Kenyan Tops Field in Burma’s First Intl Marathon

Kenyan runner Joseph Kariuki topped the field on Sunday in the first-ever official marathon race in Burma. (Photo: JPaing / The Irrawaddy)

Veteran Kenyan runner Joseph Kariuki topped the field on Sunday in the first-ever official marathon race in Burma.

Joseph Kariuki, 26, recorded a time of 2 hours, 19 minutes and 13 seconds in the full 42-kilometer race in Rangoon, in which about 80 locals and 220 foreigners competed.

A total field of more than 1,000 registered for all three of the events, which included 10-kilometer and 3-kilometer runs.

The top five winners of the main event, which started and finished at a park near the foot of Rangoon’s famous Shwedagon pagoda, shared $10,000 in prize money.

Kariuki said “favorable” weather, which he described as almost the same as in his homeland, helped him beat his own previous best time of 2:24:43.

He said he has run previously in Singapore, Thailand and Malaysia, giving him “lots of experience in Asia.” Burma’s event, which he learned of from the Internet, was well arranged, he said.

The event was sponsored by Yoma Strategic Holdings Ltd, one of Burma’s leading business groups, along with Japan’s Mitsubishi and Sumitomo companies. Profits were to be donated to local charities.

Key words: Rangoon, sports

FB tag: Veteran Kenyan runner Joseph Kariuki topped the field Sunday in the first-ever official marathon race in Burma. Joseph Kariuki, 26, recorded a time of 2 hours, 19 minutes and 13 seconds in the full 42-kilometer race in Rangoon, in which about 80 locals and 220 foreigners competed. A total field of more than 1,000 registered for the event, which started and finished at a park near the foot of Rangoon’s famous Shwedagon pagoda. Will the Rangoon Marathon become a mainstay on the international marathon circuit?


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