Organisers make changes to Agnes Tirop race course

Charles Rotich wins the Athletics Kenya/Lotto National Cross Country Championships

Charles Rotich wins the Athletics Kenya/Lotto National Cross Country Championships Under-18 boys 6 kilometres race held at Lobo Village in Eldoret, Uasin Gishu County on January 22, 2022. 

Photo credit: Jared Nyataya | Nation Media Group

What you need to know:

  • The Lobo event is named in memory of the 2015 World Cross Country champion Agnes Tirop.
  • Tirop's estranged partner is being held in connection with the murder.

Changes have been made to the course that will stage the Agnes Tirop Memorial World Cross Country Tour on Saturday at the Lobo Village in Kapseret, Uasin Gishu.

That course that is situated 9.6m south of Eldoret town, hosted the Lotto/Athletics Kenya National Cross Country Championships on January 22, this year, an event that was used as a dry run ahead of the world tour. 

Race director Barnaba Korir announced Monday in one of the changes that have been effected to make the event interesting, the athletes will now battle through a dome that will be constructed at the end of the first lop of 2.5km.

Further, Korir said that they will elongate the second uphill on the course to make it more competitive, while the mud challenge on the course won’t be watered after every race unlike during the national event.

“The dome will have seats where fans will be able to watch action,” said Korir.

“We thought it wise not to water the mud challenge as the soggy splash impaired visibility hence dangerous to athletes.”

Korir explained that the finishing area has been made media friendly with a press centre and mixed zone where the press will be able to interview athletes and take photos easily.

“Managers, coaches and fans will not be allowed at the mixed zone,” said Kori, adding that preparations for the one-day event are complete with all the foreign entrants expected in the country by Wednesday.

“This is a world event and we must at all costs conform to World Athletics requirements less we cork up,” said Korir, explaining that there will be a media session with selected elite athletes on Friday at 10am at Boma Hotel, Eldoret.

Korir disclosed that there will be musical and traditional dance performances in between the eight races on card including the main men and women’s 10km races.

The girls' 1km race will open the day at 10am followed by boys' 1km race at 10.40am before entertainment.

Girls' Under-18 5km and Boys' Under-18 km races will go down at 11.30am and 12.10pm respectively before paving way for another entertainment. 

The women's Under-20 6km and men's Under-20 8km races go down at 1pm and 1.40-pm respectively before the official opening ceremony and cross country legends match.

The women's 10km race will start at 3pm with the men's 10km battle closing the event at 3.40pm.

Last year, World Athletics introduced the World Cross Country Tour that has Gold, Silver and Bronze categories comprising 20 events including Memorial Agnes Tirop Classic World Cross Country Gold Tour. 

The Lobo event is named in memory of the 2015 World Cross Country champion Agnes Tirop.

She was found murdered at her home in Iten, Elgeyo-Marakwet County, on October 13, 2021.Tirop's estranged partner, Ibrahim Rotich, is being held in connection with the murder.

Athletics Kenya Central Rift chairman Abraham Mutai said that they expect huge crowds to attend the event.

“We are running in honour of an athlete who died when her career had just picked up and we want to sensitize the public on the need to end gender based violence because Tirop died due to that and we hope the race will help end this menace,” said Mutai.

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