Penang Bridge marathon: Kenyans sweep top prizes

Runners making their way after the flag-off at the Queensbay Mall outdoor car park in Penang. — Photos: ZHAFARAN NASIB/The Star

DISCIPLINE and consistency were the recipe for success for two Kenyan athletes who clinched the two top spots at the Penang Bridge International Marathon 2017.

Margaret Njuguna, 48, won the Women’s Open category in the 42km Full Marathon while Josphat Kiptanui, 31, was the champion in the Men’s Open category. Each took home cash prize of RM22,000.

Njuguna proved that age is just a number when she beat her younger rivals in a time of two hours and 46 minutes.

“I trained for more than 40km daily and I am happy that it paid off. I can’t wait to celebrate this with my family,” the mother-of-five said yesterday.

Kiptanui, who won in two hours and 23 minutes, said he liked the challenge of competing with athletes from other countries.

“I train three times a day, 20km in the morning, 15km in the afternoon and 15km in the evening.

“I took part in the half-marathon in 2015 but this year, I went for the full marathon,” he added.

Njuguna (right) and Kiptanui proudly showing off their prizes after winning the Women’s Open and Men’s Open categories respectively.
Njuguna (right) and Kiptanui proudly showing off their prizes after winning the Women’s Open and Men’s Open categories respectively.

Meanwhile, some participants in the 10km run claimed that they did not get their finishing medals although they finished in the stipulated time.

Organising chairman Danny Law Heng Kiang stressed that they had sufficient finishing medals for the event.

“We have around 14,000 runners for the 10km category. We already extended the limit from one hour and 30 minutes to one hour and 45 minutes but there are still some who are dissatisfied.

“We cannot extend the time indiscriminately as we have to keep up with the standards as well,” he said.

In his speech, Law said the run attracted 35,000 runners from 85 countries for the four categories — full marathon (42km), half-marathon (21km), 10km run and Fun Run (8km) this year.

He added that RM259,200 cash prizes were given out, which was the highest since its inception in 2008.

Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng presented the grand lucky draw prize of a Volkswagen Vento to 33-year-old sales executive Marcus Cheng from Bukit Mertajam.

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