Abraham Kiptum will be fighting to defend his title at the 9th edition of the Ndalat Gaa Cross Country that will be held on Saturday (14) in Nandi County.
Kiptum who beat a strong last year as he cut the tape in 30:48.09 beating Josphat Tanui to second in 30:59.4, as Bernard Kipkemoi settled third in 31:05.8.
According to the Local Organising Committee secretary Kennedy Tanui, the race will attract top stars in the region and will act as a launching ground for the cross country season.
Kiptum will be coming to defend his title and we also expect the same to Alice Aprot who was the women champion,”said Tanui.
Athletics Kenya Central Rift chairman Abraham Mutai urged athletes to honour the event ahead of the cross country season.
Olympics and World 3000m steeplechase champion Conseslus Kipruto is eyeing the Isaiah Kiplagat Memorial Ndalat Gaa Cross Country title.
Kipruto made his debut at the Ndalat Gaa Kids cross country in 2010 and was placed in fourth place in the 4km race before running in the 8km competition the following year where he was placed second.
“I want to compete in the race competitively as i prepare for the new season. I dare other competitors to come and take on me,” said Kipruto.
Other athletes who horned their skills through Ndalat Gaa are former World and Olympics women’s marathon silver medalist Prisca Jeptoo who won the first edition before moving on to be a world beater.
Olympic 1500m champion Faith Chepngetich who has won the event six times in a row, World junior bronze medalist Caroline Chepkoech among others were discovered through Ndalat Gaa.
The race attracted over 4000 athletes last year and over 30,000 spectators.
“As we celebrate and commemorate the founder of Ndalat, the late Isaiah Kiplagat, it is good to note that the event will kick start the cross country season and we expect more athletes.