APR runners dominate 'Run Blue' marathon

APR RUNNERS Salome Nyirarukundo and Noel Hitimana won the Run Blue Half Marathon race held on Sunday at Amahoro National Stadium.
The president of Rwanda Athletics Federation Jean Paul Munyandamutsa congratulates Noel Hitimana while Salome Nyirarukundo (right) crosses the finish line. Peter Kamasa.
The president of Rwanda Athletics Federation Jean Paul Munyandamutsa congratulates Noel Hitimana while Salome Nyirarukundo (right) crosses the finish line. Peter Kamasa.

Sunday 

Top five
1. N. Hitimana (APR) 1h 5’ 25”
2. P. Manirafasha (Kamonyi) 1h 5’ 45”
3. JMV Vianney Myasiro (NCAC) 1h 6’ 3”
4. D. Gakuru (NAS) 1h 6’ 17”
5. E. Nzabonimpa (APR) 1h 6’ 27”

Women
1. S. Nyirarukundo (APR) 1h 12’ 22”
2. C. Iranzi (APR) 1h 20’ 17”
3. M. Yankurije (APR) 1h 23’ 22”
4.  P. Nirora (NAS) 1h 26’ 4”
5. V. Niragire (APR) 1h 26’ 44”

APR RUNNERS Salome Nyirarukundo and Noel Hitimana won the Run Blue Half Marathon race held on Sunday at Amahoro National Stadium.

Rwanda’s middle-distance runner Nyirarukundo won the race after clocking 1 hour 12 minutes and 22 seconds.

“I am happy to win the race, it is one of the good competitions I have dominated, but it is a result of working hard,” Nyirarukundo said.

In May, the 20-year-old youngster made history after becoming the first Rwandan female athlete to win the Kigali Peace Half Marathon since the inception of the annual event in 2005.

The APR Athletics Club runner, took part in the 2016 Rio Olympic Games in the women 10,000 metres, where the Rutsiro-born athlete debutant finished 27th after clocking 32:07:80.

Nyirarukundo also qualified for 2017 IAAF World Championships held in London in August, finishing 25th despite running with an injury.

In the men’s category Noel Hitimana of APR won the race after using 1 hour 5 minutes and 25 seconds in 21km.

“I wanted to win the race. I am happy I won but it I have to work even harder than before to keep at high level,” he noted.

The winners Nyirarukundo and Hitimana walked away with Rwf100,000 each, while second-placed Premier Manirafasha and Celine Iranzi took Rwf80,000. Third placed Jean Marie Vianney Myasiro and Martha Yankurije got Rwf60,000.

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Salome Nyirarukundo crosses the finish line. Peter Kamasa.

Manirafasha of Kamonyi came second after clocking 1 hour 5 minutes and 45 seconds. In third place was Jean Marie Vianney Myasiro from NCAC with 1 hour 6 minutes and 3 seconds. NAS runner, David Gakuru came fourth in 1 hour 6 minutes and 17 seconds while Evaliste Nzabonimpa of APR completed the top five with 1 hour 6 minutes and 27 seconds.

In Women’s competition, the race was dominated by APR runner Nyirarukundo after coming top followed by teammate Celine Iranzi (APR) with 1h 20 minutes and 17 seconds. APR runner, Martha Yankurije came in third place with 1 hour 23 minutes and 22 seconds.

In fourth place was Primitive Nirora (NAS) after using 1 hour 26 minutes and 4 seconds while Vivine Niragire (APR) completed the top five with 1 hour 26 minutes and 44 seconds.

The race was organized by Rwanda Athletics Federation (RAF), Rwanda Biomedical Centre (RBC) and Rwanda Diabetes Association (RDA) in order raise awareness about fighting diabetes through sports.

editorial@newtimes.co.rw

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