Kenyans impress in SA ultra-marathon race

Ultra marathoners Shadrack Kiptoo and Lilian Chemweno from Kapsait

Shadrack Kiptoo (left) and Lilian Chemweno, from Kapsait Nike Athletics Camp in Elgeyo Marakwet County, when Nation Sport caught up with them in Eldoret town on May 19, 2021, before heading to Nairobi and then proceed to Johannesburg, South Africa for the 50km Ultra-Marathon race slated for May 22, 2021.


Photo credit: Jared Nyataya | Nation Media Group

What you need to know:

  • Kapsait-based Chemweno second, team mate Kiptoo fourth in 50km marathon in Port Elizabeth.
  • South Africa’s Van Zyl set new world record of 3:04:23.

Kenya’s Lilian Chemweno finished second in the Nedbank Runified: Breaking Barriers ultra-marathon 50 kilometres race in Port Elizabeth, South Africa Sunday.

Chemweno, who trains at Nike Kapsait Athletics Training Camp, clocked 3 hours 05 minutes.

South Africa’s Irvete Van Zyl won the gruelling race in a world record time of 3:04:23 after slashing off three minutes of the previous record held by Aly Dixon from Britain. 

Chemweno said that she was happy to have been part of the historic moment when the new record was set. 

"I'm delighted to have finished second and be part of the history-making. This is my first ultra-marathon race and I'm impressed by the results," said Chemweno. 

She attributed her results to good team work back in Kapsait, Elgeyo Marakwet County, where she camped with other marathoners, including women’s marathon world record holder Brigid Kosgei. 

"We usually motivated one another and I'm happy the preparations we did in the last three months have borne fruits in the end. It was tough, but I was going for the prize,” she said. 

Her training mate, Shadrack Kiptoo, emerged fourth, missing the podium position narrowly in a race won by Ethiopia's Ketama Negasa who broke the world record time after clocking 2:42:07.

South Africans Johnas Makhele and Ntsindiso Mphakathi were second and third positions respectively. 

The race, according to Kiptoo, was tight and he is happy he managed to finish fourth after a spirited fight. 

"It was a tight race but I had done good preparations and I'm happy I managed to run my personal best time in the distance because this was my first race. 

"Having achieved this after a long break due to the coronavirus pandemic is something that makes me smile and keeps me motivated," said Kiptoo. 

Both athletes who have been sharpening their skills in Kapsait join the growing list of ultra-marathon athletes who are participating in the 50km, 90km and 100km races.

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