domenica 17 aprile 2016

Haspa Marathon Hamburg: Melkamu breaks course record, Abera wins

Press Release - Haspa Marathon Hamburg:

Meselech Melkamu breaks course record, Tesfaye Abera wins Hamburg

Ethiopia’s Meselech Melkamu smashed the course record by more than two minutes in the Haspa Marathon Hamburg. Finishing in 2:21:54 despite windy conditions she made a strong statement regarding the selection of Ethiopia’s marathon Olympic team. Fellow-Ethiopian and defending champion Meseret Hailu was second with 2:26:26 while Germany’s Anja Scherl caused an upset with a tremendous run for third place. Improving by more than eight minutes to 2:27:50 she has secured Olympic selection. 

Ethiopia’s Tesfaye Abera took the men’s race in 2:06:58. Achieving his second marathon win this year after taking Dubai in a world lead of 2:04:23, he should gain selection for the Olympic team. Kenyans Philemon Rono and Josphat Kiprono followed in second and third with 2:07:20 and 2:10:44 respectively.

Women’s Race: Fast Pace from the Start



Meselech Melkamu dictated the pace together with the defending champion Meseret Hailu from the start with the Kenyan Sarah Chepchirchir pressing at their heels. That scenario came to an end just before 20km when Melkamu broke away in the style which reminded onlookers of her best performance of 2:21:01. She went through halfway in 71:04 and a 15 second lead over Hailu and Chepchirchir. Despite the strong headwind at times during the second half of the race, Melkamu maintained her pace and the pursuing duo were unable to cut the deficit. Meseret Hailu finished second in 2:26:26 but Chepchirchir faded to seventh place in 2:30:08.

“I think that without the wind I could have run under 2:20 today because it’s a fast course. This was one of the best performances of my career. I hope it will be enough to win Olympic selection,” said the 30 year old Meselech Melkamu, who is also the African record holder at 10,000m. She improved the course record by Netsanet Abeyo by 2:18 minutes. The fellow-Ethiopian ran 2:24:12 in 2012.

For much of the race Anja Scherl was in seventh place. Her objective from the start was to run the Olympic qualifying time for the German team. Her race splits showed she was on course to break 2:30 and the qualifying time was 2:30:30. But there was an added proviso – to be relatively sure of booking a trip to Rio, Anja Scherl had to run faster than Anna Hahner, who ran 2:30:19 in Berlin last autumn.

When she went through halfway in 73:57 in seventh place, Anja Scherl admitted she was startled: “I was really surprised by the time, even a little shocked. But until 32 kilometres I had no problems at all, it was a fantastic race for me,” said Scherl, who ran as Anja Schneider before her marriage. Even the strong headwinds over the second half failed to slow her pace. By 35 km she had improved to fifth, moving up two more places in the last five kilometres. “I still can’t believe yet that I’ve qualified for Rio,” said Anja Scherl, whose place in the Olympic Marathon team is now guaranteed. She took a giant slice off her personal best with an improvement of 8:41 minutes and became the eighth fastest German woman in the marathon of all time.

There was also good news further down the women’s field: Leila Luik ensured that Estonia would be sending all three sisters to the Olympic marathon after she ran 2:42:11. Her target had been to break her federation’s qualifying time of 2:45 which means she should now join her sisters Liina and Lily in the marathon squad.

Men’s Race: Times gone with the Wind



Wind was a strong factor as shown by the race splits and the way the men’s race developed. In the early stages a tail wind gave the leading group an extra boost between 7 and 15 kilometres, giving them a split time for the latter of 44:17 and on course for a finishing time of 2:04:30. The course record of 2:05:30, set by Kenya’s Eliud Kipchoge three years ago, appeared to be in danger.

They couldn’t maintain this kind of pace consistently as headwinds began to blow strongly. The leading group comprising ten men reached halfway in 62:49 but by 30km the numbers were cut in half. This quintet consisted of four runners plus the Kenyan pacemaker Albert Kangogo and reached 30km in 1:29:29. The pacemaker then dropped out, leaving the outcome to be decided between Tesfaye Abera and Philemon Ron along with the Ethiopian Abayneh Ayele and Eritrea’s Yekeber Bayabel. It came down to a duel between the lanky Abera, 1.92m tall, and the diminutive Rono. After 35km the Ethiopian made a break but the Kenyan was back with him two kilometres later. The decisive attack came shortly before 40km when Abera attacked and Rono had no response.

