• Chepkemoi clocked 33:07.02 to beat a battling Dorcas Kimeli, who came second in 33:08.12.
• Kibiwot Kandie clocked 28:59.53 to stroll to a comfortable title defence in the men's category.
After claiming the title at the 39th edition of the Kenya Defence Forces Cross Country Championships held this morning at Thika Barracks, Joyce Chepkemoi attributed her win to the counsel from world 5000m champion Helen Obiri.
Obiri, who won the title last year, was unavailable for the championship but Chepkemoi ensured that Laikipia Airbase retained the bragging rights, beating a rich field of opposition to coast to a hard-fought victory.
Among the big names the lanky Chepkemoi faced are World Half Marathon record holder and New York Marathon champion Joyceline Jepkosgei, World 10k record holder Sheila Chepkirui and Irine Kimais.
Chepkemoi clocked 33:07.02 to beat a battling Dorcas Kimeli ( 33:08.12 ) while Jepkosgei, who was the odds on favourite to win the race faded to third few metres to the tape recording, 33:10.06. Chepkirui finished sixth in 33:55.57.
Chepkemoi said Obiri had advised her to train on a relatively tougher course to gain more stamina for the race as well as to match the rivalry from the world's best.
"I was aware the defending champion was unavailable for the race and I had to give my best. She advised me to train on a hilly course and I am glad it has paid dividends. It was tough considering that I was coming up against world champions but I was equally prepared," said Chepkemoi.
Kibiwot Kandie clocked 28:59.53 to stroll to a comfortable title defence in the men's category. Alfred Barkach and Phenus Kipleting timed 29:04.47 and 29:11.96 to finish second and third respectively.
Kandie 24 made a winning debut in the championship last year at the Kahawa Garrison and today he maintained his unbeaten streak. Kandie, who had timed 28:55.07 during last year's race said he had begun gunning for victory in the last two months and was certain to retain the crown even before the gun went off.
He said the light showers experienced a few minutes to the start worked well with his plan and revealed he now has his eyes on the national championships set for next month.
"I have been preparing for the race in the last two months and I expected to win. Going by the preparations I had, I couldn't allow anyone to dethrone me. I am now looking to build on this triumph ahead of the nationals," said Kandie.