World half marathon record Joyciline Jepkosgey starved off stiff competition from 2014 Commonwealth Games marathon champion Flomena Cheyech to win the 12th edition of Family Bank Eldoret Half marathon yesterday.
Running for the third time at the annual race, Kelvin Kiptum won the men’s category, his maiden career win.
Jepkosgey who wants to move to full marathon said the race was stiff though worked her way to clinch the title she last won in 2016.
“The race was too challenging because of its competitiveness. Running locally is too competitive, making it hard to make it to the top,” said Jepkosgey.
After finishing third at the Great North Run, Jepkosgey registered an impressive 71:01-minute display, a major boost as she prepares to make debut in full marathon.
“I will not be working to lower my time anymore in 21km because I want to concentrate on marathon next year, where I hope to be successful just like in half marathon,” said the Iten-based runner.
Cheyech, who last ran at the Nagoya women marathon — finishing 19th — said her plan is to compete at Shanghai Marathon next month.
“I have been out of competitions for long and I normally run half marathons to prepare for marathon,” said Cheyech who timed 71:05. Antonina Kwambai was third in 71:13.
Kiptum challenged former Africa champion Mathew Kisorio to win the men’s race.
Kiptum who trains with Frankfurt marathon champion Kenneth Kipkemoi said he achieved his dream by winning the race after running two times without success. He competed in 2014 and 2013 finishing 12th and 10th respectively.
“I vowed that one day I will win the race and that dream has come to be.”
Kiptum and Kisorio ran shoulder to shoulder after 10km but the young Kiptum out-sprinted Kisorio to win in 62:91. Kisorio, who will be running at the Valencia Marathon in December, was second timing 62:18 while Wilfred Kimitei sealed the last podium place in 62:231.