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4,000 athletes for Kass marathon

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By BENARD ROTICH
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More than 4,000 athletes are expected to grace the 12th edition of the Kass Marathon in Eldoret, Uasin Gishu County on Sunday.

The race, which starts in Kapsabet in Nandi County and ends at the Eldoret Sports Club, has attracted both elite and upcoming athletes, who will be using the race as part of their build up for major events next season.

The athletes will be competing in the 42km race, newly introduced 21km race and 5km fun as well as corporate race with the winners in the 42km race going home with Sh1.5 million.

The 21km race is expected to start at Koitalel Samoei University College in Nandi County with the winner going home Sh350,000 richer.

The race, which has been categorised as the hardest in Kenya, will see athletes start the race with a hilly part commonly known as ‘Chebarbar’, before descending at Chepterit and another hill towards Mosoriot.

By the time the athletes cross to Uasin Gishu County, those who did their hill work training session well will be tackling the Eldoret Airport hilly part with ease as they cruise towards victory at Eldoret Sports Club.

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The race has produced many world beaters including Chicago Marathon champion Lawrence Cherono, former Boston Marathon champion Geoffrey Mutai, newly crowned Frankfurt Marathon champion Valary Aiyabei, former world half marathon record holder Peris Jepchirchir among others.

Aiyabei told Nation Sport that her participation in Kass Marathon in three editions gave her a chance to be identified by her current management.

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“I will be running in the race on Sunday just to motivate the upcoming athletes. I started in this race and I’m happy after winning in 2015, I was contracted by Adidas who have been sponsoring me up to date,” said Aiyabei.

She asked athletes not to give up no matter how hard it is.

“Kenyans are really tough and this the best race to get management for an upcoming athlete. For elite athletes, they use such races to train and it’s always good to gauge your performance,” said Aiyabei.

Her sentiments were echoed by Chicago Marathon champion Lawrence Cherono who competed in 2010 and 2011 editions.

Cherono said that he is happy Eldoret has two marathon races that athletes can use as part of training ahead of major assignments across the globe.

“I participated in 2010 and 2011 and I must say that the course is good for preparations ahead of major events. I would personally advice athletes to always participate in the local races,” said Cherono.

Kass Media Group CEO Julius Lamaon said that preparations for the race are complete and they will be expecting a large turnout compared to the previous editions.

“After the introduction of the new 21km race, we expect large turnout and we are also happy that this year many sponsors came on board. We shall continue working with the athletes as we look forward to better the race in future,” said Lamaon.

Last year, Jackson Kemboi emerged the winner in the 42km race after timing 2:20:27 ahead of Silas Mwetich, who clocked 2:21:10, while Dennis Kiptoo sealed the podium in 2:21:10.

In the women’s category, Cynthia Cherop bagged victory in 2:39:16 ahead of Beatrice Jepkorir, who came in second after clocking 2:45:07, while Peris Jepchirchir was third in 2:46:15.

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Sewage Menace in Pipeline, Residents Cry For Help

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By Milo George

Residents of Pipeline Transami area are decrying poor drainage system that has caused sewage water to overflow in their area of residence.

The residents claim that the overflowing sewage is not only putting their lives at risk but also causing air pollution.

They have called on Nairobi Metropolitan Services and Nairobi City Water and Sewage Company to come on board and expand the sewer lines before more areas are flooded with raw human wastes coming from the blocked pipes.
“We want Major Badi and our leaders to resolve this menace immediately. It’s terrible many have been forced to shift their businesses because of the foul smell,” they said.
Pastor Joe Ndivoh of Word Evangelistic Explosion Ministries says that they have been forced to call off the Sunday School Service to protect the children from the smelly sewage.
‘‘We now fear that if prompt action is not taken then we will have a bigger health problem than this because we fear there could be an outbreak of water-borne disease anytime,’’ Pastor Ndivoh added.


