Athlete Profile

    Kenya Kenya
    01 FEB 1982
Innes Chenonge crosses the finish line to win the women's 8km race at the 2010 Kenyan Armed Forces Cross Country Championships at Kahawa, Nairobi. (Elias Makori)

Highest Ever World Ranking Positions

Discipline Place Duration
Women's Overall Ranking 3799 for 1 week
Women's Road Running 321 for 1 week
Highest ever World Rankings position is considered from 1/1/2019


Discipline Performance Wind Venue Date Records Results Score
1500 Metres 4:08.61 Nairobi (KEN) 27 JUN 2009 1137
2000 Metres 5:44.51 Boudewijnstadion, Bruxelles (BEL) 04 SEP 2009 1112
3000 Metres 8:37.17 Thessaloniki (GRE) 13 SEP 2009 1183
5000 Metres 14:39.19 Stade de France, Paris-St-Denis (FRA) 16 JUL 2010 1204
10,000 Metres 33:52.3h Nairobi (KEN) 21 MAY 2010 1042
5 Kilometres 17:53 Lisboa (POR) 27 MAY 2012 873
10 Kilometres 32:30 Seveso (ITA) 25 APR 2001 1132
15 Kilometres 48:13 Le Puy-en-Velay (FRA) 01 MAY 2009 1178
Half Marathon 1:09:08 Lisboa (POR) 20 MAR 2011 1167
Half Marathon 1:08:54 * Lisboa (POR) 24 MAR 2002 1154
Marathon 2:44:52 Torino (ITA) 18 NOV 2012 991


* Not legal.

Latest Active Season: 2018


Discipline Performance Wind Place Date Records Results Score
Half Marathon 1:13:43 Béjaïa (ALG) 06 MAY 2018 1058


1500 Metres

Performance Place Date
2010 4:34.7h Nairobi (KEN) 21 MAY 2010
2009 4:08.61 Nairobi (KEN) 27 JUN 2009
2008 4:19.6h Nairobi (KEN) 26 JUN 2008
2006 4:18.50 Nairobi (KEN) 08 JUN 2006
2005 4:14.7h Nairobi (KEN) 18 JUN 2005
2004 4:18.0h Kakamega (KEN) 27 MAR 2004
2002 4:17.1h Nairobi (KEN) 08 JUN 2002


2000 Metres

Performance Place Date
2009 5:44.51 Boudewijnstadion, Bruxelles (BEL) 04 SEP 2009
2003 6:00.88 Ostrava (CZE) 12 JUN 2003


3000 Metres

Performance Place Date
2010 8:37.63 Stade Olympique de la Pontaise, Lausanne (SUI) 08 JUL 2010
2009 8:37.17 Thessaloniki (GRE) 13 SEP 2009
2008 8:57.54 Stade Louis II, Monaco (MON) 29 JUL 2008
2006 8:39.29 Gottlieb-Daimler Stadion, Stuttgart (GER) 10 SEP 2006
2005 8:42.38 Oslo (NOR) 29 JUL 2005
2004 8:43.80 Stockholm (SWE) 27 JUL 2004
2003 9:01.84 Rovereto (ITA) 10 SEP 2003
2002 8:40.02 Zürich (SUI) 16 AUG 2002
2001 8:58.89 Lisboa (POR) 16 JUN 2001


5000 Metres

Performance Place Date
2016 16:52.5h Nairobi (KEN) 27 APR 2016
2013 16:47.0h Nairobi (KEN) 09 MAY 2013
2010 14:39.19 Stade de France, Paris-St-Denis (FRA) 16 JUL 2010
2009 14:41.62 Bislett Stadion, Oslo (NOR) 03 JUL 2009
2008 15:20.10 Boudewijnstadion, Bruxelles (BEL) 05 SEP 2008
2006 14:47.48 Oslo (NOR) 02 JUN 2006
2005 14:54.43 Stade Louis II, Monaco (MON) 09 SEP 2005
2004 15:00.76 San Sebastián (ESP) 03 JUL 2004
2003 15:35.04 Boudewijnstadion, Bruxelles (BEL) 05 SEP 2003
2002 15:06.06 Manchester (GBR) 28 JUL 2002
2001 15:45.63 Maia (POR) 14 JUL 2001


