Africa Under 20 Ace Chebet, Titleholder Kipkoech Headline Baringo Half

Nov 01 - by SPN Correspondent for sportpesa news

Countdown to the start of the IAAF World Cross Permit tolls with star-studded Atapuerca kicking off the show in 10 days

Sandrafelis Chebet Tuwei competes at the 2017 Athletics Kenya National Championships. PHOTO/File

  • Kipkoech who held on to his 2016 half marathon crown during last year’s running of the same event in 1:07:47 will however, step down the distance to the 10K
  • The corresponding women’s race sees Chebet- who scooped two silvers at the Algiers 2017 Africa Under 20s in the 3000m and 5000m- put her Baringo crown on the line in the event 
  • The Atapuerca race, held near the Spanish city of Burgos, has served as the curtain raiser for the series several times in recent years

NAIROBI, Kenya- Two-time Under 20 African silver winner, Sandrafelis Chebet and champion Isaac Kipkoech will be the leading lights at the 2018 Lotto Foundation Baringo Road Race on Sunday at the Kabarnet Museum Grounds.

Kipkoech who held on to his 2016 half marathon crown during last year’s running of the same event in 1:07:47 will however, step down the distance to the 10K race where he is hoping to ascend to the middle step of the podium for the third time in succession.

The Baringo star brings a lifetime best of 27:25 in 10K posted at the Safaricom Madoka Half last month.

The corresponding women’s race sees Chebet- who scooped two silvers at the Algiers 2017 Africa Under 20s in the 3000m and 5000m- put her Baringo crown on the line in the event whose Patron is the National Olympics Committee-Kenya president and retired distance running great, Paul Tergat.

Chebet has a personal best of 30:57 posted in Valencia, Spain and will be athlete to beat in her race.

Other events on the roster include 6K and 4K runs for amateurs as the Baringo Road Race aims at unearthing fresh talent.

Three-time TCS New York Marathon champion, Mary Keitany and Glasgow 2014

Commonwealth Games 10000m gold medallist, Joyce Chepkirui are star names that got their first exposure at the event. Winners in both the men and women top races will each bag KSh100,000.

Cross Permit

At the same time, the 2018/19IAAF Permit Cross Country Series kicks off in 10 days time on Sunday, November 11.

The Atapuerca race, held near the Spanish city of Burgos, has served as the curtain raiser for the series several times in recent years.

To mark its 15th running, the winners of nine of the last ten men's races will be on the start line next weekend, including Imane Merga of Ethiopia, the winner of five straight editions from 2011-15.

Others who’ll make up the impressive gathering include Spain's Alemayehu Bezabeh, the 2008 winner; 2010 champion Teklemariam Medhin of Ethiopia, who took world cross country silver earlier that year behind surprise winner Joseph Ebuya but defeated the Kenyan in Burgos.

The 2016 winner Aweke Ayalew of Bahrain; and defending champion Getaneh Molla of Ethiopia. Only Gebre Gebremariam, the winner in 2009 who retired in 2015, won't be on the start line.

The women's race will also feature recent champions. So far, organisers have attracted Ethiopians Senbere Teferi, the winner in 2016 and 2017, and her compatriot Belaynesh Oljira, the 2014 and 2015 winner, for another return engagement.

During the course of the three months after Atapuerca, many of the world’s finest distance runners will take part in the series that showcases the strength of cross-country running as the IAAF pushes for the discipline to return to the Olympic programme. 

Its appeal was clearly illustrated with its inclusion at the Youth Olympic Games last month.

"It has long been our desire to see cross-country running back in the Olympic Games," IAAF President Sebastian Coe said.

"We see the inclusion of cross-country in the programme for the Youth Olympic Games in Buenos Aires as the first step towards its return to the main programme of the Olympic Games.

"Cross-country is the endurance bedrock on which all middle and long distance running is based and we believe it deserves this recognition."

The permit series takes on added significance this season as it acts as a lead-in to the IAAF/Mikkeller World Cross Country Championships Aarhus 2019 that take place on March 30 in the Danish city.

-Additional reporting by www.iaaf.org