What you need to know:
- 45 counties in the country will hold Athletics Kenya meets this weekend ahead of the enticing regionals.
- Competitive Kenya Prisons X-country will be held tomorrow in Ruiru.
This weekend will truly be a cross country one with dozens of races programmed ahead of the tough regionals that will be staged two weeks later.
Athletics Kenya will hold county championship races in 46 of the 47 counties of Kenya. Forty-five meets are on this weekend.
And Kenya Prisons will stage their cross country meet Saturday at the staff college in Ruiru.
The country races follow the three AK cross country series races held in Machakos, Mosoriot and Olkalau.
Nairobi which has been categorised as a region will hold their race on January 29, the same day Kenya Defence Forces and Kenya Police Service will be picking their team for the national championships.
The nationals will be used to select Kenya’s team for the Africa Cross Country Championships that will be held in Lome, Togo on March 6.
Odds on favourite
It goes without saying that the team picked will be odds on favourite to lift the African crown.
Baringo County cross country will be held at Metipso Primary School where World Under-18 800m silver medallist Lydia Jeruto will test her endurance in the senior women’s 10km. Her training mate Qualyne Kiprop is another figure to watch.
“It has been a long break but I’m happy because I have been training and as racing resume, we are going to compete to see how our bodies react move on from there” said Jeruto.
Notable athletes expected to feature in the junior race includes 3,000m Africa Under-18 champion Emmanuel Kiplagat, Gideon Rono and a Standard Eight pupil Ishmael Kirui.
Baringo AK chairman Barnabas Kitilit told Nation Sport that preparations were complete and they were just waiting for the athletes to hit the ground.
“We expect a good number of athletes eager to get their season going. It will be exciting to see who makes our team for the Regionals,” said Kitilit.
The Elgeyo Marakwet County event shall be held in Chepkorio.
Said North Rift AK Public Relations Officer Borniface Tiren: “Many athletes will be looking forward to the event which is a start of many races that they expect to participate in this year after missing two seasons last year.”
However, Nandi County cross country will be held next weekend. Central Rift AK secretary Kennedy Tanui said the meet had been pushed back a week because of the Kenya National Union of Teachers (KNUT) elections.
“KNUT is holding it’s elections and most teachers who would otherwise be accompanying their athletes to the cross country event, will be involved” said Tanui.
He also revealed that the regional team will be selected at the annual Discovery Cross Country on January 31 in Eldoret.
“Since Discovery Cross Country Championships will be held end of the month, we saw it wise to use the race to select a team that will represent Central Rift in the national championships,” said Tanui.
Uasin Gishu cross country race will be held at Huruma grounds, a popularly location for cross country events.