5 Kilometres

Performance Place Date
2012 17:53 Lisboa (POR) 27 MAY 2012


10,000 Metres

Performance Place Date
2013 34:24.7h Nairobi (KEN) 11 MAY 2013
2010 33:52.3h Nairobi (KEN) 21 MAY 2010


10 Kilometres

Performance Place Date
2002 32:30 La Courneuve (FRA) 31 MAR 2002
2001 32:30 Seveso (ITA) 25 APR 2001


15 Kilometres

Performance Place Date
2010 50:23 Le Puy-en-Velay (FRA) 01 MAY 2010
2009 48:13 Le Puy-en-Velay (FRA) 01 MAY 2009
2006 49:45 Le Puy-en-Velay (FRA) 01 MAY 2006
2001 49:40 Porto (POR) 17 JUN 2001


Half Marathon

Performance Place Date
2018 1:13:43 Béjaïa (ALG) 06 MAY 2018
2013 1:19:31 Karlovy Vary (CZE) 25 MAY 2013
2011 1:09:08 Lisboa (POR) 20 MAR 2011
2003 1:15:06 Lisboa (POR) 28 SEP 2003
2002 1:11:25 Bruxelles (BEL) 05 MAY 2002
2001 1:10:35 Aveiro (POR) 01 DEC 2001



Performance Place Date
2012 2:44:52 Torino (ITA) 18 NOV 2012

Honours - World Championships

Place Discipline Mark Wind Place Date
6. 5000 Metres 15:06.06 Olympiastadion, Berlin (GER) 22 AUG 2009

Honours - World Cross Country Championships

Place Discipline Mark Wind Place Date
10. Senior Race 27:00 Golf Club Al Bisharat, Amman (JOR) 28 MAR 2009

Honours - World (Continental) Cup

Place Discipline Mark Wind Place Date
4. 3000 Metres 9:07.18 Poljud Stadion, Split (CRO) 04 SEP 2010

Honours - African Championships

Place Discipline Mark Wind Place Date
4. 5000 Metres 16:22.65 Nyayo National Stadium, Nairobi (KEN) 29 JUL 2010

Honours - World Athletics Final

Place Discipline Mark Wind Place Date
4. 3000 Metres 8:37.17 Thessaloniki (GRE) 13 SEP 2009
4. 3000 Metres 8:39.29 Gottlieb-Daimler Stadion, Stuttgart (GER) 10 SEP 2006
4. 5000 Metres 14:54.43 Stade Louis II, Monaco (MON) 09 SEP 2005
7. 5000 Metres 15:29.55 Thessaloniki (GRE) 12 SEP 2009
7. 5000 Metres 15:28.18 Stade Louis II, Monaco (MON) 18 SEP 2004

Honours - Commonwealth Games

Place Discipline Mark Wind Place Date
3. 5000 Metres 16:02.47 New Delhi (IND) 12 OCT 2010
3. 5000 Metres 15:06.06 Manchester (GBR) 28 JUL 2002
6. 5000 Metres 15:12.34 Melbourne (AUS) 24 MAR 2006
Results in:

Half Marathon

Date Competition Cnt. Cat Race Pl. Result
04 MAR 2018 Moshi Kilimanjaro Half Marathon, Moshi TANTAN F F 6. 1:14:53
06 MAY 2018 Bejaia Half Marathon, Béjaïa ALGALG E F 3. 1:13:43
01 SEP 2018 Lille Half Marathon, Lille FRAFRA E F 2. 1:14:53
28 OCT 2018 Valencia Half Marathon, Valencia ESPESP A F 20. 1:16:16

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Updated 16 March 2009

Iness CHENONGE Chepkesis, Kenya  (3000m, 5000m, Cross Country)

Born: 1 February, 1982, Saboti, Trans Nzoia District, Rift Valley
Coach: James Kibet
Manager: Barnaba Korir (Golazo Sports)
Team: Armed Forces
Training: Ngong

At the age of 27, Iness Chenonge can be classified as a ‘veteran’ as far as Kenyan female runners are concerned. It is a well established fact that female athletes from one of the world’s most blessed cradle of distance runners peak whilst young. The 1997 10,000m world champion Sally Barsosio, 19 at the time, and Pamela Jelimo, who took Olympic 800m gold medal in Beijing last year at 18, are among numerous examples.

