IT will be a battle of might amongst athletes as North Rift holds its provincial cross country championships at the Mosoriot Teachers College today.
And with the region harbouring most of the country's top athletes, riveting action is expected due to the limited slots allocated for national trials. The athletes will come from Turkana, Uasin Gishu, Elgeyo Marakwet, Trans Nzoia, Baringo, Pokot counties and the hosts Nandi.
Nandi, the region that boards most of the world junior international runners will field world junior 3000m Steeplechase champion Consensus Kipruto in the 8km junior men, Wilson Cheruiyot and Willy Ng'elel.
AK/KCB cross country series jackpot winner Agnes Chebet lines up for the 6km junior women's race with Ruth Chebet and Margaret Chelimo.
Nelly Cheptoo, Violah Cheptum and Nancy Cheptoo headline the senior women's field while Titus Tanui, Felix Kipchirchir and Ezekiel Tanui are in the 12km race.
From Uasin Gushu representing Wareng district will be Nelphat Sirma, Simion Kiplagat and John Koech in the 12km. Sophy Jepchicrchir, Sammary Jerotich and Veronica Jepkosgei will be seeking honours in the 8km women.
Silas Keitany, Stanley Kipkirui and Timothy Yator top the 8km junior men's field while Brenda Kibet, Sharon Kosgei and Valentine Serum are in the 6km junior women's category.
Elgeyo Markwet has Emmanuel Kipsang, Wilfred Kimitei and John Kemboi in the 12km men as Irene Jebet, Rispar Kimaiyo and Ruth Matebo line up for the 8km senior women.
Gloria Kite, Jeptoo Kiprop and Jackline Jepkirui qualified for the 6km women while Peter Emase and Cedic Cheruiyot will brave it out in the 8km junior men's division.
Attraction at the championships will also be the overseas athletes who, traditionally, have been gracing local meetings in the region. They have been pulling in the crowds as well as giving the competition an international image.
Brothers Jake Robertson and Zane Robertson from New Zealand will be leading the overseas athletes.
"Our local races have gained an international image due to the presence of overseas athletes. This, apart from top athletes, has been attracting the crowds," David Letting AK Rift Valley branch secretary general said. The championships will be used to select its team for the IAAF Permit-cum national trials set for February 16 at Uhuru Gardens.