NEW TERRITORY

Bett dares Naivasha mountains this weekend

Bett will be among the over 300 participants at the Kenya Mountain Running Championships on Sunday at Longonot, Naivasha.

In Summary

•The world U-18 2,000m steeplechase champion has dominated both track and cross country championship and will be taking on a new challenge of mountain running.

•Bett, who trains at  Silibwet Athletics camp in Bomet County under head coach John Kimetto, said he hopes to use mountain running to improve his performance

Leonard Bett in a past cross country event.
Leonard Bett in a past cross country event.
Image: FILE

Reigning world Under-20 3,000m steeplechase silver medallist, Leonard Bett will be venturing into unfamiliar territory of mountain running as he seeks to build up momentum ahead of next season. 

Bett will be among the over 300 participants at the  Kenya Mountain Running Championships on  Sunday at Longonot, Naivasha.

The world U-18 2,000m steeplechase champion has dominated both track and cross country championship and will be taking on a new challenge of mountain running .

The event is scheduled to start at the Cornerstone Preparatory Academy along Mai Mahiu-Naivasha and end at the Naivasha Flyover, where there will be flat track and climbing of between 930m and 330m.

Bett faces stiff competition from experienced mountain runners Geoffrey Gikoni,  Emmanuel Bor and Dickson Simba in the senior men's 10km race. Also in the mix will be Martin Magu and Dennis Kemboi. He said he had opted for the race as it will serve as part of his build-up ahead of next year's Olympic Games.

“This will be the greatest training base to build my strength. In the next calendar, we have cross country, Olympics and another track event. This is an opportunity for me to prepare,” said Bett.

Bett, who trains at  Silibwet Athletics camp in Bomet County under head coach John Kimetto, said he hopes to use mountain running to improve his performance.

“It is good sometimes to try something new in life. I will be running in 10km senior men, the same distance like 10,000m on track or cross country. The only challenge is that this is a different course, running in mountains,” he said.

Bett, the fourth finisher in junior at the world cross country championships last year in Arhus, Denmark said his focus is to gauge his strength.

“As a 3,000m steeplechase specialist, I don't quite expect to win the race but building my career. I just want to strengthen my muscle,” he said. On Wednesday, Athletics Kenya (AK) announced that they have set aside Sh500,000 as prize money for the race.

The winner in the men's race will pocket Sh 50,000, second-place (Sh25,000) and third-placed( Sh20,000) in a prize fund that covers top 10 finishers .

The top women will get Sh30,000with second receiving  Sh24,000 and third Sh19,000  respectively. Podium finishers in the junior men will get Sh20,000, Sh15,000 and Sh 10,000 respectively.