Pingua Vows To Come Back To Break Okpekpe Race Course Record

Pingua Vows To Come Back And Break Okpekpe Race Course Record After Winning At 10th Edition

Edward Zakayo Pingua has revealed why he failed to break the 28:28 Okpekpe International 10km Road Race course record set last year by Daniel Simiu Ebenyo and vows to come back next year stronger to attack the record.

The Kenyan, who came into the 10th edition of the race as the favourite to not only win but also attempt to break the course record after running 27:49 in January in Ibiza, Spain could only run 29:31 to claim the title.

Pingua revealed he was not pushed hard enough by his opponents, especially the Ethiopian, Haftamu Gebresilase, the only other athlete to have broken 28 minutes over the 10km road distance before the race.

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“I was not pushed hard by those I competed against. The course is also very hard, especially towards the end,” said the Kenyan who, at the half way mark was on course to breaking the record after crossing with 14:10 with an average pace of 02:50 min/km ..

He ran the last five kilometres with an average pace of 03:04 min/km and ended the race with 29:31 ahead of his countrymen, Isaac Kimpemboi (29:36) and Alex Oloitiptip Kori (29:50).

Pingua has however vowed to come back next year to erase Ebenyo’s name as the Okpekpe international 10km road race course record holder.

“I will come back next year to claim the course record,” he promised and revealed his readiness to battle Ebenyo for both the title and the course record in 2025.

Asked if he was not scared Ebenyo might return next year to reclaim the title he was forced to relinquish without a fight, Pingua said he was ready.

“I am ready to fight for the title with Daniel (Ebenyo). I am not afraid of him,” he said when also reminded Ebenyo is ranked world number one in the event this year.

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Meanwhile, Gladys Kwamboka who ran 33:05 to win the women’s title says the tortuous nature of the Okpekpe race course made it impossible to run faster than she did.

The Kenyan came to Okpekpe brandishing a brand new 31.54 lifetime best she ran just last month and was tipped to move close or break Caroline Kipriuki’s 32.38 course record but she failed to fulfil expectations despite running 15:36 at the half way mark.

“The course is one of the hardest in the world,” she said.

Her compatriots, Regina Wambui (33:38) and Sheila Cherotich (34:27) came in second and third respectively with Nigeria’s Patience Dalyop Mwanvwang coming in fourth to successfully defend her title as first Nigerian to cross the finish line.

Mwanvwang came into the race with a 34:34 lifetime best set in Lagos in February and looks to be on the way to running inside 35 minutes again at the half way mark (17:26) with a 03:29 min/km pace but faded out in the second five kilometres before crossing the finishing line in 37:07.

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