Delos Santos spoils Kenyan sweep
The Kenyans continued their domination in Cebu’s running scene as they nearly swept the long-distance titles in the 2012 Cebu City Marathon yesterday at the Cebu IT Park.
Richard Mutisya and Joan Jeruto, both first-timers in the CCM, led the Kenyan invasion as they topped the 42-kilometer race.
Mutisya clocked 2 hours, 28 minutes and 41 seconds to rule the men’s side while Jeruto finished in 3 hours, 13 minutes and 28 seconds to win the women’s title.
Former Kenya national team athlete Samson Tuwei, meanwhile, topped the men’s side of the 21k half-marathon category with a time of 1 hour 10 minutes and eight seconds in his first appearance in the CCM.
Philippine Team member and National Milo Marathon champion Mary Grace Delos Santos prevented a clean Kenyan sweep as she defended her 21k title by winning the women’s side in 1 hour 24 minutes and 38 seconds.
Around 7,000 runners, including Cebu City Mayor Mike Rama, joined the annual prestigious race held in line with the celebration of the feast of Sr. Sto. Niño.
Foreign runners from 18 countries took part in the race but it was those from Kenya who emerged on top. All in all, Kenya had 15 representatives, four of them were women and most of them managing a spot at the top 10.
Irene Kipchumba (1:26.07) settled for second in the women’s 21k followed by Filipino Stephanie Pumatong (1:35.02).
Another Kenyan, Willy Rotich, settled for second in the men’s 21k with a time of 1 hour, 10 minutes and 59 seconds while compatriot Elliud Kepkering rounded off the top three with a time of 1 hour, 11 minutes and 37 seconds.
In the men’s 42k race, Mutisya was trailed by his fellow Kenyans. Winning the second spot was David Kipnang (2:30.10) followed by Frederick Muthin (2:31.49), Philip Rono (2:32.56), Josphat Kiptanui (2:35.31) and Francis Kakui (2:43.15).
Noel Tillor finished in eighth spot and emerged the top Filipino finisher in the 42k with a time of 2:49.44.
“Filipino runners are very strong but they just need more training to improve,” said Mutisya.
“They are fast but they lack endurance,” said 21k winner Tuwei, who is based in Manila. “If they train with us here, they will improve their running skills.”
Davao’s 20-year-old running sensation Cynthia Jaro claimed the second spot in the 42k race as she clocked 3 hours and 14 minutes. She was coached by last year’s 42k champion Monalisa Ambasa. She also emerged winner in the all-Filipino 42k category.
Kenyan Susan Jemutai placed third by clocking 3 hours, 23 minutes and 17 seconds while Cristy Sevellino-Tutor placed fourth overall and second to Jaro in the all-Filipino category with a time of 3 hours, 24 minutes and 42 seconds.
John Pages, one of the organizers of the CCM, said the weather yesterday was perfect for running.
“This year saw a lot of new personal records because of the good weather. It was cold, that’s why the runners were very fast,” he said.
Among yesterday’s runners was 51-year-old Singaporean stock broker Mohanadas Kandiah.
His participation served as his 148th marathon in his 16 years in running.
A former alcoholic and chain smoker, Kandiah’s health was put at risk, forcing him to shift into a healthier lifestyle.
He has joined a lot of races aborad and also finished a 100k race in Singapore. He is eyeing to surpas the 200-marathon mark and said it is not impossible as long as he can still stand up.
He already joined prestigious marathons in New York, Boston and Bangkok.
“The people here in Cebu are very nice, very hospitable. I made a lot of friends here.”
Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.