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Kenyan runner suffers broken ribs, hand after hippo attack

Edwin Mokua is in hospital after he was attacked by a hippopotamus on a training run near Nyahururu, Kenya

On Monday, Kenyan road runner Edwin Mokua was attacked by a hippopotamus while out for a training run near Nyahururu, a town between Eldoret and Nairobi. As unlucky as Mokua was, he was fortunate enough to have been running with a training partner, Denis Kipkoskei, who came to his rescue and scared off the group of hippos. According to a report from the Kenyan newspaper Daily Nation, Mokua was set to race the Izmir Marathon in Turkey on Sunday, but he will be on a running hiatus for the next while as he recovers from broken ribs and a fractured hand. 

Mokua was running behind Kipkoskei along the River Ewaso when he was attacked. “I passed by the animals, but didn’t see [Mokua] when I looked back seconds later,” Kipkoskei told Daily Nation. “Then I saw him struggle to free himself from one of the hippos. I scared off the rest before turning my energies to the one that was attacking him.” Mokua is lucky to have gotten away with only a few broken bones, and he is currently staying at the hospital in Nyahururu. 

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The Izmir Marathon would have been Mokua’s debut at the distance. He has run several half-marathons, and he boasts a PB of 1:02:50, which he ran in Japan in 2015. Earlier in 2020, before COVID-19 put a hold on racing worldwide, Mokua took the win at the Trabzon Half Marathon, also in Turkey, in 1:03:03. The half-marathon in Trabzon was his only competition of the year, and while he had plans to pick his season back up with Sunday’s race, his marathon debut will have to wait.