Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Kenyan Quartet Set to Control Blaydon

Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Kenyan Quartet Set to Control Blaydon

Article excerpt

Four British-based Kenyan athletes descend on Tyneside tonight determined to keep the African domination of the Nike Blaydon Race intact after a run of four successive victories since 1999.

Despite the absence of four-time winner Julius Kimtai, fellow countrymen Julius Kibet, Augustine Rono, Sammy Malakwen and Wilfred Taragon, will endeavour to take control and ward off a record entry of 4,000.

Rono and Malakwen are the men in form having finished in third and fourth place respectively in the recent Great Manchester Run but Kibet, who has been racing on the Continent with lots of success, has the pedigree to be the new champion for he chased Kimtai all the way to the line in last year's Auckland Castle race.

Making it a truely international occasion, Switzerland-based Eithiopian Tesfaye Eticha returns in an attempt to improve on his third place last year.

Attempting to dislodge the African supremacy are a number of the area's leading distance runners including Chester-le-Street's Martin Scaife, Morpeth brothers Mark and Ian Hudspith, World Championship representative Michael Openshaw, formerly of Chester-le-Street but now competing for Birchfield, Tynedale's Andy Caine, providing the efforts of competing over 5000m yesterday hasn't taken its toll, and seven times winner Mike McLeod will once again don his racing shoes in the name of charity.

Race organiser Jim Dewar, easing down after overcoming a few minor problems concerning the race, is hoping the hiccups are all behind him and that the record entry is rewarded with a fine night.

"There's no doubt the race has attracted another tremendous line-up at the sharp end but the real stars of Scotswood Road continues to be the mass of non-club runners who help to make it one of the biggest in the calendar," said Dewar, who will see off the runners at Balmbras at 7pm before making a quick detour back to Blaydon to see the leading runners arrive around 25 minutes later. …

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