9 May 2010

Kenya: Novice Sets Record Time in Mombasa Marathon

Nairobi — James Kariuki Mbugua of Limuru Athletics Club clocked two hours eight minutes five seconds to set a new Mombasa International Marathon record.

He broke the old record time of 2:14.21 set by Julius Kipkemboi of Rift Valley last year.

Tabitha Kibet from Naiberi, Eldoret, took the women's title when she finished 2:36.4 in the race that started and ended at Town Hall, Mombasa.

A 23-year-old unemployed Mbugua said his victory was a gift from God, saying: "My team mates and I did very well in this event as a result of sponsorship from a Limuru businessman, Engineer Kiragu."

A good day

"It was really a good day for I heard that Mombasa is very hot but today (Sunday) it is cool and I managed to maintain my pace from the start to finish," said Mbugua, who said it was his first time to take part in a marathon.

The winner and some of participants interviewed said the cool weather condition favoured them to set better personal times.

Mbugua ran together with over 10 opponents from five kilometre mark until the 32km point when he burst past them and was never challenged to establish the new record time.

His colleague, Robert Matu Mwangi (2:09.2), and individual entrant Jacob Kendagor (2:09.5) also bettered records.

Tabitha, 26, who finished second in Endofen (the Netherlands) and fourth at Dusseldorf (Germany) marathon races said she was happy to have improved her time.

She was followed closely by Iten's Maxmila Koros (2:36.5) and Hellen Mugo (2:39.0) of Limuru.

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