- Kigen was competing for the first time
- Chirchir won the half marathon title last season
- There were 73 elite athletes who registered for the marathon
Alphonce Kigen and Evaline Chirchir were crowned champions of the 2023 Stanchart Nairobi Marathon after clinching the titles in scorching morning weather in the capital.
Kigen put up a thrilling performance to clinch the title in a time of two hours, 10 minutes and 18 seconds, edging out Moses Mwangi in a well calculated sprint finish. The latter timed two hours, 10 minutes and 26 seconds to come home second while Patrick Kipchirchir wound up the podium, timing two hours 11 minites and 59 seconds.
“For me, running here today was not about winning. It was simply about trying my best. I ran in the Nairobi Classic Marathon this year and I did not perform because I had not prepared well. So, today is a much better outcome and I am very happy about it,” Kigen said after his victory.
Mwangi, the second pkace finisher also delighted in his performance, despite missing out on the title.
“It wasn’t as easy as it seemed but I tried my best. There were some hilly sections and that’s what gave me the toughest test. I guess it is at the 40km mark that the race was won,” Mwangi said.
Meanwhile, Chirchir won the women’s title in two hours, 24 minutes and 31 seconds ahead of Martha Simiyu (2:26:45) and Aurelia Jerotich (2:26:49).
Chirchir maintained her winning run in double the distance, having claimed victory in the half marathon last year.
First ever full marathon
“I am very happy considering this was my first ever full marathon. It is a result that motivates me a lot as I plan to transition fully to road races. My ultimate dream is to compete at the London and Berlin marathons and to win,” she said after the race.
At the same time, Justus Kiprop won the half marathon title after running in an hour, two minutes and 39 seconds ahead of Jackson Kipleting who finished four seconds behind while Asbel Kiplimo was third in an hour, three minutes and two seconds.
Jacqueline Chelal won the corresponding women’s race in an hour, 11 minutes and 18 seconds while Edith Chepchumba was second in an hour, 18 minutes and 56 seconds.
Nancy Jepleting closed off the podium finishing third for bronze in an hour, 12 minutes and 18 seconds, exactly a minute behind the winner.
Over 73 elite athletes, 200 Persons with Disabilities (PWDs) and over 20,000 recreational runners participated in the marathon.
The start and finishing points were at Uhuru Gardens, Langata Road. Runners used the scenic route on the Southern bypass for the physical marathon thus experiencing a great view of the Nairobi National Park.
The marathon featured six race categories: 42km men and women, 21km men and women, 10km men and women, 21km wheelchair men and women, 5km Family Fun Run race and the Corporate Relay Challenge.
Marathon a great success
Speaking at the conclusion of the marathon, Local Organizing Committee chair Peter Gitau said he was delighted with the success of the marathon.
“This year marks a significant milestone as we celebrate the 20th anniversary of this incredible marathon. Over the past two decades, we have witnessed an amazing journey of growth, and I am honoured to be a part of this celebration,” he said.
Sponsors Standard Chartered partnered with Anti-Doping Agency of Kenya (ADAK) to ensure theresults were credible. Additionally, every participant received a tree seedling to plant at a place of their choice through the marathon’s ‘one tree per runner’ initiative. All proceeds will be channeled towards the bank’s Futuremakers initiative where the bank is working with disadvantaged young people – especially girls and persons with disabilities to gain new skills and expertise to improve their chances of getting a job or starting their own business.