Reims Half Marathon champion Philemon Yator defied stiff competition to win the IEBC 10km race yesterday in Eldoret.
Yator, took the honours in 31:18.1 minutes while Weldon Maritim checked in second in 31.18.3. Edwin Kimaiyo clocked 31.27.3 to place third with David Kosgei fourth in 31.25.3. Richard Kiprop (31.27.3) and Joseph Aberumoi (31.29.2) closed the top six places.
The race, flagged off by the IEBC chairman Isaack Hassan at Kapseret Centre, started on a high pace as 20 runners shook off the competition just 3km into the race.
It did not take long before the top six athletes broke away from the leading pack barely 4km into the race. They went on to cross the 5km mark in 15.03 minutes.
With two kilometres to go, Maritim and Yator too charge with the former taking command to win the race. While the IEBC was using the race to mobilise people to register as voters, Yator, a cross country runner, said it was part of his preparations for next year's World Cross Country Championships in Poland.
"The race was very tough since we had strong guys in the top ten but I had to use my experience to beat them. I am happy that I won it. This was part of my build-up for the word cross," he said. Yator, who trains at Kacherop in Marakwet, said his target is to finish on the podium in Poland.
"Last year in Spain, I ran men's 8km junior race at the world cross and I did not make the podium. I have since graduated to senior ranks and I hope to make a mark this time round," he added.
Basking in a glory of 61.36 minutes personal best in half marathon, said he also hopes to run under 60 minutes in the 21-km road race next year.
In the women's category, little known Pascaliah Jepkorir won the race in 35.15.8 and was followed in second place by Eunice Chumba, who posted 36.02.. Emily Biwott finished third in 36:34.9. Lilian Chelagat (36.40.9), Joan Jelimo (36.53.3) and Nancy Jemutai (36.57.6) followed in that order.