Bahraini Chebichii wins Shoe4Africa 5k race in Iten

By emmanuel sabuni
Dec 24, 2021
  • Runners at the start of the Shoe4Africa race.(Photo by Emmanuel Sabuni)

  • Eunice Chebichii on her way to win the 5km Shoe4Africa race.(Photo by Emmanuel Sabuni)

Christmas came early Kenyan export to Bahrain Eunice Chebichii who continued with her superlative performance when she won the 10th edition of Shoe4Africa 5km road race in Iten on Christmas eve.

Chebichii who has been dominating local races won in the short and competitive women’s race in the high altitude region in the running county of Elgeyo Marakwet on a chilly Thursday.

Competing alongside world leading athletes led by former world half marathon bronze medalist Pascalia Jepkorir, cross country runners Naomi Maiyo, running family of Peter Kibet, Ivy Kibet, Masai family representative Magdalene Masai among others, Chebichii stepped ahead of the leading park at 3km and maintained the lead to cut the tape in 16:24:2.

Jepleting 12th 

The road race, ran on tarmac and murram road that started at Lornah Kiplagat training centre and finished at the same point, has never been won by one athlete twice since inception in 2004 after skipping 2013 edition when founder and director Toby Tanser was involved in an accident USA.

Selah Jepleting, who won the race last year, failed to defend her title finishing 12th.

Former Morocco half marathon winner, Chebichii has run three road races within one month, winning two of them. She started with a win at Kalya half marathon in West Pokot in mid-November and finished 3rd at inaugural Ziwa Farmers 10km race.

“It was a great day for me winning the race with hours to Christmas.

This is good for my speed work as I prepare for Dubai marathon on 24th January,” said the Kaiboi born athlete who now runs for Bahrain.

The athlete who finished second in 2015 Cape Town marathon paced at Amsterdam half marathon and she will be making her second marathon run at Dubai marathon.  

“Dubai will be my second marathon and I am preparing well for the event,” added Chebichii. Jepkorir who won the 2015 Sarah Obama half marathon, renewed her rivalry with Chebichii after they competed together at Ziwa 10km where Jepkorir dropped along the way while Chebichii completed in 3rd position.

The road race specialist said she has not been doing well in her recent races due to low speed for lack of proper training.

“These days I don’t do well because I have not been training very well but I expect to run better in near future since I have started vigorous training in Iten,” said Jepkorir who won Safaricom Iten 10km road race.   

The Iten based runner, who is a police officer is expected to run at the police cross country to book a ticket for national trials ahead of Africa cross country championships next.

“Running today was a great achievement in preparations for Africa cross country championships. But before that, I have to book a national ticket by running at police cross country races,” said Jepkorir who finished second stopping the timer in 16:27:7.

Little known Gladys Yator completed the podium in her best time in the distance at 16:46:9 beating All Africa games 3,000m 4th placed Magdalene Masai to fourth place in 16:55:3.

The Masai family representative Magdalene said she wants to represent Kenya at the Rio de Janeiro Olympics in her specialties of water and barriers jump and 5,000m.

“I want to represent our country in Brazil Olympics. To achieve this, I have to do well in local races,” said Magdalene who will compete at the penultimate athletics Kenya cross country in Mount Elgon on second January.

Tanser said the race is mostly used as a charity race that educates young girls on the dangers of HIV and AIDS.

“This is a charity race where I empower local young girls. Many of them including Mary Keitany were the first athletes to compete here and now they are doing well in marathons in the world,” said Tanser.

Selected results

1.       Eunice Chebichii-16:24:2

2.       Pascalia Jepkorir-16:27:7

3.       Gladys Yator-16:46:9

4.       Magdalene Masai-16:55:3

5.       Vivian Chemutai-16:56:4

6.       Viola Jepchumba-17:06:0

7.       Ivy Kibet-17:14:5

8.       Naomi Maiyo-17:16:3

9.       Gladys Kibiwott-17:23:0

10.   Sheilah jerotich-17:24:0