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Route knowledge come in handy as winner reign supreme over challenging course

This year’s 17th edition of the Safaricom Lewa full marathon champions; Philemon Mbaru (pictured) and Fridah Lodepah registered their fourth titles with mastery of the course coming in handy as a foundation to their respective wins.

It was a moment of a lifetime for the two champions as they lifted their fourth titles with Lodepah registering her fourth title in a row since year 2013.

As for Mbaru, this was his fourth title and could have been his fifth was it not for an injury that forced him out of the race last year despite running in front of the crowd and just 10km away from the finish line.

“Mastering the course was an advantage but that was mainly boosted my preparations.  The course to me was not so good as it had so much soil on it and that made it more slippery and that usually causes blisters on our feet. I had to push myself to get in the lead to avoid being slowed down by amateur runners in the half-marathon but my training partner Paul Maina who finished second was on my neck throughout and I managed to leave him behind after about 33km,” said Mbaru.

The 2014 Casablanca Marathon champion who also emerged fourth in Austria marathon in April this year is focused more on the International stage more than ever with the Lewa marathon giving him the confidence he needed and a proof that his injury is fully healed.

“I participated in last year’s Lewa edition but I pulled out of the race at the 35km point after my leg developed a problem. I am currently preparing myself for the international stage that I should participate in either September or October once my manager comes up with the race I will take part in and I will of course be coming for Lewa marathon,” he added.

As for the lady of steel, Fridah relived the moment of winning the full marathon for the third time as she registered her fourth title clocking at 2:48:22 as her opponent Mary Nengo almost caught up with her at the finishing line to clock at 2:48:46 and is now determined more than ever to leave a record with her behind when she retires.

“The finish today was a bit harder than usual and the lady who finished second was far much ahead of me and I only caught up with her half the way due to my mastery of the course. When she saw me pass her she told me to keep up and I was glad. Next year I will once again defend my title then head to Kuala Lumpur marathon in August to defend my other title there,” said Lodepah.

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