World Under-20 10,000m champion Rhonex Kipruto, the man to watch in the next years and Sandrafelis Chebet on Saturday defended their titles in the 10km and 8km races respectively during the 10th edition of Isaiah Kiplagat Foundation Ndalat Gaa Cross Country in Nandi County, Kenya.
After persevering the scorching sun and an immensely competitive field to win Kipruto ran from the front before increasing the pace in a tight race that saw over 300 men fight for a place in the top 10.
“I took a break and I have been at home where I normally train with my younger brother and I decided to come and shed off some weight. I encouraged my brother to run today since he is faster than me and I’m happy he won the junior category,” said Kipruto.
Kipruto clocked 30:52.4 ahead of Abraham Kiptum (31:23.8) while Julius Taki was third in 31:29.6.
Kiptum, the Daegu Marathon champion, said that he was using the race to as part of his build up as he prepares to defend his Lagos Marathon title for the third time.
“It was a tough race for me but I had prepared well,” said Kiptum.
In the ladies’ category, Chebet ran a brilliant race where she stayed behind the newly crowned Chemususu Half Marathon champion Delvin Meringor before outpacing her in the final race to win in 27:53.8.
Meringor clocked 28:05.0 while Norah Jeruto @norahjeruto , a 3,000 steeplechase specialist, finished third in 28:16.2.
“It was a tough race for me but I had done enough training back in Londiani. I’m happy I defended my title and I will be looking forward to getting a slot in Team Kenya for the World Cross Country Championships,” said Chebet.