North West region maintains dominance at Mount Cameroon Race

By Ndi Eugene Ndi

Long distance runners for the North West region continued their racing dominance at the Mount Cameroon Race of Hope with Elvis Nsabinla and Adamu Irine claiming top honours respectively in the Men’s and Women’s categories of the 2024 edition of the 38KmK long race on Saturday in Buea in the South West region.

Nsabinla staged a spectacular finish in the Men’s category with a timing of 4:47:04, narrowly achieving victory over closest rival and fellow North Westerner, Amadou Abdu who arrived just a second later, and third-placed Saidu Nuhu Yerima who took the race in 4:49:04.

Elvis Nsabinla, 2024 winner of the Mount Cameroon Race of Hope

In the Women’s category, a resilient Irine who said she was the first female athlete to arrive the summit of Mount Fako was also the first to cross the finish line at the Molyko stadium finishing in 5:36:03. She came ahead of Tum Macrina who arrived two minutes later to finish on the second position and Ngalim Lizette who emerged third with a timing of 5:52:09.

Nsabinla who won the race in 2022 sprinted less than 100 meters away from the finish line at the Molyko stadium and overtook Abdu who was on course to winning the crown this year.

“I will be back next year by God’s grace,” Nsabinla said.

Besides other material prizes, the winners go home with taxable cash prizes of FCF 10 million, 7 million and 5 million respective for the first, second and third places in both categories.

Both Nsabinla and Irine were third in their different categories in the race last year.

Kenyan dominates, fails to finish
Kenyan athlete, William Cheboi Rutto was on course to winning the annual footrace. The first of the over 550 participating athletes to arrive the summit of the 4095 meters high mountain – the highest point in western Africa, he dominated the race maintaining his first position for about four hours and twenty minutes when he was overtaken close to the Molyko stadium.

A few kilometers to the finish line at the Molyko stadium, Rutto displayed visible signs of fatigue, frequently stopping and walking before engaging his legs as he sprinted down. His closest rivals took advantage of his frequent stoppages and sprinted pass him. He will later cross the finished line at the sixth position.

Over 550 athletes from 11 countries including Cameroon took part in the race across all categories including the senior and junior men and women and the relay, according to state broadcaster, the Cameroon Radio Television, CRTV Sports and Entertainment.

Some 173 of the participating athletes were from the North West Athletics Club according to same source. Athletes from the region with several mountains have been dominating the race in the last couple of years.

Since seven times winner, Sarah Liengu Etonge was crowned Queen of the Mountain in 2005, female athletes from the North West region like Ngwanya Yvonne, Tatah Carine, Galim Lizzette among others have dominated the podium. The story not so different for the Men’s category where athletes from the region like Mbacha Eric, Godlove Gabsibuin, Fai Elvis Ndzedzeni among others have been dominating the podium since 2009.

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