Kipkemboi, Jebet Crowned 2023 Nairobi City Marathon Champions

Istanbul marathon champion Robert Kipkemboi was a cut above the rest as he clocked 2:07:38 to win the men’s marathon at the second Nairobi City Marathon.

Naomi Jebet also put up a stellar performance in the classic distance to clock 2:24:33, finishing almost a minute ahead of second-placed Sharon Chelimo.

Kipkemboi beat, Charles Yosei who came home in 2:08:04 to the title with the third placed finisher timing 2:08:41.

“I had prepared for a while in readiness for a race in Stockholm but when those plans fell through I decided test myself here and I am happy for this win.

I have been competing in this distance for a while and that experience has come in handy here,” offered Kikemboi who last year won the Istanbul marathon in 2:10:18 to miss out on the course record by 34 seconds.

Organisers had first indicated that he had broken the course record with a winning time of 2:09.37 seconds before the adjustment was made. The course record in Istanbul where he finished second in 2021 is 2:09.44, held by Daniel Kibet since 2019.

“I was racing against the defending champions here but I was confident of a podium place. When the opportunity presented itself and I felt strong, I decided to battle for the title,” he added.

After his exploits in Nairobi, Kipkemboi who is no stranger to marathon racing having won the Standard Chartered Nairobi Marathon in 2016 and the Linz Marathon in 2018 has hinted at defending his title in Istanbul later this year.

Meanwhile, Jebet says she was ready for the task ahead expressing excitement for the win.

HAVE YOU SEEN THIS?  Kenya’s new urban school meal plan is ambitious – it could offer lessons for scaling up

“There was tough competition but I was motivated. When I caught up with a group that had broken early, I realised I had it in me to contest for the title and I am happy for this win,” she offered after clinching her first ever win in the classic distance.

The winners of the marathon walked away with Ksh 3.5 million, down from last year’s Ksh 6 million as organisers explained that the decision was made as they felt the need to reward more runners.

With that the prize money was awarded to the best performers up to number 20.

Second-place finishers earned Ksh 2.25 million while third place were rewarded Ksh 1.5 million. The 20th placed finisher walks home with Ksh 30,000.