Kenya: Lewa Marathon Champ Kigen Salutes Soulmate for Pushing Him to Victory

Nairobi — Newly-crowned Lewa Safari Marathon champion Philip Kigen has thanked his wife, Nancy Wambui, for motivating him to victory at the 24th edition of the annual race on Saturday in Isiolo.

The 2013 Graz Marathon champion said his wife has been pushing him on in training in the run-up to the competition and subsequently dedicated the win to her and his two sons.

“I dedicate this victory to my wife and my two kids. She has been giving me a lot of encouragement in my preparations for today’s win. I thank God a lot because without Him, this would not have been possible,” Kigen said.

The 42-year-old clocked 2:19:06 to cut the tape ahead of John Mitei (2:21:23) and Isaack Koech (2:22:37) in second and third respectively.

Having come second in last year’s edition, Kigen revealed he had made a vow with himself to win the race in 2023.

“Last year, I finished second and for this year, I really wanted to win. It feels great to beat the former defending champion even though he is also a winner in his own right. I knew I had to prepare well for this event considering the level of competition I expected to encounter this time round,” he said.

Kigen has been regular participant in the Nairobi StanChart Marathon without much success.

He admitted that he is over the moon after clinching his first-ever win in a long time.

“I have been competing in the Nairobi Marathon for the past few years without much success. The race was quite good…the weather was perfect although the course was really tough…especially the hilly sections. All in all, I am really elated to win my first race after a very long time,” Kigen, who finished third at the 2015 Pretoria Marathon, said.