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41-year-old Kenyan Wins Innovative Covid-19 Marathon
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|41-year-old Kenyan Wins Innovative Covid-19 Marathon by Saocv(1): Tue 07, April, 2020 09:38pm|
41-year-old athlete Edwin Kirwa won a one-of-its-kind half marathon that was held over the weekend dubbed the CoronaRun Half Marathon.
Kirwa, who is based in Embu, clocked a commendable 1 hour, 1 minute and 52 seconds in the 21km event.
Felix Kandie (1:03:31), who was running along the Iten-Kaptagat road came in second.
“This race has enabled me to know if I was on the right training schedule towards Boston Marathon which was to take place on April 20,” observed Kandie.
The unique race concept was developed by Dutch elite athlete management company Volare sports and involved over two dozen runners, Daily Nation reported.
Kicking off countrywide at 8 a.m. on April 4, each athlete raced around their home or compound of their choice in compliance with the social distancing directive, vital in combating the spread of Covid-19.
The athletes were then required to time themselves, and via GPS system, their finishing times were clocked at the Volae sports headquarters in Voorthuizen, Netherlands.
The women's race was won by Fancy Chemutai from Kericho who clocked 1:10:05, with Margaret Wanjiru (1:15:28) declared the 1st runners up.
Hanna Biwott-van de Veen, Athletes Representative at Volare Sports, revealed that the innovative race concept was taken up by the enthusiastic athletes the moment it was pitched to them.
"On March 21, we informed the athletes of the idea and most of them responded very positively. As a management, we wanted to stimulate the athletes to keep training and keep their focus after all races having being cancelled,
All of them were disappointed and even frustrated that the coronavirus is spoiling their chances of winning races and running personal best times," she explained.
The virtual race has been hailed by the athletes as an innovative option to beat the Covid-19 lockdown and was a welcome relief for the elite athletes who had been starved of any competition following the outbreak of the deadly virus.
World Athletics President Seb Coe recently challenged stakeholders in the athletics world by announcing that the only way forward for the sport, post-coronavirus, was innovation.
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