“It was a good race for me. We ran in a big group and worked well together which led to very fast splits at the beginning. When I led later on, the wind was very strong,” said the 24 year old Tesfaye Abera. As far as his chances of Olympic selection were concerned, the Ethiopian, who is the fastest marathoner this year with his winning time of 2:04:23 in Dubai, commented: “What is important is that when the selectors decide, I am still the fastest Ethiopian.”

Results

Men:
1. Tesfaye Abera ETH 2:06:58
2. Philemon Rono KEN 2:07:20
3. Josphat Kiprono KEN 2:10:44
4. Abayneh Ayele ETH 2:11:49
5. Merhawi Kesete ERI 2:12:21
6. Ezekiel Chebii KEN 2:12:45
7. Ivan Fernandez ESP 2:12:55
8. Abdelhadi El Hachimi BEL 2:13:10

Women:
1. Meselech Melkamu ETH 2:21:54
2. Meseret Hailu ETH 2:26:26
3. Anja Scherl GER 2:27:50
4. Monika Stefanowicz POL 2:28:26
5. Madai Perez MEX 2:29:27
6. Kelly Arias COL 2:29:36
7. Sarah Chepchirchir KEN 2:30:08
8. Adriana da Silva BRA 2:31:23

lunedì 4 aprile 2016

Fwd: Meseret Defar, Joshua Cheptegei Prevail at Carlsbad 5000




 

PRESS RELEASE

 

Meseret Defar, Joshua Cheptegei Prevail at Carlsbad 5000

Bernard Lagat Shatters his own Masters World Record; Christian Cushing Murry and Julie Ertel place first in Men's and Women's Masters

 

SAN DIEGO – April 3, 2016 – Sunshine and speed: those two words perfectly embodied the Carlsbad 5000 on Sunday. The 31st edition of the world's fastest 5K took place with thousands of runners taking to the streets of one of California's most-scenic seaside towns.

 

The ultimate showdown for the day took place last with the men's and women's elite divisions that started after 11 a.m. Ethiopian Meseret Defar, a two-time Olympic gold medalist in the 5000 and the top-seeded runner on Sunday lived up to expectations to clearly dominate the woman's race. The 32-year-old Defar's time for the 5K was 15:02. Kenyan rival Caroline Kipkirui came across the line second in 15:13. Susan Kuijken, of the Netherlands was third in 15:28.

 

"The race was good. The first kilometer was a little bit fast," Defar recalled. "I didn't run a very fast time, but the race was good for me." Defar flashed a smile at the end and admitted that Carlsbad is her favorite road race. "It's my favorite place. The fans are amazing. They cheer me on. I am so happy to be here."

 

Defar is now setting her sights on preparations for the Summer Olympics in Rio later this year. "I will try to run the 10,000 at some Diamond League meetings before the Olympics," she said.

 

In the men's race, Joshua Cheptegei, of Uganda held back speedy competitors to win in 13:24. Wilson Too of Kenya (13:29) and Debeli Gezmu of Ethiopia (13:38) were second and third respectively.

 

The big news in Carlsbad in the men's race went to the American Bernard Lagat who, at 41 years old, was in prime shape to place fourth overall in 13:38 and better his own World Masters record by two seconds.

 

"I'm always happy to come here in Carlsbad and compete," Lagat said. "Thank you to the fans, too."

 

Lagat now hopes to make yet another Olympic team.

 

"I'm going to try and train and stay healthy before the U.S. Trials. I still want to run the 5000m in Rio, but my coach said we should mix it up a little bit and try the 10,000m and see if I can run a good time in May. If I run a good time like 28 [minutes] flat then I will be happy. But I'm a miler and to go up to a monster like a 10,000m will be a challenge."

 

The day started with the men's masters division. Forty-eight-year-old Christian Cushing Murray from Santa Ana, Calif., broke the tape first at the finish line in downtown Carlsbad in 15 minutes 11 seconds.

 

"I just knew it was a loaded field today," Murray said. "I didn't think there was one guy who could run me down; I thought there were five guys who could do it. I had never been more afraid."

 

Murray said the race was thrilling down to the wire with rival Greg Mitchell doing most of the work.

 

"We slowed down a bit and that helped because I knew I could kick. But on any given day, depending how the race plays out, I could end up losing this race 8 out of 10 times and I just got him." Murray had been struggling with injury last year and dealing with the challenges inherent in trying to run fast at the master's level. "Everyone is dealing with being old," he said. "Everyone is banged and dinged up. You got to step on the line and put yourself in the position to win it."

