When will Nigerians step up their acts in the Access Lagos City Marathon with East Africans winning the grand prizes for the fifth year running?
Kenyan Abraham Kiptum, won the maiden race in February 2016, with a time of 2 hours,16 minutes and 20 seconds while Nigerian Philip Sharabutu came 7th overall with a time of 2 hours, 30 minutes and 51 seconds. The fastest woman was Ethiopian Halima Hussein Kayo, who ran a time of 2 hours, 38 minutes and 36 seconds.
In 2017, Kiptum defended his title finishing the race, much faster, with a time of 2 hours 15 minutes 20 seconds. Another Kenyan Rodah Jepkori Tanuyi emerged as the first place winner in the women’s category with a time of 2:37:52, a record then until it was smashed this year.
In 2018, French-Kenyan Abraham Kiprotich came first with a race record of 2:13:04 hours in the men’s category while Ethiopian Alemenesh Herpha Guta came first in the women’s category posting a time of 2:38:25
Last year Ethiopian Sintayehu Legese emerged winner with a time of 2:17:28. Kipkorir Joshua of Kenya came second as he finished with a time of 2.18.26, while William Yegon of Kenya came third with a time of 2.14.04.
In the female category, Ethiopian Dinke Meserete finished first with a time of 2:48:02.
Now this year, the East Africans have repeated their exploits, with Kenyans David Barmasai Tumo and Sharon Jemutai Cherop being the winners of the 42 km Marathon. Both wrote their names into the records, as well.
Tumo set a course record time of 2:10:22, beating Kiprotich 2018 time of 2:15:04.
Tumo, the 31 year-old Kenyan born in Eldoret, was the winner of the 2011 Dubai Marathon) and came fifth at the 2011 World Championships in Athletics.
Cherop who won in the women’s category set a new record of 2:31:38, two minutes later than she made a similar race in Eldoret Kenya in 2018. The course record was the 2:37:52 set in 2017 by Kenyan Rodah Jepkorir.
Cherop is a 35 year-old veteran marathoner. She won a bronze medal at the age of sixteen in the 5000 metres at the World Junior Championships.
She was the bronze medal winner in the marathon at the 2011 World Championships and won the Boston Marathon in 2012.
She also won the Eldoret City marathon in 2018 with a time of 2:29:57.
“Naija no dey carry last”, we say. When are we stepping up in our own marathon?