Kenyan couple hunt for a perfect double in Spanish marathon

By emmanuel sabuni
Nov 12, 2021
  • Philip Kangogo and wife Esther Ndiema will be running in the Valencia Trinidad Alfonso.(Photo by Emmanuel Sabuni)

A Kenyan couple will be chasing double honors at this year’s Valencia Trinidad Alfonso marathon on Sunday, with each looking to cross the line first in their 42km races.

Reigning Barcelona marathon champion Philip Cheruiyot Kangogo will travel with his wife Esther Ndiema, the former World junior 5,000m silver medalist for the the race an the IAAF Bronze Label Road Race in Spain.

Kangogo who won kass marathon on his 42km debut last year, will not be defending his title as his focus has shifted to the richer Valencia race.

His wife Ndiema also opted not to defend her Turin marathon title she won last year in search for the rare Spanish double . Inicidentally they both won their titles on the same day last year,November 16, with Kangogo winning the Kass marathon in the early morning run that ended in Eldoret town and hours later Ndiema won the Turin marathon in Italy.

“We won different races on different soil and course together in 2014 so we want to run the Valencia race this year together so that we can celebrate together at the finish line,” said Kangogo in Iten at the welcome party for the 2015 New York city marathon winners Mary Keitany and Stanley Biwott.

The two train together in the sloppy terrains of Elgeyo Marakwet county and live in Mororia.

Kangogo will be facing defending champion Jacob Kendagor who clocked 2:08:37.

Immediately after winning Kass marathon, Kangogo, who used to train as an individual athlete with sportlink, signed up with manager Gianni Demmadona at his Iten based camp.

The promising runner ran his first international race in Barcelona where he won in 2:08.16.

He is not only chasing the title but also hopes he can improve his personal best which could be a course record currently held by compatriot Felix Kipkemoi who clocked 2:07:14 when he won the 2013 edition.

Ndiema on the other hand will be seeking her second win in the marathon when she lines up alongside Namibia’s defending champion Beata Naigambo who clocked 2:30:50 ahead of Kenyan Ednah Kimaiyo in 2:31:20 as well as 2013 winner and course record holder (2:27:01) Azalech Masrecha of Ethiopia.