Olympian Nicholas Kimeli celebrates after winning Moi Kapsowar Girls Charity and Conservation race in Elgeyo Marakwet County yesterday. [Peter Ochieng, Standard]

Buoyed by favourable weather, Nicholas Kimeli and Feliciana Jepkosgei easily won the inaugural edition of Moi Kapsowar Girls Charity and Conservation 10km road race yesterday.

Athletes ran from Cheptongei to Kapsowar town across Kamotony forest – on a hilly course. It started off with an uphill from the start line to Kamotony hill within the forest and a downhill towards the finish at the Moi Kapsowar Girls sports grounds.

Kimeli who trains in Kaptagat and who represented Kenya at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics and finished fourth, dominated the Kapsowar race from the start to finish.

He established an unassailable lead as the leading pack started racing downhill at 4km.

He won the race in 28:34 as Jacob Krop from West Pokot came in second in 28:42. Kennedy Kimutai finished third, clocking 28:43.

“It was a hard and hilly course. It had to strike a balance between running fast and avoiding injury while running downhill,” Kimeli said.

He said he used the race as a build up for Athletics Kenya Cross Country series and the World Cross Country Tour set for Eldoret next February.

Kimeli, Krop and Kimutai as well as the top three in the women’s category walked home with Sh80,000, Sh50,000 and Sh30,000 respectively.

Proceeds from the race will be used to support students from poor families at the Moi Kapsowar Girls Secondary School, according to the institution’s Principal Hellen Mabese.

Jepkosgei who trains in Iten took the women’s title in 32:42, with Jescah Chelangat and Brilliant Jepkorir taking the second and third positions in 32:49 and and 32:56 respectively.

“It was a tough race. At some point, I almost lost the energy to continue running but I kept pushing. It was my first win in any race. I was running at home and I had to impress my fans,” Jepkosgei, who paced in 5km at the Road to Records in Germany last month, said after the win.

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