25 October 2009

Kenyan runners rule Subic Marathon

The Kenyan juggernaut was on full display Saturday night as Vincent Chepsiror and Doreen Kitaka ruled the 2nd Smart-Subic International Marathon. Chepsisor, 29, topped the men’s side of the 42-kilometer marathon with a clocking of 2 hours, 27 minutes and 54 seconds, while the 26-year old Kitaka did the same in the women’s class at 3:01:12.

Each pocketed the top purse of $5,000 at stake in the race that started at the Subic Clark-Tarlac Expressway in Floridablanca, Pampanga late in the afternoon, and ended at night at the Remy Field inside the Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority here.

The Kenyan champions showing were way below their personal bests of 2:18 (Chepsiror) and 2:45 (Kitaka), respectively, admitting being first timers in running at night hampered their performances.

“Sometimes the darkness slowed me down, but overall I am happy with the course,” Chepsiror said at the finish line.

“I have trouble seeing in some places,” said Kitaka, also the winner of last week’s Quezon City International Marathon.

“I could have run faster if the event was held in daylight. But I have no complain because the people are very nice and the place is beautiful,” added the mother of two from Nairobi.

Cecilla Wangui also of Kenya, made it a 1-2 finish in the distaff side of the well-attended event presented by Smart and co-presented by the BCDA, SCTEX, Philippine National Police, SBMA, PAGC, Rotary International, Toby’s, Runnr, Burlington Bio-Fresh, Sports Armour and Chris Sports.

Aileen Tolentino of La Salle-DasmariƱas spoiled the Kenyan party by finishing a strong third (3:29:01) and became the top local finisher in the meet. She bagged $1,000 behind the $2,500 won by Wangui.

Another Kenyan in Sarah Maiyo, finished fourth while Filipina Joanne Mangat barged into the top five with a time of 3:34:23.

Eight Kenyans made it to the top 10 of the men’s class, as 18-year-old Willy Kipkemoi Rofich finished runner-up (2:28:14) worth $2,500. (Manila Bulletin)