Netherlands International Remko Uleerlaag won the first edition of the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) Rift Valley Marathon Experience charity race held on Friday (18) in Iten, Elgeyo Marakwet County.
With 30 Dutch athletes in the special race, raised over kshs 20 million in fundraising drive to help in several schools in Kenya under Unicef programme.
The 2014 Berlin marathon runner Uleelaag ran 3:17.17 in a race that started at Kessup Centre, along the meanders of Iten-Baringo road, going through the hard murram road in the villages before ending at Iten’s monumental “jogoo” area near High Altitude Training Centre.
The 43 year old Uleelang, who was making his maiden visit to Kenya, declared himself Kibet due to his superlative performance.
“I had a great race in a nice environment. It was the best course of my life,” said the 2008 Beijing marathon runner who holds best marathon time of 2:38.20 set in Rotterdam marathon in 2014.
After arriving in the country on Monday, he had to take a rest to get used to the environment before embarking on training that paid off.
“Most of time I run for recreation since I am a Physio-therapist and today’s course was good for recreation. Running in up and down hill and tough terrain course. Remember it was rainy at night but above all, achieving the goal of collect a lot of money to support Kenyan children,” added Uleelaang.
Experienced Uleelaang led the podium with Malko Koers coming in second, half an hour later clocking 3:47.44 as Aiter Heymans completed the podium in 3:56.31.
Race organizer led by former world half marathon champion Lornah Kiplagat and Dutch Unicef, said ten schools have been identified and put under the project to ensure that they get clean water, enhance hygiene
“The money collected in this project will be used by Unicef supply some schools with clean drinking water.
- Remko Uleerlaag (NED) 3:17.17
- Malko Koers (NED) 3:47.44
- Aiter Heymans (NED) 3:56.31