MAN FROM RIFT VALLEY SET FOR VICTORY IN BELFAST HALF MARATHON
Project Africa Athletics runners look set to dominate this Sunday’s 3rd Asics Belfast City Half Marathon which also incorporates the NI Championships (Start 9am Ormeau Park). Now the largest half marathon in the North, the third edition has attracted the maximum 3,500 participants who face a new faster course that takes in most quarters of Belfast.
Gideon Kimosop returns to Omagh after spending a few months back home in Kenya with his family and attending to matters on his farm. The 27-year-old was here in the early part of the year during which time he claimed numerous road race victories, including the Omagh Half Marathon, as well as runner-up spot in the Belfast Marathon.
The man from the Rift Valley charmed everyone who met him during his previous sojourn in Tyrone with Project Africa coach Ciaran Collins. He will have a huge support on Sunday in a field that has failed to attract most of the leading local distance exponents. Paddy Hamilton and Benny Teer look to be the pick of the bunch.
There are two Project athletes in the women’s race, Jemutai Tanui and Rosina Kiboino. Tanui, at 21, is the younger of the pair and has some classy times which date back to 2012 when she ran 2:31:30 for the marathon and 71:19 for the half marathon.
Her most recent marathon time from July was 2:45:41 which makes her the favourite for Sunday’s race. Fellow Kenyan Kiboino (32) had a similar marathon time when she finished second in Sofia last autumn. Gladys Ganiel O’Neill should be the first local woman to finish.