Kenyans rule Cebu Marathon-A A +A
Sunday, January 13, 2013
TO SAY that the Kenyans dominated the 2013 Cebu Marathon is an understatement as they wiped out the locals in the 42-kilometer (42K) and 21K event.
Cebu’s hope for a title, Mary Grace delos Santos, gave up her crown in the women’s 21K, but to a worthy opponent yesterday at the Cebu IT Park.
“She is really fast,” said delos Santos after learning of 21K winner Jackline Nzivo’s time of 1:18:28 minutes. Delos Santos, who was still on a recovery run after her grueling Milo Marathon last month, came in second but improved her time.
“It was a non-pressured run. I know I was the defending champion, but I had to take it easy because I was still recovering from Milo. So I was really surprised to surpass my personal best in the 21K,” said delos Santos, the over-all champion in the women’s 42K of the Milo Marathon.
Delos Santos improved her time yesterday by a minute to 1:20.
Coming in third was Mary Joy Tabal, who, despite losing, was still ecstatic about her performance.
“Nalipay kaayo ko kay first time ko nag 21K sa Cebu Marathon unya nabreak pa gyud nako akong personal best,” said Tabal. She finished in 1:21.44, a huge improvement from her old record of 1:23. “For three years, wala gyud na nairog akong time sa 21K, karon ra gyud.”
Nzivo, who has been winning titles all over the country in just the short six months that she’s been here, said she was watching out for delos Santos. “I know she will be my toughest opponent,” said Nzivo.
It was an all-Kenyan show in the men’s side as Willie Rotich finally won his first title in the CCM after three tries.
“I was fourth place, then second and now finally the winner,” said Rotich, who said he was aiming for a win after failing to finish in the Milo Marathon when he suffered blisters.
Rotich came in first in 1:07.12, followed by compatriots Dennis Isika (1:09.21), Eliud Kering (1:10:22) and Joseph Kamaja (1:10:30).
Meanwhile, third time was also a charm for the Kenyans who ruled the premier 42K divisions.
Irine Jeptuo Kipchumba and David Kipsang, competing for the third time in the race, led their fellow Kenyans in wiping out the local runners in the race.
Limping across the IT Park Grounds, Kipchumba, the women’s 42K champion did what she came to do—challenge herself.
Kipchumba crossed the finish line in 3:28:28 and enjoyed a comfortable 10-minute lead over another Kenyan, Patroper Kemboi, who clocked in 3:39.23. Susan Chepkwong came in at third with 3:49.27.
Amale Jopson was the best local runner in the women’s side placing fourth in 3:58.21.
This is Kipchumba’s third appearance in the Cebu Marathon, but her first time in the 42K. “I raced in the 21K twice and placed only second both times. Last year, I decided to sign up for the 42K. My mind was made up and I trained real hard until I got injured,” she said.
Kipchumba said that prior to her injury she had trained so hard and wouldn’t let some swelling stop her from running in the Cebu Marathon.
“I have been injured and had not trained for three months because of a swelling in my left shin. But I still raced anyway since I was already registered. I wasn’t hoping to win. I just raced to see how much my body could take,” said the 21-year-old Kenyan, who trains in Manila and Tagaytay.
Kipchumba added that all she had to worry in the race was herself as she did not feel any challenge whatsoever from the locals.
“I was thinking about Grace (delos Santos). But she was running a shorter distance,” she said.
Over at the men’s side, Kenyan David Kipsang also had luck on his side when finally won the 42K. In his first try, he finished fourth and placed second last year before finally nailing this year’s title in 2:30.38. Jackson Chirchir came in second at 2:33.39 and Douglas Mwiti came in third in 2:35.03.
As expected, Kipsang was challenged from his fellow Kenyans.
“We are very competitive against each other. Jackson broke away too early in the race. So I just followed him. He ran out of air in the final 15K so I saw my opportunity and started to run fast,” said Kipsang.
Kipsang said he may be fast now but he has been training so he could try out for the Kenyan national team.
“The qualifying time is too fast. That is my target that is why I’m training hard,” said Kipsang, who will be running another 21K next week.
Meanwhile, in the 5K, veteran runner Merlita Arias Dunkin was relegated to fifth place as the women’s division was dominated by younger runners, specifically, the Andrin sisters.
Lovely Fe Andrin and her sister Jhean posted the same time of 21.45 but it was the younger Lovely Fe who got the victory. Middle sister Cherry came at a close third in 21:46. Cardenas Lynle came in at fourth place.
In the men’s division, Jobert Carolino (17:14), Michael Largo (17:36) and John Daryl Manos (17:54) took the top three spots.
Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on January 14, 2013.