East Africans dominate 10th Obudu mountain race


East African runners outpaced competitors at the just ended 10th edition of the Obudu International Mountain Race to dominate the race.

The race, which ended at the Ranch Resort, Obudu, on Saturday, saw Kenya’s Kemboi Hilary Kipkorir winning the men race with a time of 1;02:34 minutes.

Genet Yalew of Ethiopia won the female category of the race after she returned with the time of 1:01:20 minutes. She is the first woman to win the championship back-to-back.

Abebe Dinkesa of Etthiopia, who came second in the ninth edition, also clocked 1:03:09 minutes to win the second position in the male category. Kiplimo Philip of Uganda clocked 1:03:19 minutes to win the third positions.

Chessang Stella of Uganda won the second position in the female category with a time of 1:01:31 minutes, while Ababel Yesshaneh of Ethiopia came third with a time of 1;03:03 minutes.

Nigeria’s Emmanuel Gyang, and Cletus Eyo won the finisher and second best finisher in the male category with 1:15:23 and1:18; 47 minutes.

Eyo, who is from Cross River, clocked the 19th position, while Gyang was 15th in the race’s ranking.

Deborah Pam from Plateau, who came in sixth in the female category with a time of 1:10:09 minutes was adjudged the best finisher in the female category of Saturday’s race.

The first three finishers in the male and female categories went home with cash prize of 50,000 dollars (N8 million), 8,000 dollars and 4,500 USD respectively.

Team Uganda, Team Kenya and Team Nigeria came first second and third respectively in the female category of the 6th African Nations Mountain Running Championship.

Team Uganda, Team Eritrea and Team Kenya also came first, second and third in the male edition of the championship, which was part of the events at the 10th edition of the Obudu race.

Late Danny Hills, former President of World Mountain Running Association (WMRA) and Bruno Gozzalino, the current President of WMRA, were got ‘outstanding individuals’ awards.

Former governor of Cross River, Donald Duke, and the current governor, Liyel Imoke, also got Excellence awards as initiator and promoters of the Obudu Mountain race.

While declaring the race closed, Imoke, represented by his Deputy, Efiok Cobham, promised to encourage incoming administration of Cross River to sustain the race.

“We have seen innovations that led to the growth of the race to an elite mountain race and we will try to ensure that the Obudu mountain race stays on even after we leave office,’’ he said.

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