Kenyan takes out historic Burma marathon

Kenyan takes out historic Burma marathon

Kenyan takes out historic Burma marathon

Updated 28 January 2013, 19:47 AEDT

A Kenyan runner snatched victory on Sunday in the first international marathon to be held in Burma in nearly 20 years.

Kenyan runner Joseph Gitau Kariuki defeated fellow countryman Onesmus Muindi in Burma's Yoma Yangon International Marathon on Sunday - the first international marathon to be held in Burma for nearly 20 years.

Burmese runner Mi Mi Aye took out first place in the female category with a time of 2:46:07, closely followed by her compatriots Pa Pa and Nilar San.

"Actually, the weather here in Myanmar and in Kenya, it's almost the same," Kariuki said after the race.

"So for me, I was, it was kind of I was running in the same weather condition that I train in. So, it was very easy for me."

Organisers said more than 1000 participants took part in the race, with proceeds going to charity.

The 42, 10 and 3 kilometre races started and finished at People's Park, one block from Shwe Dagon Pagoda, one of Rangoon's (Yangon) most iconic landmarks.

Spokesperson for event sponsor Yoma Strategic Investments, Khin Thu Thu, told Radio Australia's Connect Asia the day went "really well."

"It was a great scene for all of us and we were very glad that we managed to pull it off," Ms Thu Thu said.

"The main aim for this race is to showcase Yangon to the world and also to show that, you know, Myanmar is capable of hosting such international events."

International athletes are expected to flock to Burma again in December, when the country hosts the 27th South East Asian Games.