KENYA MOUNTAIN RACES: MOUNTAIN RUNNING NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP. GOLD PATRICK KIPNGENO AND FRANCISCA KANDA

KENYA MOUNTAIN RACES: MOUNTAIN RUNNING WMRA NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP. Kenyan Athletics Federation President Jackson Tuwei is committed to a rigorous campaign to grow mountain races across the country, with half a million shillings in prizes.

About 200 elite athletes from all over the country competed the last week, spread out as: 58 junior athletes, 40 female seniors and more than 100 senior men. Absolute national gold went to Patrick Kipngeno and Francisca Kanda, who earned the right to represent their country at the upcoming WMRA World Cup, where compatriot Lucy Murugi has already added two titles in 2017 and 2019.

Lucy Murigi y Kilian Jornet, winners at Sierre Zinal 2018.
Photo: Philipp Reiter

KENYA MOUNTAIN RACES: NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP
CLASSIC MOUNTAIN (10K/+930M)

The Kenyan National Championship course has followed the usual rules of WMRA’s Classic Mountain Race mode. These are the only champions and world cups where the Kenyan elite have been competing successfully for years. In this discipline, Kenya has already achieved several world golds, the most recent being Lucy Murigi’s women’s double in 2017-2018 or Geoffrey Nikuni’s 2018 WMRA World Cup victory.

ALTITUDE (10K/D+930) Target at 2,700m altitude. Thus, the Mountain Running National Championship in Kenya consisted of a runway start to open the platoon, followed by a hard 930m climb topped off with a final descent of 330 m. The grueling race, organized at the foot of the mountain. Longonot, started at Cornerstone Preparatory Academy along the Mai Mahiu-Naivasha road and culminated in Kenton, at 2685 m above sea level. The finish line was located at almost 2,700m altitude.

Departure National Mountain Running Championship 2020.
Photo by erik barasa, The Star.

CHRONIC MALE, FEMALE AND JUNIOR SENIOR RACES.
As reported by the local newspapper The Star, Kipngeno and Kanda dominated the spectacular national mountain racing championship in Naivasha. Let’s go with the details of the race.

In the 10 km men’s race, Kipngeno crossed the finish line in 50:37.5 ahead of Titus Kimutai by Elgeyo Marakwet and Michael Kamau of Nyandarua, who recorded 51:09.0 and 51:43.8 respectively. The Bomet native has now set his sights on representing the country at the next WMRA Mountain Races World Championships in 2021, following the cancellation of the one planned for this 2020 in Lanzarote.

Kipngeno stated in goal: “I thank God for this victory because I could not have done it alone. I’ve run some marathons but this was a new and tougher experience,” said Kipngeno, who first competed in a mountain race. I’ll wait to see what Kenyan Athletics has in store for the competition. If you want to send representatives to global events, I’ll introduce myself”

Kimutai, second-placed, was also delighted with his end. “I’ve never expected to achieve this result, so it’s all thank God. The experience will help me prepare for upcoming cross-country races.

On the bitter side, Emmanuel Bor, winner of the February mountain race in Meru, finished in a disappointing fifth place, with 52:12.1: “The terrain here is harder than Meru’s, especially the last kilometer, which was very vertical. The weather was hot unlike Meru, which was cool»

In the 8 km senior women’s category, Kanda, by Elgeyo Marakwet, took the honors in 48:11.5 ahead of fellow County fellow Beatrice Cheserek and Judith Korir. Cheserek recorded 48: 41.0 while Korir returned 49: 20.6.
Emmanuel Maru de Iten won the 8km junior men’s race ahead of Matthew Rutto of Nakuru and Henry Mwangi of Nyandarua in respective times of 37: 19.2, 38:13.3 and 39:01.8.

KENYA MOUNTAIN RACES: BIG CASH PRIZES. (500,000 KES)

Kenyan Athletics’ organization is betting on mountain racing as a key modality for the future. Therefore, the Kenyan athletics federation offered a prize pool of 500,000 shillings for this 2020 Kenyan National Mountain Racing Championship. In Euros, it is a total bag of about 3,820 euros, although obviously the standard of living in Europe is very different from Kenyan, so the actual value of the prize is much higher compared to the cost of living in Kenya.

Athletics Kenya Mountain Running coordinator Peter Angweny confirmed that the money would reward both the men’s 10K race, the women’s 8K and the men’s junior 8K. The prize pool will be divided into 50,000, 25,000 and 20,000 shillings, respectively, for the first, second and third place in the men’s career. Women will be divided into 30,000, 24,000 and 19,000 from first to third. While juveniles will go to 20,000, 15,000 and 10,000, respectively.

MOUNTAIN RUNNING KENYA NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP
PASSPORT TO THE WMRA WORLD CUP

The dream of the 300 athletes competing in the national championships can represent their country at the Mountain Running World Championships. The 2020 edition was cancelled due to the coronavirus pandemic, but was scheduled for November 13 and 14 in Haría, Lanzarote, Spain.

The most recent classic winners in 2019 were Americans Joseph Gray and Grayson Murphy, while the Long Mountain Race went to compatriot Jim Walmsley and Romanian Live Legends of these World Cups are Jonathan Wyatt of New Zealand who won it six times, as did Andrea Mayr of Austria.
Although the 2021 WMRA World Cup is not yet set, last week the WMRA World Cup Calendar was published, which for the first time will pass through Spain. We will have four races in our country, divided between Zumaia and Canfranc, where we can watch African cracks such as the Eritrean Petro Mamu, Abraham Filimon or Lucy Murigi compete, among other Africans already engaged in world podiums of mountain races.


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Read the original article in Spanish HERE
Posted by Héctor Rubio for Trailrunningspain