The so-named international race turned out to be not so international as domestic athletes swept the podiums at the inaugural, Iten International Marathon. Samuel Naibei and Caroline Jepchirchir won in the times of 2:08:43 and 2:28:33, respectively.

Finishing in second and third place in the men’s division was Joshua Kogo in the time of 2:10:35, while Albert Kangogo took third clocking a 2:11:46 performance.

Naibei, age 29, set his personal best in March at Rome with a 2:09:41 performance where he finished seventh. Brought in as a pacer, he decided to finish the race. It is possible, he would have finished higher in the standings if he did lead much of the race.

Jepchirchir was followed in by Sussy Chemaimak who clocked a 2:33:49 finish time. Mary Kipkemoi took third in 2:35:09.

Jepchirchir sat in with the lead pack until 30K, where she dropped the pace and took the lead for good. Conditions were apparently breezy and cool. Her best is 2:26:11 from Enschede 2022 earlier this year.

Competitors were dealing with cool temperatures, however, things warmed up late, especially with the final arduous climb to the finish line.

World record holder Eliud Kipchoge, was on-site.

“Iten is known for its immense contribution to athletics development and the status will now improve because of the marathon. It will now be easier to attract more than 1,000 foreign athletes in the subsequent editions,” he said.

While Kipchoge praised the event for the area. He also commented on drug cheats.

“All athletes should win clean and there is a need to have training camps and all coaches registered to ensure the sport is streamlined and weed out those ruining its reputation,” he said.

More than 30 Kenyan athletes have been suspended in 2020 alone. Up to 70 are currently going into, currently serving or coming out of suspension. Recently, three of Kipchoge’s own pacers have been banned. In addition to the Kenyan positives, American and Nigerian sprinters are getting caught.

Results

Men

1. Samuel Naibei 2:08:43

2. Joshua Kogo 2:10:35

3. Albert Kangogo 2:11:46

4. Kennedy Kemboi 2:12:21

5. William Cheboi 2:13:20

6. Benson Tunyo 2:14:02

7. Collins Kipkorir 2:14:46

8. Stephen Kipkosgei 2:14:56

9. Isaac Lagat 2:15:10

10. Silas Too 2:15:11

Women

1. Caroline Jepchirchir 2:28:33

2. Suzy Chemaimak 2:33:49

3. Mercy Kipkemoi 2:35:09

4. Martha Akeno 2:35:30

5. Joan Kipyatich 2:36:26

6. Hilda Cheboi 2:36:46

7. Janet Kiptoo 2:37:43

8. Rael Kimaiyo 2:38:28

9. Hellen Jepkurgat 2:38:29

10. Faith Jepkoech 2:38:40

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