Emmanuel Naibet from Kenya and Bahrain’s Ruth Jebet made history, at the weekend, when they became the first winners in the men’s and women’s categories respectively of the maiden Abuja International Marathon.
With more than 10,00 runners lined up for the marathon, which drew participants from across the world, it was a carnival atmosphere at the Federal Capital Territory, which despite being rainy season, witnessed a clement weather.
Usually in April, the beautiful city of Abuja is synonymous with torrential rainfall, but on Saturday, the city provided perfect weather that aided Naibet to win the race with a time of 2:13: 45. The winning time is the best ever recorded in any first edition of Marathon races in Nigeria.
This is Naibet’s second victory in Nigeria, having also won the 2021 Access Bank Lagos City Marathon.
Finishing in second position was Bernard Sang 2:13:49, while Ezekiel Koech ensured it was a complete sweep for Kenya in the men’s category with a time of 2:13:51.
In the women’s category, Jebet stole the show with a time of 2.36.08, while Kenya’s Mercy Kwambai was second with a time of 2:38:17 and Dida Negasa from Ethiopia with 2:40:16 settled for third spot.
There were also keen competitions for prizes in the 10km and five-kilometre races, which were dominated by fun runners and students from across the Abuja metropolis.