Athletes from Nyandarua dominated the Central Region Cross Country championship held at the Ol Kalou Arboretum on 6th February 2021.
In the senior men’s 10-kilometres race, World Cross Country medalist Bedan Karoki cruised to victory at 29:45:1, followed by Paul Mutero at 29.52.1.
Winner of the January 9 Ol Kalou leg of the three-leg Athletics Kenya Cross Country meeting, Emmanuel Kiprop, who was expected to lead local athletes against Karoki and former Under-17 bronze medalist Stanley Waithaka, stumbled to finish a disappointing fifth at 30.16.1.
A minor tendon injury ruled out Waithaka who, like Karoki, is among Nyandarua’s Japan-based athletes currently at home on holiday.
The aborted clash would have been their first joint meeting at senior level in the same race.
The race’s other major attraction, 72-year old Mzee Gideon Githaiga from Kipipiri Sub-County, won admirers by patiently running to the end.
Central region’s 37 winners, 36 of whom are from Nyandarua, will now head to Ngong Race Course on February 13 for national championships.
Spectators, led by County Executive Committee Member for Youths, Sports Gender and Social Services Hon. Ann-Mary Gathigia, had packed Kenya’s second and largest arboretum.
A unique green space preserved and maintained as an urban forest, the arboretum sits on 79 acres of land.
It provides an ideal space for events of up to 1,000 sitting capacity, picnics, jogging, walking or unwinding.
It is also ideal for sports tourism and nature trailing for fitness enthusiasts.
In a message delivered on his behalf by Hon. Gathigia, His Excellency Governor Francis Kimemia thanked Athletics Kenya for holding the event in Nyandarua and committed to enhance the County’s historic competitive advantages.
In attendance was County Commissioner Mr. Benson Leparmorijo, Kirinyaga County Executive Committee Member for Youth and Sports Hon. Dennis Muchemi, Chief Officer for Youths, Sports, Gender and Social Services Mr. Isaac Waithaka and Athletics Kenya’s Nyandarua Chairperson Mr. Francis Kamau.