Ali Mohammadou from Bui emerges victorious in the male category while Kitan Mildred wins in the female category
By Boris Esono Nwenfor
Athletes from the North West Region have continued their dominance of the Mount Cameroon Race of Hope. In the 26th edition organized in Buea on February 27, the winners in the senior male, senior female, junior male and female and the veteran women all came from the North West.
The ambience that the race usually witnesses before is slowly coming back with hundreds of fans coming out to watch and cheer the athletes as they ascended and descended the “chariot of the gods”.
Ali Mohammadou from the Bui Division of the North West Region finished the race first in a time of 4hrs 32mins and 24secs. In 2019, Ali Mohammadou finished in the second position while in 2020 was not amongst the top three.
Defending male champion Godlove Gabsibuin, the most successful male athlete with five titles could only finish in the second position. He did the race in 4hrs 45mins 03secs.
The third position was occupied by Fai Elvis Ndzedzeni who did the race in 4hrs 45mins 54secs.
Ali Mohammadou who wins for the first time could not hide his joy while appreciating the efforts of all those who supported him in his goal to become a champion this year.
“I started my career in 2012 hoping to become a champion one day. When you discover your talent do it even if your father and mother do not like it. When you see someone go up and come back down from the summit respect that person. This is because it is not easy to run 42km and back,” Ali Mohammadou said.
The champion Ali Mohamadou has called for an end to the present crisis that has claimed the lives of many as to him what will solve the problem is not by fighting.
“For my athletic career, I cry because of the Kumba massacre, the Ngarbuh massacre, the mbororos massacre which means it is very painful. I train in where the violence is very high and I know the pains of this crisis,” He added.
It was a closely fought battle in the women’s category from the time the ladies touched hut 2 and back. Going up it was Cheserek Agnes from Kenya who led the race past Hut Two and reached the summit of the first position. She was closely followed by Kitan Mildred as they descended while defending champion Tatah Carine was in third.
Like last year where the Kenyans dominated the ascending, their grip of the descending of Mount Fako is still proving difficult. In the descending, Kitan Mildred was able to pass Cheserek Agness and reached Bongo Square on the first position. Defending Champion Tatah Carine who ran this year under the South West Region equally passed the Kenyan and it was a two-horse race to the finish line.
Kitan Mildred slowly jugs to the finish line and was almost caught by Tatah Carine. It was, however, the year for Kitan Mildred Ntumeku who won the race, and in doing so winning for the first time. She did the race in 5hrs 21mins 45secs.
Tatah Carine came second in 5hrs 22mins 00sec. Jepkosegei Cheserek Agness who had led the race could only finish third in 5hrs 33mins 50secs.
“I want to promise my fans that they should not be discouraged that I came second. I am going back and will come up strong again,” Tatah Carine, three-time winner of the race said.
“To the young girl, it is not good for them to just stay at home idle. It is good for them to do things and discover their talents and work towards that talent to achieve their goals.”
Winners of the veteran women category
There was a new champion this year in the veteran women category. Nkambi Martina Ngenjang, 53-year-old from the North West Region came in the first position. She was second in the 2020 edition of the race.
Meantime, last year’s champion Nogah Brigitte, 51-year-old from the South West Region finished in the third position, while 57-year-old Mengwi Justina from the Littoral region came in third.
Junior Male winners
Mamoudou Dahiro came first
Gabsibuin Prophet Kanjoring in second and,
Wanma Walters Mbuh in third