KDF x-country run called off

NO RACE: World half marathon champion Gladys Cherono
NO RACE: World half marathon champion Gladys Cherono

The Kenya Defence Forces cross country championships early set for this morning in Thika has been cancelled.

KDF Athletics secretary Alfred Olenawangas said this was arrived at during an executive meeting held yesterday.

“We held a meeting yesterday and due to what happened to our colleagues in Somalia, we unanimously resolved to cancel the event,” said Olenawangas.

Olenawangas added: “It was a full executive meeting alongside our coaches and technical staff in charge of formation.”

KDF are mourning a host of their colleagues killed during an attack in their camp in El Adde, Somalia on Friday last week. “Instead of hosting the event, we went directly into naming a team of 30 (15 men and 15 women) to represent us at the national championships —set for February 13 at Uhuru Gardens,” said Olenawangas.

“It was not a tricky thing to do in coming up with the team since we have been following our runners at the just concluded Athletics Kenya cross country series and we are certain we have named our best.”

“We expect to notify the athletes, most of whom are in training camps in Nyahururu and Ngong of their call up into the team by the end of today (yesterday) and expect them to travel to Nyahururu tomorrow (today) where they will pitch camp.”

At Nyahururu, a mini-trial will be held on January 30 where the Forces will name their final team to the national championships cum IAAF Cross Country permit.

Veteran distance runner Mark Kiptoo and World Half Marathon champion Gladys Cherono are expected to lead the team to the national championships, where the country will select a team to the Africa Cross Country Championships in Yaounde, Cameroon, next month.

Also in the team is winner of the AK Cross meeting in Machakos Stephen Arita who remains focused on a chance to the Africa Cross.

“I have never run or trained in Nyahururu but I am hopeful that all will be well and I will be at Uhuru Gardens (for the national championships),” said Arita.