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Felicien Muhitira, Rwanda’s finest middle and long distance runner, has vowed to continue tormenting rivals at the Semi-marathon Marvejols-Mende in France after winning it back-to-back since his 2017 debut.
This year’s edition of the annual 22.4km race is set for July 21 and Muhitira, 24, has started intensive preparations in Ngoma District, Eastern Province, in a bid to retain his gold medal for a third successive time.
Muhitira, who was also decorated as Rwanda’s best performer in men’s half-marathon during the 15th Kigali International Peace Marathon last month, will also represent the country at the 2019 IAAF World Championships in Qatar, in September.
Speaking to Saturday Sport on Friday, Muhitira said: “Since the Kigali Peace Marathon, I didn’t take any break. I have since been in intensive training for Semi-marathon Marvejols-Mende because I want to retain the title.
But; most importantly, I want to set a new record for the race.”
Kenyan Luka Kanda, currently banned after testing positive for performance-enhancing substances, is the only runner to have won this race three times in a row between 2010 and 2012 and also holds the current record time of one hour, ten minutes and nine seconds.
Last year, during its 46th edition, which attracted over 5000 participants from across the world, Muhitira successfully defended his title after clocking 1 hour, 11 minutes and 22 seconds to defy odds against Kenyan, Ugandan and Ethiopian athletes.
He crossed the finish-line a whopping 89 seconds ahead of Kenya’s first runner-up John Liotang.(07/11/2019) ⚡AMP
If you’re looking for a wild introduction to racing in France, try this Half Marathon in the protected wilderness of the Massif Central. The race starts in Marvejols, a medieval town with a rich history, and finishes in Mende with two famous cols and plenty of course-side entertainment separating the ancient towns. With locals daubing words of encouragement underfoot...more...