•In the 8km senior women's category, Francisca Kanda of Elgeyo Marakwet finished first in 48:11.5 ahead of fellow county mates Beatrice Cheserek and Judith Korir.
•The event attracted hundreds of athletes and running enthusiasts countrywide include 58 athletes in junior men category, 40 in senior women and over 100 in senior women's category
Patrick Kipngeno and Francisca Kanda won the Athletics Kenya Mountain Running Championships held in Naivasha on Sunday.
In the men's 10km race, Kipngeno crossed the finish line in 50:37.5 ahead of Elgeyo Marakwet's Titus Kimutai and Nyandarua's Michael Kamau, who clocked 51:09.0 and 51:43.8 respectively.
"I thank God for this victory because I could not have done it alone. I have run in a few marathons but this one was a new experience and a tougher one," Kipngeno, who was competing in mountain running for the first time, said.
The Bomet native has now set his sights on representing the country at world mountain running competitions.
"I will wait to see what AK has in store for the competition. If they want to send representatives to global events, I will put myself forward," he said.
Second-placed Kimutai was elated by his finish.
"I had never expected to achieve this result so it's all thanks to God," he said.
"The experience will help me prepare for upcoming cross country races."
Emmanuel Bor, winner of February's mountain running meet in Meru, finished a disappointing fifth, clocking 52:12.1.
"The terrain here is tougher than the one in Meru, especially the last kilometre, which is steep. The weather was hot unlike in Meru, which was cool," he said.
In the 8km senior women's category, Kanda, of Elgeyo Marakwet took the honours in 48:11.5 ahead of fellow countymates Beatrice Cheserek and Judith Korir. Cheserek clocked 48:41.0 while Korir returnerd49:20.6.
Iten's Emmanuel Maru won the 8km junior men's race ahead of Nakuru's Matthew Rutto and Nyandarua's Henry Mwangi in respective times of 37:19.2, 38:13.3 and 39:01.8.
The gruelling race, staged at the foot of Mt. Longonot, began at Cornerstone Preparatory Academy along the Mai Mahiu-Naivasha Highway and culminated at Kenton, 2685m above sea level.
The event attracted 58 athletes in the junior men category, 40 in senior women and over 100 in the senior women's category.
AK president Jackson Tuwei described the event as the start of a rigorous campaign to grow the sport.
"This event was to start in 2017 but was cancelled due to unavoidable issues. Regardless, we will now move on to promote it all over the country," Tuwei said.
He expressed his satisfaction at the abundance of talent on display in the three categories.
"At the start line, many of the athletes said they had never done mountain running before. With the talent we have seen today, we can now send more young runners to represent the country in international mountain running events," he said.