 

Mitchell from McMinnville, Oregon, came in 4 seconds later in 15:15, while third place was awarded to Jeremey Deere (15:18). Julie Ertel won the women's masters division in 17:30.

 

"It was good. The weather was fantastic, but those gals went out much faster than I expected," the 43-year-old Ertel who lives in nearby Irvine said. "My family used to vacation here. I love Carlsbad. I'm starting my vacation today. The crowds were great. There's nothing better than running a 5K and have people cheering the entire way. You don't get that at any other race."

 

Second masters went to Janet McDevitt (17:33) from Bainbridge Island, Washington, and Renee Tolan of Clifton Park, New York took third in 17:37.

 

Nick Scarpello, a former Penn State standout, won the men's 29 and under division in 14:31. "It was a great addition to the weekend," he said. "The race went out quick. I wanted to try and stick with my teammates. It was an effort from start to finish. This has to be one of the best races in the country to compete in. The Rock and Roll series always does a phenomenal job with post-collegiate athletes like myself."

 

Roosevelt Cook won the men's 30-39 division in 15:17, while Julia Budniak was the first women in that age group (17:15).

 

Regardless of performance or time, all participants got to enjoy the same rewards at the finish line. Runners over 21 toasted their achievements in a beer garden sponsored by Pizza Port, while the headliner of the Toyota Rock 'n' Roll Concert Series, Betamaxxx, jammed on stage to 80s cover songs as part of the race's finish-line. Race weekend kicked off on Saturday with Junior Carlsbad. More than 1,500 junior runners ages 12 and under took part in one of the eleven age-group races.

 

For complete results, photos and more, visit Carlsbad5000.com.

 

Download

Video

Photos

 

2016 Carlsbad 5000 Results

Name, Age, Hometown, Time

Elite Men

1.            Joshua Cheptegei, 19, Uganda, 13:24, $5,000

2.           Wilson Too, 25, Kenya, 13:29, $3,500

3.           Debeli Gezmu, 19, Ethiopia, 13:38, $2,000

4.           Bernard Lagat, 41, Tucson, AZ, 13:38, $6,500**

5.           Hassan Mead, 26, Eugene, OR, 13:39, $2,300*

6.           Clement Langat, 24, Kenya, 13:44, $700

7.            Haron Lagat, 32, Kenya, 13:55, $500

8.           Lawi Lalang, 24, Kenya, 13:58, $400

9.           Luke Caldwell, 24, Great Britain, 14:06, $300

10.         Kevin Batt, 25, Ireland, 14:06, $200

14.   Matt McElroy, 24, Poway, CA, 14:17, $1,000*

 

Elite Women

1.            Meseret Defar, 32, Ethiopia, 15:02, $5,000

2.           Caroline Kipkirui, 21, Kenya, 21, 15:13, $3,500

3.           Susan Kuijken, 29, Netherlands, 15:28, $2,000

4.           Diane Nukuri, 31, Burundi, 15:34, $1,000

5.           Sarah Lahti, 21, Sweden, 15:52, $800

6.           Jen Rhines, 41, Boston, MA, 15:53, $3,200*

7.            Eilish McColgan, 25, Great Britain, 16:01, $500

8.           Jessica O'Connell, 27, Canada, 16:04, $400

9.           Marisol Rosales, 32, Mexico, 16:11, $300

10.         Elvin Kibet, 26, Kenya, 16:16, $200

11.          Alisha Williams, 34, Golden, CO, 16:19, $1,000*

 

*Includes top three American bonus courtesy of John Legere

**Includes top three American time bonus and Master's World Record bonus

 

Master's Men

1.            Christian Cushing Murr, 48, Santa Ana, CA, 15:11, $1,000

2.           Greg Mitchell, 42, McMinnville, OR, 15:15, $500

3.           Jeremy Deere, 40, Canada, 15:18, $200

 

Master's Women

1.            Julie Ertel, 43, Irvine, CA, 17:30, $1,000

2.           Janet McDevitt, 42, Bainbridge Island, WA, 17:33, $500

3.           Renee Tolan, 42, Clifton Park, NY, 17:37, $200

 

