Chepng'etich wins maiden national cross country title

Ruth Chepng'etich

Ruth Chepng'etich crosses the finishing line to win the senior women's 10km race during the Lotto National Cross Country Championships at the Kenya Prisons Staff Training College, Ruiru, Kiambu on January 21, 2023. 

Photo credit: Sila Kiplagat | Nation Media Group

What you need to know:

  • Chepng'etich, the 2019 world marathon champion, sealed her maiden National Cross Country title when she swept the course from gun-to-tape, winning in 32 minutes and 56.4 seconds at the Kenya Prisons Staff Training College, Ruiru, Kiambu on Saturday
  • Chepng'etich edged out Sheila Chepkirui from Kenya Defence Forces (KDF) to second place by three seconds as 2021 World Under-20 3,000m champion, Zenah Jemutai from North Rift clocked 33:06.5 for third place
  • Dorcas Cherop from Nairobi settled fifth in 33:09.3 with compatriot Africa 10,000m champion Caroline Nyaga clocking 33:10.8 for sixth in the World Cross Country Bronze Tour race

Kenya Prisons champion Ruth Chepng'etich is the new Lotto National Cross Country Championships women's champion. 

Chepng'etich, the 2019 world marathon champion, sealed her maiden National Cross Country title when she swept the course from gun-to-tape, winning in 32 minutes and 56.4 seconds at the Kenya Prisons Staff Training College, Ruiru, Kiambu on Saturday. 

Chepng'etich edged out Sheila Chepkirui from Kenya Defence Forces (KDF) to second place by three seconds as 2021 World Under-20 3,000m champion, Zenah Jemutai from North Rift clocked 33:06.5 for third place.

The 2018 champion Stacy Ndiwa from from Police finished fourth in 33:06.9. 

Dorcas Cherop from Nairobi settled fifth in 33:09.3 with compatriot Africa 10,000m champion Caroline Nyaga clocking 33:10.8 for sixth in the World Cross Country Bronze Tour race.

"It's such a great morning. I have many times tried to win this but in vain. I once finished third but I am glad to finally lift this title," said Chepng'etich, who won the Kenya Prisons title a month ago at the same course.

Chepng'etich said she has been using the cross country races to sharpen her speed ahead of the road running season where she intends to defend her Nagoya Women's Marathon title on March 12, this year in Japan. 

Chepng'etich won Nagoya Marathon in a course record time of two hours, 17 minutes and 18 seconds on March 13 last year before going on to crack the second fastest time ever in women's marathon when winning the Chicago Marathon in 2:14:28, missing the World record by four seconds on October 9.

She had missed to defend her World title on July 18 in Oregon, United States after she developed stomach problems. 

Chepkirui, who was fresh from finishing second at the KDF Cross Country Championships two weeks ago said she was also using the cross country races to prepare for her second marathon appearance in Boston on April 17 this year.

Chepkirui claimed bronze in her marathon debut in Valencia on December 4 last year. 

Selected results 

1.Ruth Chepng'etich (Prisons) 32:56.4,

2.Sheila Chepkirui (KDF) 32:59.1,

3.Zenah Jemutai (North Rift) 33:06.5,

4.Stacy Ndiwa (Police) 33:06.9,

5.Dorcas Cherop (Nairobi) 33:09.3,

6.Caroline Nyaga (Police) 33:10.8.

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