The back-to-back Kericho and Machakos Cross Country events that took place on 14th and 15th October, served as a litmus test for Kenyan athletes as they gear up for the upcoming World Cross Country Championships set to take place on 30th March 2024 in Belgrade, Serbia; as well as and the Olympic Games in Paris, France.

The Kericho Cross Country event, now in its second edition, had athletes come to grips with a 10-kilometer course in three categories: including Men’s 10km, Women’s 10km, and Mixed Relay.

World women-only 10km record-holder Agnes Ng’etich and Budapest World Athletics Championships 5,000m finalist Ismael Kirui were amongst the winners at the Betika na Community Kericho Cross Country event and underlined its importance in their preparations for the future.

“The beauty of the Betika Cross Country Event is that there is prize money not only just for podium finishers, but also the top 10 finishers in both senior categories.

This is a massive incentive for participants, as you can see by the level of competition. I pushed hard to the end and the result tells me that I still have work to do to improve,” said Ngetich, who finished in second place in the women’s 10km event.

Athletics Kenya South Rift Chairman, John Wachira, encouraged Kenyan athletes to take part in local buildup events, especially if they are working towards international competition, saying: “On behalf of Athletics Kenya, I have urged athletes to come out and register in droves for these competitions.

These are very important before the world’s eyes shift and focus on next year’s World Cross Country Championships in Belgrade, Serbia and the Olympic Games in Paris, France.”

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