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Solberg Jnr replaces Pierre-Louis for WRC Safari – KBC

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Hyundai Motorsport World Rally Team has made a change to it’s WRC2 team for Safari replacing Pierre-Louis Loubet with 19 year old Oliver Solberg.

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The change of crew hands young Solberg an opportunity to resume his family dream on the fabled Safari which was first held from 27 May to 1 June 1953 as the East African Coronation Safari in Kenya, Uganda and Tanganyika as a celebration of the coronation of Queen Elizabeth II.

Solberg Senior finished the WRC Safari 5th on the 1999 and 2000 editions driving a Ford Focus and navigated by his eventual Championship- winning navigator Phil Mills. In 200 and 2002, Petter retired on Safari after he lost a wheel and suffering engine gremlins on both occasions.

Oliver was forced to withdraw from last week’s Rally Italia Sardegna after his father, 2003 WRC champion Petter Solberg, tested positive for coronavirus.

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Oliver was gearing up for his second top flight World Rally Championship outing with Hyundai at last weekend’s s Italian event.

However having been in contact with his father, Oliver was compelled to remain in quarantine in a hotel in Porto for 14 days as per the FIA Appendix S regulations.

The FIA’s Appendix S COVID-19 protocol and national government regulations offer clear quarantine instructions for those in close contact.

“You can imagine, I am more than disappointed by this news. I am a little bit devastated,” The 19-year-old Solberg told www.motorsport.com last week.

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WRC Safari Rally Event Secretary Helen Shiri confirmed Oliver’s Safari participation saying: “Hyundai WRC 2 team car number 7 has changed the crew from Driver Pierre-Lous and co-driver Florian Haut-labourdette both from France to Oliver Solberg (Swedish) and  Co-driver Aaron Johnston (Ireland). The car, a Hyundai i20 Coupé, remains intact.”

Meanwhile, it’s been a meteoric rise for the son of world champion Petter.

Less than two years after his maiden rally in a four-wheel drive car, the teenage sensation was competing at the WRC’s top level.

Aged just 17, Oliver became the youngest winner of a European Championship rally in 2019.

With a father and a mother from a well-known Swedish motorsport family and a former Production WRC competitor in her own right, there was a sense of inevitability that a career at the wheel was inevitable for Oliver Solberg. 

Solberg’s early years were spent racing in crosskarts.

In 2012 he won the Norwegian Championship before a step up to a higher class brought consecutive title wins in 2014, 2015 and 2016.

In 2019 Solberg stepped into R5 machinery, driving a Volkswagen Polo GTI R5 in the Latvian/Estonian/Baltic Rally Championship. He took to the increased power immediately and racked up five class wins on his way to the championship title.

He also followed in his father’s footsteps to join Subaru Motorsports USA. He drove a latest-spec Impreza STI, winning three of the six rounds

After making his WRC debut at the 2019 Rally GB, Solberg stepped into a full WRC campaign in 2020, driving his own Polo R5 alongside a partial campaign with Skoda Motorsport.

The WRC returns to Africa for the first time since 2002. The Safari of old has evolved to fit the modern-day WRC, but its character remains with challenging closed dirt roads, stunning picture-postcard scenery and exotic wildlife.

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Three more suspected robbers arrested along Southern by-pass – KBC

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Three more suspects have been arrested in connection with the recent spate of robberies targeting motorists along the Southern by-pass.

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The three were arrested in Kibra by detectives based in Langata.

Their arrest follows a detailed analysis and investigations of the robberies, with detectives employing cyber and forensic analysis techniques to identify the beneficiaries of the crimes.

Boniface Winjira Unganyi, the proprietor of Basement Crew mobile shop within Lindi in Kibra, was arrested as the key suspect after a total of 102 mobile phones suspected to have been stolen from victims were recovered from his shop.

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Also arrested were 35-year-old Alex Mboya, who was found in possession of a victim’s phone, and a 16-year-old minor, studying at a secondary school in Langata.

Five other suspects have been arraigned in recent weeks in connection with the violent robberies.

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