KENYAN runners turned the 2014 Kilimanjaro Marathon into one of their own training drills by sweeping both the men's and women's full-distance races.
Race hosts Tanzania managed a top prize in women's half marathon as Jackline Cynthia grabbed top prize.
The rest of the top ten pack consisted of eight Kenyans and one Ethiopian.
Cynthia, a Tanzania People's Defence Forces (TPDF) employee, took 2m/- in the event that also drew runners from Austria, Australia, Belgium, Britain, Canada, Germany, the Netherlands, South Africa, Sweden, the United States, Zambia and Zimbabwe.
In the men's 42.195-kilometre race, it was an all Kenyan affair as David Ruto, Julias Kilimo and Victor Serem chalked up a one-two-three finish for the east African nation.
Ruto clocked two hours 16 minutes 04 seconds to win the 4m/- top prize but he failed to beat the course record as much anticipated, following a change of routes which looks to be an improvement on the previous ones.
Kilimo and Serem clocked 2:16:17 and 2:16:32 to pocket 2m/- and 1m/- respectively. "The race was tight but I'm glad that a pack of three Kenyans managed the top three slots.
I tried to push hard for the best time and I'm delighted with what I've achieved," Ruto said. He congratulated race organisers, saying: "They have always given Kenyan runners opportunity to compete in the marathon and we've always been loyal to this race.
This was the second time for Ruto to compete in the Kilimanjaro Marathon, the first was last year when he finished fourth. Kilimo said: "I'm happy to finish second in this well organized race.
It was my first time to compete here and I really enjoyed the tight competition, especially against the local runners."
In the women category, Kenya's Frida Lodepa won with a clocking of two hours 40 minutes 11 seconds while the silver and bronze medals went to fellow Kenyans Joah Rutich (2:40.46) and Jackline Kithia.
It was also all Kenyans in the half marathon men in which Nadat Alfas and Silas Kipkembaii finished in the top two positions.
Executive Solutions are local coordinators of the Kilimanjaro Marathon 2014 in conjunction with Athletics Tanzania (AT), Kilimanjaro Athletics Association and Kilimanjaro Marathon Club.
The race is sponsored by Kilimanjaro Premium Lager, Vodacom Tanzania, GAPCO, Simba Cement and KK Security among others, Keys Hotel, TPC Sugar, TanzaniteOne, CMC Automobiles Ltd, RwandAir, FNB Tanzania, UNFPA and Kilimanjaro Water.
Last year, Kenyan Kipsong Kipkemoi won the full marathon (men) clocking 2:14.56. He took home 3m/- while his countrymen Julius Kilimo (2:15.44) and Dominick Kangor (2:16.25) came second and third respectively.
Another Kenyan Onesmo Maituye settled for the fourth place in a time of 2:16.36 and the only Tanzanian in the top 10, Lioshiye Moiken finished fifth after clocking 2:17.50.
In the women's category Edna Joseph won the race after clocking 2:39.05. Coming second was Eunice Muchiri who clocked (2:41.00) while Fridah Too was third in a time of 2:44.04.