Kenya’s women marathon runner and winner of the 21km at the maiden Kaduna Marathon, Caren Maiyo, has praised the government and people of Kaduna State for the success of the race, just as she declared her intention to return to Nigeria next year to defend her title.
Maiyo ran the fastest time of 1:12:43 to win the $10,000 prize money, while Cheptoeck Mwetick placed second in 1:15:26 and Lilian Chemweno settled for the third position in 1:15:32. The second and third place winners got $7,000 and $5,000 respectively.
Kenyan athletes also dominated in top positions in the male categories with John Mburu finishing at a time of 1:04:02, while Phillip Taurus came second in 1:05:78 and Josphat Kiptanui finished third in 1:05:78.
An elated Maiyo declared yesterday before she left for Kenya that her first visit to Nigeria to compete in a marathon gave her a good impression of the country and the people, particularly the organisation of the Kaduna marathon.
The 23-year-old said: “It is my first visit to Nigeria, and I am really impressed with the organization of the Kaduna marathon. I am looking forward to defend my title in the 2021 edition,” she stated.
The first runner up in the women’s 21km event, Cheptoeck Mwetick, said Nigeria has become a hunting ground in her athletics career.
The 27-year-old Mwetick said: “I have taken part in several races here in Nigeria. I participated in the Onitsha marathon, Abeokuta, Abuja, and Lagos Women Run. I was supposed to take part in the Lagos Women’s Run again this year, but the date was moved from November 14 to 21. The new date clashed with this Kaduna marathon, and that was why I couldn’t attend the event in Lagos. Hopefully, by next year, I will be able to attend the two events.”
MEANWHILE, the management of Nilayo Sports Management has praised the government and people of Kaduna for the smooth run of the race. Chief Executive Officer, Bukola Olopade and Chief Operation Officer, Seyi Johnson said at separate interviews yesterday that Governor Nasir El-Rufai and his team did a great job by staging a successful three-in-one marathon race, (the 5km, 10km, and the 21km event) at the same time.
Governor El-Rufai had said that the marathon was hosted to boost tourism in the state, while also promoting friendliness and healthy living among the indigenes.