By Iminza Keboge
Published May 3, 2016
After dominating world track athletics and triumphing in Rugby Sevens Series, Kenya is already readying herself to reign in a body-endurance sport known as triathlon and duathlon.
This came to the fore on April 30, 2016 as the Nairobi edition of the event went down at the Moi Sports Complex-Kasarani in the Kenyan capital.
“Kenya has the potential to become a global triathlon powerhouse through these races,” said Michael Owora, the manager of Team Tri Fit that runs the National Triathlon and Duathlon Series. “The Nairobi Edition is part of a series of races that Team Tri Fit will use through the year to raise the profile of the sport locally and get more Kenyans involved in recreational and competitive endurance activities.”
Yes, the inaugural competition was “part of a larger initiative that seeks to positively impact the economy of Kenya by creating jobs and enhancing domestic and international tourism through sports,” said Angelous Kamande, Assistant Manager of Team Tri Fit.
Saying they would hold other races across Kenya–Kericho, Diani, Mombasa and Nyeri–through the year, Kamande said these would “create jobs for the youth as athletes while providing platforms for different sports and recreational service providers in Kenya to sell their goods and services.”
The 2016 Team Tri Fit National Triathlon and Duathlon Series brought together more than 40 amateur and professional athletes from across the East African country who were all driven by the desire to win honours at the inaugural event.
The Nairobi Edition began with the Children’s Duathlon Challenge drawing contestants from the 8–10-year-old bracket on a day that saw nine races completed. Michael Waweru won the race that comprised a 1.5Km Run, 3Km cycle and 1.5Km Run segments in 35 minutes.
The winner of the 11-13-year-old race that consisted of a 3Km Run, 6Km cycle and 1.5Km Run was Meagan Ambasa just as Solomon Baraza ran away with the crown in the 14-17-year-old race that demanded that competitors cover a 6Km Run, 9Km Cycle and 3Km Run.
The 11-13-year-old Triathlon was won by Abdalla Faraj after a 350m Swim, 9Km Bike ride and 1.5Km Run.
Kelvin Ndau beat Peter Mwangi, Zablon Onsiemo and Hiuhu Murimi in a 10Km Run, 40Km Cycle and 5Km Run that was the Duathlon Olympic Distance.
Then came the Duathlon Individual Sprint and Team Relay Challenge in which Kennedy Ndau triumphed. Team Karisa took home the team relay after a 5Km Run, 20Km cycle and 2.5Km Run.
The curtain closure for the day was the Adult Sprint Triathlon that saw Mombasa-based Shamuty Mohammed edge out his Nairobi counterparts–Bob Odhiambo, Grey Gachanja and Soledad Hererro–in a 750m Swim, 20Km cycle and 5Km Run.