Defending Kenyan Champion Repeats In Canada

Thomas Omwenga celebrates at the finish line of the Victoria Marathon. Photo: Vancouver Sun

He ran through painful leg cramps at the half.

Even though he’s thousands away from his native Kenya, Thomas Omwenga is no stranger to the Victoria Marathon in Canada.

Last weekend, Omwenga repeated as the victor there.

But the win turned out to be hard-fought. Halfway through the 26.2-mile race, Omwega’s leg seized up with a cramp and he later credited the lead course cyclists Steve Bachop and Tara Whitten for helping him out with some encouragement.

His winning time was two hours, 20 minutes, and 41 seconds–much slower than his course-record last year: 2:14:33.

“They [Bachop and Whitten] told me to take it easy and gave me comfort,” he said afterwards. “I was pushing and was not that comfortable. But the fans along the route were encouraging me all the way.”

When Omwega thinks about Victoria, he remembers seeing it during the Commonwealth Games in 1994.

“I prayed after that to come to Victoria as a competitor,” he said. “I love Victoria, I love the people here and I like the course, too.”

For More: Vancouver Sun

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