Kenyans dominate again at King’s Cup Pattaya Marathon

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Joseph Kariuki of Kenya celebrates with arms aloft as he crosses the finish line to win the 2013 King’s Cup Pattaya Marathon, Sunday, July 21.  African athletes filled the top seven positions in the men’s division and the women’s race was also won by a Kenyan athlete, but the event was more a celebration of spirit and fortitude as runners of all ages and nationalities took to Pattaya’s streets to face their own personal sporting challenges.   (PM Photo/Phasakorn Channgam)

Kenyan runners continued their dominance of high-profile long distance events in SE Asia, taking the top seven places in the 2013 Pattaya Marathon held last weekend.

Joseph Kariuki, winner of the inaugural Yangon marathon in Myanmar earlier this year, was again first past the post here in Pattaya and took the title and 200,000 THB in the July 21 race with a net time of 2:20:29 to finish over a minute ahead of compatriot Weldon Kiruri in second.

Joseph Kariuki of Kenya celebrates with arms aloft as he crosses the finish line to win the 2013 King’s Cup Pattaya Marathon, Sunday, July 21.  African athletes filled the top seven positions in the men’s division and the women’s race was also won by a Kenyan athlete, but the event was more a celebration of spirit and fortitude as runners of all ages and nationalities took to Pattaya’s streets to face their own personal sporting challenges.   (PM Photo/Phasakorn Channgam)Joseph Kariuki of Kenya celebrates with arms aloft as he crosses the finish line to win the 2013 King’s Cup Pattaya Marathon, Sunday, July 21.  African athletes filled the top seven positions in the men’s division and the women’s race was also won by a Kenyan athlete, but the event was more a celebration of spirit and fortitude as runners of all ages and nationalities took to Pattaya’s streets to face their own personal sporting challenges.   (PM Photo/Phasakorn Channgam)

Kenyan Rose Chekurui Kosgei placed first in the women’s category and 17th overall with a time of 2:42:41.  Her husband, Robert Kosgei finished sixth, beating his spouse by about 18 minutes.

The top Thai runner, Bunthong Srisang, finished eighth with a net time of 2:33:29.  He took home a purse of 70,000 THB.

Culture Minister Sonthaya Kunplome led a delegation of local and national government and tourism officials to kick off the 16th Pattaya Marathon and send the runners on their way at 4:30 a.m. from the start line opposite the Central Beach shopping mall on Pattaya Beach Road.

Despite continued organizational problems in the lead up to this year’s marathon, the event was well attended by both local and international runners of all ages and sizes and unlike some previous editions, the rain mercifully held off and the athletes were able to complete the course in dry conditions.

Mayor Ittipol Kunplome congratulates Rose Chekurui Kosgei (left) and Joseph Kariuki (right), winners of the women’s and men’s divisions at the 2013 King’s Cup Pattaya Mararthon.Mayor Ittipol Kunplome congratulates Rose Chekurui Kosgei (left) and Joseph Kariuki (right), winners of the women’s and men’s divisions at the 2013 King’s Cup Pattaya Mararthon.

In the half marathon event, honours were shared around the local runners with Thais being the only nationality eligible to win cash in the contest.  There the winner was Sanchai Namkhet with a time of 1:11:19 while Nattaya Thonaramwat won the women’s half-marathon race with a time of 1:25:16.  Both took home 40,000 THB each.

Chonburi MP Poramed Ngampichet (left) presents the winner’s trophy to wheelchair champ Prawat Wahoram.

In the quarter marathon, two-time champ Nattawuth Innum from Gym Running took first place in both the overall and the 14-19 years division with a time of 36:58 seconds, while in the female division, the winner was Suphatcha Suwanbumrung from Khon Kaen with a time of 46:02 seconds.

The wheelchair marathon was won by last year’s champ and London 2012 Paralympic athlete, Prawat Wahoram.  He beat out 13 others to win with a time of 1:40:50.

The 3.5-kilometer students race was won by Phuriphat Boranphul from the Air Force Team with a time of 12 minutes and 40 seconds.  The top girl finisher was Chutika Thungthong from Samut Prakan with a time of 14 minutes and 24 seconds.

Winners of all the main categories received trophies for their efforts, presented by Pattaya Mayor Ittiphol Kunplome and other local dignitaries.

Nattawut Innum (left), from the Gym Running team, accepts HM the King’s Cup from Mayor Ittipol after successfully defending his quarter marathon title for the second year.Nattawut Innum (left), from the Gym Running team, accepts HM the King’s Cup from Mayor Ittipol after successfully defending his quarter marathon title for the second year.

The mass start sees runners get underway at the 2013 Pattaya Marathon.The mass start sees runners get underway at the 2013 Pattaya Marathon.