Okpekpe Road Race: Kenya’s Pingua & Kwamboka win 10th edition

Okpekpe Road Race: Kenya’s Pingua & Kwamboka win 10th edition

Kenya’s Edward Pingua was the first athlete to race to the top of the hill in Okpekpe as he claimed the symbolic 10th edition title of the premium international road race on Saturday.

The 22 year-old conquered the challenging & unique undulating race course in a time of 29 minutes and 31 seconds ahead of other runners.

He showed his delight with a shout of victory as the excited crowd cheered while sticking his tongue out before breasting the tape.

His compatriot Isaac Kimpemboi who wasn’t too far away from him became the second runner to emerge from the bowel of the snake-like race course with a time of 29:36 minutes.

2015 winner Kario Alex Olotiptip, another Kenyan would finish third with 29:50 in the acclaimed World Athletics Gold- abel mono-event.

In the women’s category, Gladys Kwamboka confirmed the East-Africans’ prowess in the middle and long distance races as she came first with a time of 33:05 minutes ahead of her compatriots Regina Wambui (33:38) and Sheila Cherotich (34:27) who came second and third respectively.

“I’m happy to have won the race being my first time,” the 28 year-old said moments after completing the race, “I thought the race would be easy but it’s was difficult especially from the 8th kilometre mark where the course was difficult. I tried lowering the 33 minutes time but it was difficult. I thank the organisers for this race” she said.

The top five finishers in both categories got $15,000, $8,000, $5,000, $3,000 and $2,000.

The record course time of 28:48 set by Daniel Ebenyo last year will remain at least for another year as the time with the $2,000 bonus could not be broken at the 10th edition.

Francis James Musa led the Nigerian male category to finish with a time of 30:46 minutes ahead of Bala Musa and the defending champions Ismael Sadjo who recorded 31:05 minutes and 31:15 minutes respectively.

In the women’s category, Patience Mwanvwang claimed top position with a time of 37: 07 minutes while Yilmunen Nicholas and Blessing Solomon came second and third respectively.

Prizes-monies of 500,000, 300,000, 200,000, 120,000 and 80,000 were distributed to the first five finishers in the both categories.

The organisers also carved a category for the Okpekpe indigenes; in the male category, James Raphael, Nasiru Abdullahi, Odamah Innocent came top while Omueyaki Success, 13 year-old Okponobi Monica and Omodu Favour were successful.

Meanwhile, Senator Adams Oshiomole, the former Edo State Governor received a massive roar from the crowd after the 72 year-old completed the race to the surprise of many.

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