Justin Lagat wrote the following column on the upcoming Tuskys Wareng Cross Country championships. What I like about the piece is the picture that Justin provides the readers into running in Kenya. We see a sport with many stars, but also many more who want to become stars.
Runners are ready for a tough competition at the 2018 Tuskys Wareng Cross Country championships in Eldoret
Another one of the most exciting cross country races in Kenya will happen this weekend at the Huruma Grounds in Eldoret. This race has always attracted the best talents in the region and it might even get more exciting this Sunday.
Sponsored mainly by the Tuskys supermarkets, it has been a favorite of many athletes as a place to go out for free shopping where bags full of shopping are handed out to top finishers in different race categories, extending up to the first fifty positions. Podium finishers usually walk away with bigger items like big TV screens, Fridges and home theaters. This time round, it is rumored that a car could be given out as part of the prizes. This has gotten so many athletes in the region preparing for this and it should be an exciting race.
Be it the biggest marathon runners in the world, the best track athletes or the world record holders; Tuskys Wareng Cross country event has always been able to bring them together to create a thrilling race every November in Eldoret.
Vivian Cheruiyot, Wilson Kiprop, Florence Kiplagat, Josphat Bett, Alice Aprot, Leornard Komon, Moses Mosop, Stacy Ndiwa, Gideon Kipketer, Agnes Tirop, Hosea Macharinyang, Mercy Cherono and Japheth Korir, among others, are some of the past winners of this event. Started in 2006, it will be the 13th edition this Sunday, the 25th of November.
Except for the national championships and the national trials for world and Olympic championships, there is always an element of surprise in almost all the other big local races in Kenya where you would just find big stars warming up and registering for the race a few minutes to the start. It is as though the athletes come out and start warming up as they check out who is there, how they bodies feel, the weather and other factors before they can register for the race.
Even without a pre-race press conference or a tantalizing elite start list in place, one should always expect one of the biggest depths of elite runners in this local race than they would in many other major cross country races across the world. Some of the biggest talent scouters and managers know this secret and they will be present in this event to recruit new runners in their managements.
Agnes Tirop, the 2015 world cross country champion is one of the stars that have already confirmed their interest to participate at this year’s race.