Aiyabei set to defend Safaricom Iten 10km title

In Summary

• The reigning Beijing marathon champion clocked 33:18.8 to clinch the title last year ahead of Lucy Cheruiyot (33:27.2) and Lydia Njeri (33:34.8).

• The 2014 Kass Marathon champion said she has prepared well for the event to be held at the ‘Home of Champions’ ­— owing to a large number of world-beating athletes who train and reside there.

Valary Aiyabei during a past race
Valary Aiyabei during a past race
Image: / FILE

Former Barcelona marathon champion Valary Aiyabei will be seeking back-to-back titles at the ninth edition of the Iten 10km set for this Sunday in Iten, Elgeyo Marakwet County.

After breaking the jinx of winning consecutive titles at the Standard Chartered half marathon this year, Aiyabei will be seeking to hit another milestone by winning a second title in Iten.

The reigning Beijing marathon champion clocked 33:18.8 to clinch the title last year ahead of Lucy Cheruiyot (33:27.2) and Lydia Njeri (33:34.8).

The 2014 Kass Marathon champion said she has prepared well for the event to be held at the ‘Home of Champions’ ­— owing to a large number of world-beating athletes who train and reside there.

“My training has been good and I am hoping to retain my title, which will not be easy. The challenge is real since any athlete who wins a race locally can win any other across the world,” said Aiyabei.

“The local races have been a pillar in my career and I want to stamp my authority here as I build up on my speed-work and endurance,” added the 2018 Kapnarok half-marathon winner.

The race starts in Bugar area in the outskirts of Iten before ending at the town centre.

But a new champion is expected in the men’s edition after defending champion, Abraham Kiptum, was suspended by the Athletes Integrity Unit after an anti-doping violation on the eve during the London marathon in April 2018.