So, it is rather shocking that the gifted Armed Forces officer, who has been blazing the track, road and country in Kenya and overseas for almost a decade, will be making only her second appearance for her nation at a World Championships in Amman. Not that Chenonge has not donned the famed red, green and black running gear before as she competed for her country in the 2002 and 2006 Commonwealth Games, held respectively in Manchester and Melbourne.

But, for a runner who has competed at some of the globe’s biggest cathedrals of athletics, including the tracks at Oslo, Brussels, Stockholm and Monaco, in addition to making four appearances at the World Athletics Finals, having never appeared at a World Cross, World Championships or Olympics blotted the curriculum vitae of her otherwise rewarding career.

Chenonge’s odyssey in the sport that has become her mainstay in life, even contributing to her finding her true love, began in 2000 in her final year of school education at Kwanza Secondary. “I was a very keen lover of volleyball and netball but then I realised I could run after trying it in school,” Chenonge said. “I reached the provincials of the schools championships in the 5000m and 1500m races and became more interested in athletics.”

However, any further progression that year had to be put on hold as she concentrated on wrapping up her O Levels and, upon sitting for her Kenya Certificate of Secondary Education main examinations, Chenonge joined a training camp in Kapcherop. Her first race culminated in a 10km road victory organised by Italian manager Dr Gabriele Rosa in Eldoret and, shortly after, Chenonge linked up with the camp run by 1995 World Half Marathon silver medallist, Shem Kororia in Kapsokwony, Mt Elgon.

The same facility has nurtured the likes of 2008 World Cross silver winner, Leonard Komon, 2008 Olympic 10,000m fourth place finisher Moses Masai and sister Linet, the women’s World Junior 25-lap record holder among other talented runners from the mountainous region.

In 2001, under Rosa, Chenonge made her first sortie in European road race and track competition. Her season returned times of 49:58 (Le-Puy-en-Velay 15km Road Race, southern France), 1:10:35 (Half Marathon, Aviero, Portugal), 15:45.63 (5000m, Maia) and 8:58.89 (3000m, Lisbon).

Chenonge’s highlight of 2002 was bagging 5000m bronze at the Commonwealth Games with a season best time of 15:06.6.  She had made her competitive debut in a Kenyan strip a month earlier at the World Half Marathon Championships, in Brussels, but it ended in a disappointing 20th place finish (1:11:25).  Her year’s top effort over 3000m was an 8:40.02 clocking in Zurich and a fourth place finish at the Lisbon Half Marathon, in 1:08:54, remains her PB for the distance.

That was the same year in which Chenonge paced Paula Radcliffe (Britain) to a blistering 2:18.56 victory at April’s Flora London Marathon. The winning time was only nine seconds shy of the then World record of 2:18:47 held by Catherine Ndereba.

Chenonge was not selected either for the 2003 World Cross, in Lausanne, or for the track and field World Championships, in Paris, after finishing 33rd at the Kenya Cross Country Championships and recording 16:15.1 for 5000m at the track trials. She raced in Europe where her best performances were 1:15:06 (5th, Lisbon Half Marathon) 9:01.84 (3000m, Rovereto, Italy) and 15:35.04 (5000m, Brussels). She sealed her campaign with ninth place at her first World Athletics Final, in Monaco, clocking 15:49.14.

Chenonge proceeded to military training in October in Lanet, graduating in June 2004 as a Physical Training Instructor. Upon being commissioned, she resumed her athletics career, running seasonal best times of 15:00.76 (5000m, San Sebastián) and 8:43.80 (3000m Stockholm). She made her second WAF showing with an improved seventh place (15:28.18) in the 5000m.

In 2005, Chenonge clocked 15:21.0 for fifth at the National Trials for the World Championships, in Helsinki, ending her interest of making the Kenya team for that event. Her top performances of the year were 8:42.38 (3000m, Oslo) and a first sub 15:00 5000m at her third successive WAF, in Monaco, where she ran 14:54.43 to finish just outside the medals.

At the trials for the 2006 Fukuoka World Cross Country in March, Chenonge placed seventh but was not selected in the Kenya provisional team since she had qualified for the Commonwealth Games in Melbourne later that month. The Armed Forces runner had earned her ticket when she finished second (16:08.0) behind breakaway winner Isabella Ochichi (15:47.7) at the Melbourne Trials.
In Melbourne, Chenonge was unable to repeat her medal performance in Manchester, clocking 15:12.34 for sixth. Seasonal highlights included running a personal best 5000m (14:47.48) at the Bislett Games Golden League meeting in Oslo where she placed eighth. Her fourth appearance at the WAF brought another career best time (8:39.29, 3000m) for fourth.

