The sleepy Kilgoris town will vibrate with running activities when Athletics Kenya cross-country stir the Trans Mara district administrative headquarters with the second leg of the build-up competitions this Saturday morning.
The event will be a litmus test for athletes from the Masai-Kipsigis dominated sub-country as the South Rift region hosts the championships for the first time in the area renowned for producing great middle distant runners with introduction of the cross-country medley relays.
Athletics Kenya regional chairman John Wachira confirmed preparations are in top gear and he is expecting good competitions when the event commences at Poroko Friends High School playing grounds.
Athletics Kenya will also use the occasion to introduce the new cross-country medley relays that has been introduced by IAAF where 2 men and 2 women will form a team with each covering the 2kilometre loop.
“This is the region that is the home of 800metres World Record holder David Rudisha, cross country professional Gideon Ng’atuny and former middle distant runner, Billy Konchella, Patrick Konchella and Stephen Ole Marai. We shall have good competitions,” said the regional athletics boss.
Apart from Ng’atuny who is based in Japan, the meeting will also be flocked by athletes from the neighbouring Kericho and Bomet Counties with William Sitonik, Japhet Korir and Peter Kipkemei mounting the attack in the senior men’s 10kilometres.
Last year, Vincent Rono, Damaris Areba, Ronald Kiprotich and Sandra Chebet dominated in the four race-categories when the 7th leg was hosted in the neighbouring Sotik G.K. Prisons grounds in January.
Apart from local runners, the event will also be attended by other Athletics Kenya affiliates including the Kenya Defence Forces, Kenya Prisons Service and Kenya Police Service as well as competitors from the surrounding regions of Kisii, Nyamira and Central Rift.
The Trans Mara contest is the second in a series of eight that have been spread across the country to be used by athletes as they prepare for the season ahead of the national championships on February 18th next year.
The 1st cross-country weekend Meeting was held in Nairobi last week and the 3rd, which will also be the 1st Premium label segment, will take place at the Nyandarua Technical Training Institute in Nyahururu on November 19th.
Rio Olympics 5,000metres silver winner Helen Obiri, regular cross-country runner Katui Muia, up-coming Mathew Kimeli and World junior champion Sandra Chebet ruled in Nairobi during the opener.
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