A Jaw-dropping and cut-throat performance is in the offing this weekend as the cross-country Premium competitions move to the ‘Home of Champions’ where tough terrain and challenging weather conditions welcomes the participants this Saturday.
The breathtaking antagonism scheduled to take place at the hilly landscape of Iten Township, will also see the seven-tie cross country running take a critical shape with elite class taking both active and passive roles.
Parallels will be drawn with hunters likely becoming the hunted when the exclusive meet their equals in new athletics new-borns out to cut their teeth in the jig-saw with unpredicted performance.
For the umpteenth time, the cross country race will be held in an environment synonymous with the sport as it will mutate St Patrick’s High School playing grounds, an institution renowned for fostering sports talents, into an arena of its own kind.
“This time, we have shifted the competitions from the traditional Iten playing field because of the prevailing weather conditions. Part of the trails in the field is waterlogged and not serviceable at the moment,” said Elgeyo Marakwet Country Sports Officer George Obumba.
The Iten bonanza, the fourth in the register of seven, comes after three other editions that have been held in Nairobi, Embu and Nyahururu with distinguished runners gracing the meetings.
“As it has been the tradition, we have endorsement from our World Champions, Commonwealth Games Champions and not forgetting those who have won big races here and abroad. This is their home and they will not let their fans down,” North Rift Athletics Kenya Chairman Maj. Rtd Michael Rotich said in Nairobi on Tuesday.
World 1,500metres champion Asbel Kiprop, Africa 10,000metres queen Alice Aprot will lead the elite cast out to shake off their training ahead of the coming season that awaits stiff rivalry as the jostling for the national slots to various championships matures.
The 4th Athletics Kenya Premium cross-country will have the usual four race classifications with junior women competing in 6kilometres, junior men 8Km, senior women 8Km and senior men doing the now reduced
Cleophas Ng’etich and Caroline Chepkoech are the leading lights in the senior races after winning two competitions apart in Nairobi, Kangaru and Nyahururu.
Other notable contestants among the seniors includes Dominic Kiptarus who won in Nairobi and came second in Nyahururu and Sheila Chepkirui, the run-away victor in Embu and finished third in Nyahururu last weekend.
In the junior classes, Alfred Ng’eno, Cyrus Loikong and Andrew Lorot have claimed a first each in Nairobi, Embu and Nyahururu while Sandra Chebet, Cecilia Maria and Ivyn Chepkemoi have topped in Nairobi, Embu and Nyahururu respectively.
But the matrix will be subjected to change in Iten when reigning apprentices seek to move to the senior ranks and novices training at the annual St Patrick’s Junior Camp throw their competition mantles into the race.
Media & Competition