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Kenyans rule Mayon run


Source: Joanna P. Los Banos, Inquirer Southern Luzon | inquirer.net

LEGAZPI CITY—A 1-2-3 sweep in the men’s division highlighted the Kenyans’ domination of the 21-kilometer Mayon Trail Run International held here Sunday as part of the city’s month-long Ibalong Festival.

Philip Ronoh clocked 1 hour and 37 seconds to notch his first international win after a tightly fought race that saw the top four runners finishing within seconds of each other. 

William Kigyego followed Ronoh home in 1:38, with Anthony Kosgei third in 1:40.

Top Filipino bet Cresenciano Sabal was fourth in 1:41.

In the female category, another Kenyan, 18-year-old Irine Jeptoo Kipchumba led from start to finish to prevail in 2:12.

Ronoh, 24, who started running in competitively in 2007, said winning a race in Kenya, a country of a million runners, is very difficult.

“There are thousands of Kenyan runners who compete in different continents,” he said.

The 21-km race over one of the world’s most grueling and toughest trails drew more than 250 runners, including entries from the United States, Italy and Spain.

The field negotiated three mountain trails with panoramic views of Legazpi City and Albay Gulf, went through a tunnel, crossed a river, and climbed a five-story lava wall.

Sabal said the Mayon race runners thought only of “how to survive the challenge.”

The competing field was fired off at 6 a.m. in the city’s Peñaranda Park.

Vicente Caurez, 73, of Los Baños, Laguna, was the most senior participant of the race organized by the Junior Chamber International-Legazpi Chapter, MTR project chair Yves Eli Yu and city councilor Cerilo Chan.

Legazpi City administrator Noel Rosal said the MTR was a way to promote the city.

Race sponsors included the Philippine Daily Inquirer, Bandera, The North Face, 100 Plus and AMA Computer College in Legazpi.

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