World 1500m champion Elijah Manangoi will kick off his season at the first Athletics Kenya Cross Country meeting to be held on Saturday (4) at the Posta Grounds, Ngong Road in Nairobi.
This will be Manangoi’s first race since he won the world title and will compete against his training partner World silver medallist Timothy Cheruiyot both from the aclaimed Rongai Athletics Club (RAC).
Also on the start line up is the 2012 Olympic steeplechase bronze medallist Abel Mutai, who is making a comeback to distance running and John Chepkwony in the men’s 10-kilometre race.
In the senior women 10km will be led by the 2010 World Half Marathon Championships bronze medallist, Peninah Arusei, World Youth 800m silver medalist, Winny Chebet.
Sandra Phylis Chebet who is fresh from winning the Ndalat Gaa cross Country Championship will also be battling for honors as she tries to unseat Arusei and Chebet.
The event, will feature five events including 10km both for senior men and women,8km for boys and 6km for girls and mixed relays.
The Nairobi AK Chairman, Barnabas Korir, said preparations for the event are on going.
“We are taking the meeting seriously. We want to take a lion share in coming series and our focus will be on Africa Cross Country Championships.
The top six finishers in each of the four races will be rewarded with prize money with winners in the senior ranks walking away with Sh10,000 each. Junior race winners will win Sh8,000 while top relay team will pocket Sh20,000.
After the Nairobi edition the meeting will head to Sotik, Nyandarua and Iten before paving way for the affiliate that comprises of Kenya Defense, Kenya Police, Kenya Prisons, Kenya Universities and Regional Series in January and will culminate in the National Cross Country Championships that will be held on February 10 at Uhuru Gardens, where the national team will be picked.