By the end of 2006, having met fellow athlete Suleiman Kipses Simotwo, her future husband, on her numerous travels abroad, Chenonge was expectant with a daughter. The girl, Cayla Chebet, was born on 28 July 2007 and, later that year, the couple tied their nuptials in a quiet ceremony.

Simotwo, a quintessential journeyman athlete, specialising at 1500m, has competed far and wide but has represented Kenya only once, when he finished seventh (3:41.04) at the 2008 World Indoor Championships, in Valencia. “He has been very strong for me and I admire him for that,” Chenonge said. “He motivates me to perform and trains together with me and, being a man, it helps to improve my endurance and speed because I always try to beat him.”

Chenonge took a six-month break from competition to cater for the newborn and resumed training in early 2008, finishing 12th in the women’s 8km race of the Armed Forces Cross Country Championships.  During the course of the year, she failed to qualify for the World Cross Country in Edinburgh, the African Athletics Championships, in Addis Ababa , and the Beijing Olympics. Her top performances of the year on the track were posted in the Herculis Super GP in Monaco (8th, 3000m, 8:57.54) and the Memorial Van Damme Golden League event in Brussels (13th, 5000m, 15:20.10).

Returning home in November to train for the cross-country campaign, Chenonge made her first competitive appearance at the fifth KCC/AK National Cross Country Series meeting in Nyahururu, in December, placing fourth in the women’s 8km. Buoyed by the performance, she returned to training in Ngong in preparation for the Armed Forces Cross Country Championships that were to mark her first race for 2009. She also switched manager signing up for Golazo early this year.

At that event (17 January), Chenonge placed fourth and was named in the Forces squad for the National Trials. On 21 February, in a performance that perhaps blew even her away, Chenonge chased winner Florence Kiplagat to the tape as the pair broke away from a star-studded field to finish second in the 8km race to earn an automatic ticket for Amman. Chenonge ran 28:31.8 against Kiplagat’s 28:31.4.
“I saw it as if a miracle had just happened,” Chenonge said. “I had tried many times to make it before and now, I had done it. My aim was just to finish among the top four and get selected but to come so close to win the race surprised me. All the hours of training finally paid off. My aim in Amman is to be among the medals. I believe that I am in the required form and I pray that on the day, God will bless me so that my body can be in shape to achieve my dream.”

And does she have anything else to attribute for her rich vein of form? “Since the birth of Cayla, I have felt stronger. I guess childbirth at one stage of a female athlete’s career is a good re-energising factor but it does not mean that young female runners should rush to have children. They should develop their careers first.

“I believe qualifying for Amman is the beginning of a successful phase of my international career and qualifying for the event will always lift me. After Amman, I will focus on Berlin (World Athletics Championships) or road racing, depending on what my body dictates to me, but it will not be the end of competing for Kenya.”

Personal Bests
2000m: 6:00.88 (2002)
3000m: 8:39.29 (2006)
5000m: 14:47.48 (2006)
15km: 49:45 (2006)
Half Marathon: 1:08:54 (2002)

Yearly Progression
3000m: 2001 - 8:58.8; 2002 - 8:40.02; 2003 - 9:01.84; 2004 - 8:43.80; 2005 - 8:42.38; 2006 - 8:39.29; 2007 – 2008 - 8:57.54
5000m: 2001 - 15:45.63; 2002 - 15:06.06; 2003 - 15:35.04; 2004 - 15:00.76; 2005 -14:54.43; 2006 - 14:47.48; 2007 – 2008 - 15:20.10
Half Marathon: 2003 - 1:15:06; 2002 - 1:08:54; 2001 - 1:10:35

Career Highlights
2002    3rd    Commonwealth Games (5000m)
2002    20th    World Half Marathon Championships
2003    9th    World Athletics Final (5000m)
2004    7th    World Athletics Final (5000m)
2005    4th    World Athletics Final (5000m)
2006    6th    Commonwealth Games (5000m)
2006     4th    World Athletics Final (3000m)

Prepared by James Wokabi and Mutwiri Mutuota for the IAAF ‘Focus on Athletes’ project. Copyright IAAF 2008

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