Kenya: Aiyabei Sets Sights On Major Marathon

Valary Aiyabei is eyeing success at a major city marathon after her exploits in winning the Eldoret City Marathon this past weekend in the North Rift county of Uasin Gishu where she says competing at home with fans lining up along the course was quite encouraging.

The athlete who trains in Iten, Elgeyo Marakwet County took the lead after the 10km mark and controlled her pace leading all the way to the tape.

She won the race in 2:27:17 beating Vivian Kiplagat who clocked 2:28:06, while Elizabeth Lumokol was third in 2:33:00.

Aiyabei said that the race was part of her training after coming third in the Nagoya women's marathon last month.

"The season has come to an end and I came to participate in the race as part of training. I'm happy I was able to win the race because the course to me was good and that is why I managed to do well," said Aiyabei.

She will be continuing her vigorous training a few weeks from now for the next season as she sets her sights on one of the major marathons starting September.

"I will be consulting my management so that I can be able to know which race I will be competing but my target is to run in one of the major marathons in the next season," said the athlete who was fifth at February's Ras Al Khaimah half marathon.

"Winning at home where many of those who lined up along the streets of Eldoret knew me and were calling out my name was something nice. It gave me more energy to go for the prize and I'm happy as I look forward to race again next year," said Aiyabei.

Kiplagat who took the second position also lined up for the race as part of her training after winning the Milan Marathon two weeks ago.

"I told my coach that I wanted to participate in the race as part of my long-run training and he agreed. I didn't have any plans to finish the race because I was still tired after winning Milan Marathon.

My body responded well and I decided to finish the race," said Kiplagat.

The athlete, who trains with Chicago Marathon champion Brigid Kosgei said that the champion motivates her so much and that is why she has been doing well.

"Training with Kosgei motivates me so much and that is why I'm doing well in various races I have participated. I want to wish her the very best as she competes in London Marathon on Sunday," she added.

The winners of the race took home Sh3.5 million with the runners-up receiving Sh1.5 million as third took home one million . The top twenty athletes were rewarded with the 20th taking home Sh10, 000.

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