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Ex-Paris Half Marathon Champion tops in Embu

Embu Athletes chairman Stephen Njeru (left) congratulates former Paris Half Marathon champion Morris Munene (centre) and Kenya’s police’s Caroline Nyaguthii after they won the inaugural University of Embu road race on October 14, 2018/NATION

 

Former Paris Half marathon champion Morris Munene won the inaugural University of Embu Road Race aimed to raise a Sh100 million endowment.

The 14-kilometre race was held in Embu on Sunday, October 14.

The former champion of Lisbon Half Marathon race who also won 2018 Cape Town Half Marathon title conquered the rugged terrain to finish in 45.04 minutes.

He ran neck-to-neck with Stephen Nkaiwuntei and Timothy Kinoti, before breaking away in the last two kilometers to go for victory.

On the other hand, Caroline Nyaguthii, who represented the National Police Service in the East Africa competition in Tanzania, easily defeated her challengers, finishing the race in 53.22 minutes.

Her closest competitor, Eunice Muchiri finished in 58.17 minutes while University of Embu student, Sheila Chepkoririr was a distant third on 1.24.17.

An elated Munene said he was happy with the performance, saying he wanted to gauge his speed as he seeks to transition from half to full marathon.

“I am glad to have won in a good time since it is only two weeks ago that I was in Gabon for the 10 kilometre race where I finished fourth despite being in poor shape and running on a punishing course,” Munene said.

“The race was quite competitive since most of the participants are people I train with. We were afraid of each other since we know each other well. I have gauged my speed and I am happy,” Munene, flanked by coach Bruce Lati, added.

Nyaguthii said she was using the race to stay in shape in readiness for the new season as she plans to contest for a place in Kenya’s cross country team.

University of Embu Vice Chancellor Daniel Mugendi flagged off the more than 1,000 runners, mainly consisting of students, staff and their families.

He said the fund would help needy students go through their studies with less difficulty, adding that it would pool resources to help improve the university’s facilities.

The winners were awarded trophies and cash awards.