•Kiprop timed 2:11:07 to cut the tape in a hotly-contested race in which he also improved on the 2:14:19 he set in 2018
•In the women's marathon, for Amsterdam Marathon winner Valentine Kipketer finished first
•Perin Nengambi, winner of the women's half marathon, was delighted to have overcome her injury woes to cut the tape
After clinching his second StanChart Nairobi Marathon title in three years, Elisha Kiprop now hopes to take his career to the next level by conquering more international races.
The 2018 Grandma's Marathon champion was relieved to have overcome a difficult period occasioned by Covid-19 and will now sit with his management team to draw up a calendar of competitions for 2022.
"I have my eyes on competing in more international marathons starting February. Obviously, this is something I must first sit down to discuss with my coaches because there are many other races for next year and we need a training programme that caters for that," Kiprop said.
Kiprop timed 2:11:07 to cut the tape in a hotly-contested race in which he also improved on the 2:14:19 he set when he first won the annual road race in 2018.
Alfonce Kigen finished second in 2:11:11 as Joshua Kogo came third in 2:11:14.
Kiprop, who had also finished second in 2014 and sixth in 2012, reflected on the race with admiration for other marathoners.
"It was a really tough race because there were so many strong competitors who were also eyeing the top prize. The pace was really fast and everyone had to be at the top of their game to succeed. It was only at the tail end that it began to take shape," Kiprop, who boasts a personal best of 2:09:32 from the 2018 Houston Marathon, said.
In the women's marathon, it was easy-peasy for Valentine Kipketer as she clocked 2:30:01 to clinch her maiden StanChart title.
Naomi Maiyo finished second in 2:32:22 as Beatrice Cheptoo wrapped up the top three places in a time of 2:32:33.
Kipketer, who finished a disappointing 18th at this year's Eldoret City Marathon, described her victory as the perfect way to bounce back from that heartbreak.
"Going into the Eldoret City Marathon, I was not fully prepared because I had not been training well due to Covid disruptions. This is my first time competing in StanChart and I am so happy to have won. Everything worked out perfectly...from the weather to the course and my physical preparedness," the former Amsterdam Marathon champion said.
Kipketer, who also clinched the Mumbai Marathon nine years ago, said she will now rest as she prepares an assault on different competitions next year.
The tight contest in the marathon was replicated in the men's half marathon as Vincent Ng'etich emerged victorious in 1:01:44 as Rhonzas Kilimo (1:01:56) and Peter Kipsirat (1:01:59) finished second and third respectively.
The Nakuru-based athlete has been struggling with an injury and was relieved that his decision to debut in the half marathon had paid off.
"Usually, I run in the 10km but this time round I chose to upgrade although I have been out for a while due to injury. The race worked out well and was surprisingly not much of a shock for me. I now want to work hard to make it into Team Kenya's cross country team although I don't have a manager currently," Ng'etich said.
Similarly, Perin Nengambi, winner of the women's half marathon, was delighted to have overcome her injury woes to cut the tape.
Nengambi, who was also debuting in the 21km race, described the new Southern Bypass course as an exciting challenge.
"It is a mixture; certain parts are hilly while others are flat and that's what makes it exciting. Being my first time in the half marathon and after a long time out with injury, I am delighted to have won what was quite a tough race. Coming from here, I hope my coach will secure for me more road races abroad because my future is now in the half and full marathons," she said.
Geoffrey Kipchumba won the men's 10km, timing 28:27.2 ahead of Raymond Kipkorir (28:38.8) and Patrick Mosin (28:59.4) in second and third respectively.
Faith Chepkoech emerged top in the women's 10km, clocking 33:15.0 ahead of Dorothy Kipkilach (33:30.7) and Sharon Jemutai (33:31.5).