Keitany: Weather favored me in NY

By emmanuel sabuni
Nov 05, 2015
  • Mary Keitany (L) drinks Mursik given by double world champion Ednah Kiplagat on arrival in Eldoret.

Newly crowned New York City marathon champion Mary Keitany and Stanley Biwott landed at Eldoret International Airport in style.

Their arrival took the celebrations a notch higher. Keitany and Biwott blasted to victory at the NYC race with the former defending her title while Biwott won on the debut by beating defending champion Wilson Kipsang.

There was song and dance both sacred and traditional with prayers from Catholic Father Lukas Kiprop leading a sermon just at the airport's arrival lounge.

Keitany, a mother of two said  it was good for her to win against Tegist Tufa who beat her in London. “I thank God for the good weather in USA. It was one of the best weather ever experienced along the course. I had no difficulties,” said Keitany at the Airport.

As usual, the family members led the mursik (sour milk) drinking spree carried in a well-guarded guard but it was not usual as Sinendet, the Kalenjin traditional ornamental plant used to honour heroes missed on the big day of honour.

Athletes led by double world champion Ednah Kiplagat, coach Gilbert Koech, Isaac Kirwa, reigning Kass marathon champion Philip Kangogo, his wife Esther Ndiema, 49 history marathon runner Joseph Chemurei were part of the contingent of athletes who were at the airport to receive the greats.

A convoy of modern cars snaked their way from Eldoret Airport, past Eldoret town to Iten, passing through two great athletics counties of Uasin Gishu to Elgeyo Marakwet. They later met governor Alex Tolgos before a great feast at Keitany’s home at Mororia village.

Biwott, who comes from Nandi County, was also in the convoy before joining his friends for another welcome party in Nandi County. The former Paris marathon course record holder put his hand up for selection by Athletics Kenya for next yearls Olympics.

“This is a big boost to me winning a major marathon and now am in another class. This is a big victory ahead of other races. If I will be selected for Rio Olympic games I will be happy,” said Biwott.

Keitany’s win in NYC marathon on Sunday puts her on top of the table on world marathon majors with 41 points same as Ethiopian Mare Dibaba. Birhane Dibaba and Tegist Tufa have 34 points each.