccio 2017 XC, photo by PhotoRun.net

It was a weekend full of cross country action in Kenya as Geoffrey Kamworor and Hellen Obiri win their races (January 15, 2018)

Even before the national trials can happen on 16th next month, a lot of cross country action took place across the country over the weekend. It is not so hard to predict the athletes who are currently in good form and likely to win the national titles next month. This weekend had cross country events happening all over in Kenya as different Counties conducted their championships to select teams that will eventually go to the nationals/trials in Nairobi next month.

Of great interest to many Kenyan athletic fans, as usual, were the police championships. The Kenya Police has always been the greatest source of runners who would represent the country in many international athletic competitions.

For Geoffrey Kamworor, the competition here was definitely not going to be as tough as in the ones he has been used to in the world and international stages. The two times world cross country champion won the senior men's race comfortably in 29:11 ahead of Noah Kipkemboi in 29:28. The latter was running as a guest at the event in the hope that he would be employed in the police force. Josphat Bett took the third position in 29:32.5.

In the women's senior race, Stacy Ndiwa defeated a competitive field that included Beatrice Chepkoech, Ruth Chepng'etich and Margaret Chelimo to emerge the winner. The three followed each other in that order.

The Kenya Defence Forces (KDF) did their championships a day earlier. The women's race was a big one with the reigning world 5000m, Hellen Obiri and the multiple world record holder, Joyciline Jepkosgei battling out for the win. In the end, it was Obiri who won the race in 33:32 after pulling away with a strong finish in the last kilometer with Jepkosgei following to finish in 33:38. Perin Nenkampi took third in 33:57.

Little known Hillary Kering won the senior men's race in 29:34 ahead of Franklin Ngelel in 29:39 and John Chepkwony in 29:48.

The national cross country championships/trials will happen on 10th February. But, with athletes like Geoffrey Kamworor and others preparing for the world half marathon championships and others preparing for the Commonwealth Games, it is not clear whether the event will be full of Kenya's long distance stars as usual, or whether many will forego the trials to concentrate on their upcoming races.

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