25-year-old Vincent Loritam from Tegla Lorupe’s stable in West Pokot district is the new Baringo Half-Marathon champion after emerging the strongest during the fourth edition held on Saturday. Loritam had to wait until the last five kilometres to make a strong attack that enabled him to wither a daring challenge from home boy William Chebon. Loritam, who hopes to make a return to the international scene since being away from 2006, clocked 1:02:06.4 to beat Chebon by 17 seconds. The race, that was flagged off at Kabarntanjo by one of the Baringo members of Parliament Mr Sammy Mwaita and who was flanked by the founder of the event Paul Tergat, saw a group of 10 athletes who ended up taking the top positions battle for 15 kilometres with Chebon controlling the pace. Chebon appeared to gain over the rest briefly soon after crossing the 15km mark but Loritam made a strong attack that scattered the group and by 20km it had been reduced to the a battle between the winner and the runner-up.
The women’s 15km event was won by international marathoner Agnes Kiprop in 50:55 ahead of Joan Ayabei (52:13) and Diana Chepkemoi (53:26). An upcoming athlete Ruth Matebo continued with her exploits by finishing sixth in 53:45. She was third in this year’s Tegla Loroupe Peace Race and eighth at last week’s Wareng Tuskys Cross Country held in Eldoret.