Men's Wheelchair

1.            James Senbeta, 29, Savoy, IL, 10:14, $1,65o*

2.           Scott Parson, 56, San Jose, CA, 11:36, $1,000

3.           Francisco Ramierez, Mexico, 11:47, $500

 

Women's Wheelchair

1.            Shirley Reilly, 30, Tucson, AZ, 12:45, $650*

 

*Includes time bonus

 

Men's Carlsbad Mile

1.            Dusty Solis, 23, Big Bear Lake, CA, 4:18, $750

2.           Nick Scarpello, 24, 4:19, $500

3.           Slater Solis, 17, 4:51, Corona, CA, $250

 

Women's Carlsbad Mile

1.            Raquel Lambdin, 22, San Diego, CA, 5:01, $750

2.           Shannon, Leinhert, 28, San Diego, CA, 5:07, $500

3.           Cortney Berling, 26, Oceanside, CA, 5:12, $250

 

###


venerdì 25 marzo 2016

Bernard Lagat to headline 2016 Carlsbad 5000



PRESS RELEASE

Road to Fifth Olympics Leads Through Carlsbad for Bernard Lagat
·        American racing legend Bernard Lagat to headline world famous Carlsbad 5000
·        Event weekend to feature a new competitive 1-mile race on Saturday for the first time ever
·        World's Fastest 5k to take place the weekend of April 2-3, 2016; Online registration closes

CARLSBAD – March 24, 2016 – Even though he's 41 years old doesn't mean the world-famous middle-distance runner, Bernard Lagat, is ready to take it easy. The five-time world champion will be lacing up his shoes to compete in the Carlsbad 5000, billed as the "world's fastest 5K", next weekend in the beautiful California seaside town north of San Diego. Lagat, a Tucson, Arizona native owns a staggering 11 American records that range from the 1500m to the race distance he is competing in next weekend: the 5000.

"I'm excited to be coming back to Carlsbad and running the 5K again," Lagat said. This year is a big year for me. Hopefully a successful race in Carlsbad will lead to my fifth trip to the Olympics this summer."

This versatile runner who doesn't seem to age like the rest of us, will be squaring off against some still American and international competition in Carlsbad. Expected to give Lagat a run for the money is defending champion Lawi Lalang of Kenya. The 24-year-old is an 8-time champion from the University of Arizona and a close friend and training partner of Lagat.

Top runners from the United States include Will Leer who finished 4th at Carlsbad back in 2013 when he ran 13:36. The 30-year-old Leer, who ran successfully at Pomona College, owns a 13.21.55 5000m PR that he ran on a track.

Kenya and the United States aside, there are also elite runners from other countries who will be toeing the line in the world's fastest 5K most notably Andy Vernon of Great Britain who owns three European medals: one silver and two bronze. The super-fast Carlsbad course is especially memorable to the 30-year-old who set a PR of 13.40 there back in 2012. An Aussie will also be in the mix on Sunday as two-time Olympian Collis Birmingham looks to improve on his 5000m road PR that he set in Carlsbad back in 2009 when he finished in 13:27 for fifth place.

The Carlsbad 5000 is a signature event of the Rock 'n' Roll series. This year marks the 31st anniversary of this storied race, which as witnessed 16 world records, 8 U.S. records, as well as numerous age-group records along its scenic and lively waterfront course.

The race weekend kicks off with a Junior Carlsbad pre-registration party on Friday. On Saturday, the action begins when 1500 junior runners ages 12 and under will take part in one of the eleven age-group races. For the first time in 2016, Saturday's events will include a new 1-mile race for adults featuring $3,000 in prize money. The culminating event in Carlsbad takes place that next day on Sunday when the starting gun for the famous 3.1-mile race sounds. The party doesn't end with a finisher medal, however, as all runners over 21 years of age can step into a post-race beer garden for free suds from Pizza Port while enjoying live music and celebrating their accomplishments.


Another impressive add to the field:



For more information, or to register for the event, visit Carlsbad5000.com.
 

