History will repeat itself at the Sunday’s Kass International Marathon as athletes will be competing to win the titles since the defending champions- Albert Korir and Valarie Jemeli- will not be in action to defend their men and women 42km titles.
Korir will be watching from the stands as athletes sap the hilly Kapsabet-Eldoret road in a race that cuts across two running counties of Nandi and Uasin Gishu while Jemeli will be tackling Valencia marathon on the same day. The race will start in Kapsabet, the headquarter of Nandi County and end in Eldoret, the headquarter of Uasin Gishu County.
Same script will be read on Sunday that no athlete has won the title twice comparing that Jemeli and Korir will not be on the start list in the North Rift’s pride race.
Jemeli, immediately after winning the high altitude race her first 42km last year, she was invited to compete at the Barcelona half marathon where she won with ease setting all comers best time 2:25.26 to win her first international marathon that put her on the world map and now she will be competing at Valencia half marathon and said she is going for nothing else apart from winning.
“I am now on top form and I am going for nothing else apart from a win. Due to Valencia marathon, I will not be defending my Kass International marathon set for Sunday but my focus is on winning Valencia,” said Jemeli as she prepared to leave for Spanish City on Wednesday afternoon.
The 25 year old road race specialist said winning Valencia will be of great help in her career as she opts to compete in world marathon majors next year.
“I want to win the Valencia race, improve on my personal best before I set my focus on other activities,” added Jemeli who won inaugural Eldoret Half marathon last March.
At the same time, Korir’s title will be up for grabs as the Iten based runner will be on the very Important person (VIP) since he will not running. This comes in less than a month after he finished third at the
Toronto marathon in Canada timing 2:10.23 that was won by his Kenyan counterpart Philemon Rono who had 2:08.27.
“I know many wanted me to run but i have to recover from running last month’s Toronto marathon. I will be watching as men struggle to win the title,” said Korir.
Kass marathon 42km has never had a two time winner as it enters its 10th year in a row. Agnes jepkosgey tried to win for the second time in 2014 after winning in 2013 but she was stripped off her title after she was found to have used prohibited substances and banned for two years of competition.
She was the most hyped runner for winning the race two times but the stripping means none has claimed the title two times in the ten years history.