Christmas came in early for Honolulu marathon champions Lawrence Cherono and Brigid Kosgei returned on Thursday morning.
Their return was partying time as song and dance, both sacred and traditional rendered the air at Eldoret International Airport on Thursday morning as the duo landed as friends, families, athletes and coaches gathered to welcome the champions.
Traditional sour milk (Mursik) was order of the day as Cherono was present with shield with two spears, a simple of heroism with the two course record breakers with traditional Sinendet a plant associated with heroes and heroines among Kalenjin community.
Cherono, who won Amsterdam marathon in October with another course record, broke his own course record in Honolulu marathon by winning in 2:08.27 from 2:09:39 after defending his title.
The Baringo born runner led Kenyan podium finish as three time Amsterdam marathon champion Wilson Chebet came second in 2:09.55 as Vincent Yator completed the podium in 2:10.37.
“The race was not easy since we were rained on for 10km (at 18 to 28) and faced still competition from Kenyan runners,” said Cherono.
As he focuses to compete London marathon next year, Cherono was optimistic of running with big boys.
“My focus is to run big marathons starting and I have to begin in London next year. With that I will start training in advance,” added Cherono.
Kosgei on other side is targeting London marathon too after exploiting Honolulu 42km distance.
Same like men’s side, Kosgei led a Kenyan contingent to the podium after her second time run in Chicago. She broke Lyubov Denisova course record (2:27.19) that had been held for eleven years to 2:22.15.
She led Kenyans Nancy Kiprop (2:29.15) and Joyce Jepkirui’s 2:33.17.
“I never knew I was going to win but after I led in the last 10km without any competitor near me, I knew I am a winner,” said Kosgei.