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A top-knotch field of Kenyan athletes will line up for Saturday’s Kenyan Prison Service Cross Country Championships. They take the event seriously. Many middle and long-distance runners are employed by the police service.
Former champions Alice Aprot and Celliphine Chespol will be toeing-the-line alongside Loice Chemining in Ruiru.
The 26-year-old Aprot won three-year consecutive in years 2015, 2016, and 2017. Chespol won in 2018 and 2019.
“I am glad to be back even though my body isn’t in great shape, but I hope to gain top form in the coming month,” said Aprot, to (Ayumba Ayodi in the Nation Africa article, Stellar field for Kenya Prisons Cross Country Championships, January 1, 2021).
Aprot owns best of 14:35.56 and 29:35.51 in the 5000m and 10,000-metre distance, respectively. The 21-year-old Chespol is a multi-time World U 18 and U20 gold medallist in the 3000m steeplechase. Chemining will have her hands full this weekend.
In the men’s race, Charles Muneria will be going for his third win.
Muneria, 24, represented Kenya in the 5,000m event at the 2016 Rio Olympic Games. He owns 5000m and 10,000m bests of 13:23.79 and 27:54.60.
Muneria also won the Athletics Kenya Cross Country Series in Mosoriot and Ngatuny. e is up against Peter Emase. The 27-year-old Emase owns more modest track bests, however, seems to run well in cross-country. He has run as fast as 62:00 in the half-marathon distance.
At nearly 39-years-of-age Thomas Longosiwa looks to see what he can do against his younger competitors. It has been nearly nine years since he has run his best but continues to run competitively. He has raced well in the 5000m distance throughout his career. He owns a best of 12:49.04 over the distance.
A potential dark horse is Timothy Cheruiyot who has competed at the highest level in the 1500m distance. He has won 17 Diamond League 1500m or mile races over the past four years. He is a three-time national champion, Commonwealth Games silver medallist. Most recently he won gold at the 2019 Doha World Athletics Championships.