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Kenyans Dominate Kigali Peace Marathon

by Kalinda Brenda
3:42 pm

Kenyans took all the awards in full marathon 42km– men and women’s category

Kenyans once again exhibited their supremacy in athletics today after dominating in this year’s Kigali International Peace marathon.

It was a jubilant afternoon for Kenyans at Amahoro National Stadium in the capital Kigali, as the country’s national flags were raised with national anthem sung, after Kenyans won with medals the first and second stages of the 13th edition of peace tournament.

Sponsored by telecom company – MTN Rwanda, the Kigali International Peace Marathon, was special for having the First Ladies Jeannette Kagame of Rwanda and her counterpart Margaret Kenyatta of Kenya among other participants.

5800 people from 35 countries registered for the Peace Marathon, including 500 Kenyans and thousands of Rwandans.

With her jersey numbered 3172 Mrs Kagame and her Kenyan counterpart Mrs Kenyatta who wore 1019, the First Ladies ran in the ‘Run for fun’ category (9.6 km) instead of the 7km that were planned initially.
They were given medals by two young runners who are expected to be the future athletes.

In the non-competitive Run for Peace, some mothers did not shy away but brought their babies with them and the people with disabilities were also present.
“This event is so special and has a very important meaning. It is the only marathon in the world that promotes peace both in Rwanda and across borders,” said Julienne Uwacu, Minister of Sports and Culture.

Two competitive categories, the full marathon – 42 km and the half marathon – 21 km tested Rwandan athletes’ ability and showed they still have a lot to learn from their Kenyan counterparts.
Kenyans took all the awards in full marathon 42km– men and women’s category, despite the sponsor trying to award as many participants as possible.

In the full marathon – 42km, Gilbert Chumba took an early lead and looked comfortable throughout the race. He won it after clocking 2hrs, 19mins and 49 secs.
His compatriots Edwin Kiyeng came second while James Tallaam who holds last year’s gold medal came third.

Apart from the top three who were awarded with gold and two silver medals and cash prize – between Rwf 2M-1.4M, MTN Rwanda also awarded the 4th,5th and 6th with cash ranging from Rwf 1.2 M to Rwf 800,000. Kenyans claimed all the money.

In the women’s category – full marathon, it was also the same scenario. Beatrice Rutto was the woman of the day – using 2 hours 46mins and 38 secs, followed by Pamela Checkovich and Sarah Jerop Legat on 2nd and 3rd position respectively.

Rwandans came in to compete in the half marathon with Nyirarukundo Salome claiming the top position after clocking 1hr 15mins, 28secs.

Sheila Chesang came second with 1hr 20mins 24secs, ahead of Rwandan Claudette Mukasakindi who clocked 1hr 20 mins 36secs.

Rwandan women went ahead to also claim the 4th and 6th position.

The men in half marathon also had Kipkoech Bartile Kiptoo on top with 1hr 04 mins 25secs, followed by Mutai Ezekiel Kimeli – 1hr 05mins 38secs.

Rwandan Hakizimana John 1hr 05mins 48secs came on third position becoming the best Rwandan finisher among the men in the race.

His compatriot, Ferdinand Niyonsaba came on 5th position.

The First Lady of Rwanda Jeannette Kagame was grateful to have her Kenyan counterpart run alongside with her, in the event that was themed “Run for our Heroes” in a bid to honor the lives lost during the struggle to liberate the country, 23 years ago.

The peace marathon takes place within the Country’s Kwibuka 23 (that marks 23 years since the 1994 genocide against Tutsi) period that spans between April 7 to July 3 ahead of the country’s Liberation Day on July 4.

“Grateful to @FirstLadyKenya Mrs Margaret Kenyatta for joining us for the @KigaliMarathon #RunForPeace,” Mrs Kagame tweeted after awarding winners of the Men’s Full Marathon.

Mrs Kenyatta rewarded winners of the Women’s full marathon.

Kenyans have dominated all the past 12 editions of the peace marathon including last year where they scooped all the top 6 competitive positions in both the 42 km and 21 km races.

“We would like officials in charge to always take time to prepare the athletes. You cannot expect athletes to win while you took just one week to train them,” commented Salome Nyirarukundo on behalf of her compatriots.

“Rwandan athletes are able. There is no point to feel that Kenyans are better than us.”

Winners’ Full List 

Women Half Marathon

Nyirarukundo Salome 1 hr 15mins 28sec

Sheila Chesang 1hr 20mins 24secs

Mukasakindi Claudette 1hr 20 mins 36secs

Yankurikije Malitha 1hr 21mins 09secs

Elemani Zipopar Narunyang 1hrs 23mins 27secs

Musengimana Felagie 1hr 32mins 33secs

Men Half Marathon 

Kipkoech Bartile Kiptoo 1hr 04 mins 25secs

Mutai Ezekiel Kimeli 1hr 05mins 38secs

Hakizimana John 1hr 05mins 48secs

Bowen Josphat Kipchirchir 01hr 05mins 59secs

Niyonsaba Ferdinard 01hr 06mins 01secs

Kemei Moses Kipngetich 01 hr 06mins 06 secs

Ladies Full Marathon

Rutto Beatrice Jepkorir 02 hrs 46mins 38secs

Pamela Chepkoech 02hrs 47mins 21 secs

Sarah Jerop Legat 02 hrs 47 mins 24secs

Fridah Jepkite Lodep 02hrs 51mins 26secs

Sylivia Jeeli 02hrs 51mins 46secs

Cherbert Tenyan 02hrs 52mins 52secs

Men Full Marathon

Chumba Gilbert 02 hrs 19mins 49secs

Edwin Kemboi 02hrs 19mins 57secs

Tallam James 02hrs 20mins 00secs

Tarus David Kiptui 02 hrs 20min 04secs

Elkana Kibet Yego 02hrs 21mins 46secs

Kiptoo Mathiew 02hrs 21mins 59secs