# # #




giovedì 17 marzo 2016

ELITE FIELD #LISBONHALF





LIVESTREAMING FROM 11am CET





ELITE FIELD  ANNOUNCED:


MEN

Goitom KIFLEKibrom GHEBREZGIABHIER (ERI)Alejandro FERNANDEZ (SPA)Moses KIBET (UGA)Amanuel MESEL (ERI)Emmanuel BETT (KEN)Sammy Kirop KITWARA (KEN)Leonard KOMON (KEN)Kenneth Kipkemoi (KEN)John KIPKOECHEmmanuel KIPSANGStephen ARITAPaul LONYANGATAPeter Emase LEMUYAFrank CALDEIRAKevin KOCHEIValerijs ZOLNEROVICSJEAN DAMASCÈNE HABARUREMA (FRANÇA)ARGO JOESOO (ESTÓNIA)Hermano FERREIRAAyele BETESFAIvan FERNANDEZErcan MusluNdirangu John MAINA (PACE)TIAGO COSTARUI TEIXEIRAEL KALAYHERMANO FERREIRARICARDO DIASMIGUEL RIBEIROFERNANDO SERRÃOJOÃO ANTUNESJORGE VARELAHÉLIO FUMOPEDRO RIBEIRO

 WOMEN


Linet MASAIBeata NANDJALA NAIGAMBORuti AGAKoren YALClemence CALVINEunice CHEBICII CHUMBAYmer WUDE AYALEWSara MOREIRADulce FÉLIXDominika NAPIERAJJelena PROKOPCUKAAnita KAZEMAKAFatna MARAOUIVERA NUNESMONICA SILVACARLA MARTINHOCELMA BONFIM (S. TOMÉ E PRINCÍPE)MOJCA GRANDOVEC (ESLOVÉNIA)



 

martedì 15 marzo 2016

HASPA MARATHON HAMBURG on 17th April: Shumi Dechasa sets sights on second victory

PRESS RELEASE: HASPA MARATHON HAMBURG ON 17th APRIL

Shumi Dechasa sets sights on second Hamburg victory

Tadesse Tola and Shumi Dechasa are top of the charts among the elite athletes for the Haspa Marathon Hamburg which takes place on April 17. While the Ethiopian Tola is the fastest man in the field with his time of 2:04:49, his former compatriot Dechasa is the 2014 race winner. Since 2013 Dechasa has been running for Bahrain and in Hamburg two years ago ran what remains his personal best of 2:06:43. He is one of six runners whose lifetime best is under 2:07:30 in the elite men’s field announced by the organisers of the Haspa Marathon Hamburg today. Including a relay event around 23,000 runners are expected to participate in Germany’s biggest spring marathon on Sunday, April 17. Online entries are still available at www.haspa-hamburg-marthon.de

“We are excited at prospects for the race. If conditions are good, we can expect to see very good times on April 17,” said the race director Frank Thaleiser.

While for many leading runners the pursuit of Olympic qualification for their respective national teams will be their priority in the 31st edition of the Haspa Marathon Hamburg, Shumi Dechasa doesn’t have to worry on that score. His place in Rio is already booked. The Bahrain record holder in the marathon earned selection with fifth place in the World Championships in Beijing last year. The 26-year-old’s objective instead will be to achieve his second win in three starts at the Haspa Marathon Hamburg as well as the challenge of improving his personal best. He made his marathon debut in Germany’s biggest spring marathon in impressive style, running 2:07:56 for fourth place in 2012. He went over a minute faster in achieving his personal best of 2:06:43 for victory in Hamburg in 2014.

Shumi Dechasa is likely to pay special attention on race day to two former compatriots and a Kenyan duo among his rivals: Tadesse Tola is the fastest contender with a personal best of 2:04:49 set three years ago in Dubai and that time also makes the Ethiopian the fastest man ever to be entered for the Haspa Marathon Hamburg. The 28-year-old won a bronze medal at the 2013 World Championship marathon and delivered further proof of his quality when he finished second in the Tokyo Marathon in 2014, running 2:05:57. Such is the high standard of Ethiopian distance running, Tola is likely to have to run faster than ever to qualify for Rio. Although Feyisa Bekele has a strong personal best, the Ethiopian’s performances in recent years have fallen short of the standard shown by his 2:06:26 in Amsterdam in 2012.

In contrast, Philemon Rono of Kenya has shown consistently good form. Two years ago he made an excellent marathon debut in Hamburg, finishing third in 2:07:07. He added a fourth place in 2:08:18 last year so will be making his third consecutive appearance in Hamburg. The 25-year-old’s recent form bodes well, running 60:42 at high altitude in the Nairobi Half Marathon, only three seconds outside his personal best. Another Kenyan whom Shumi Dechasa will have to take into account is Ezekiel Chebii after his improvement to 2:07:18 in Amsterdam last autumn.

Another runner who has long enjoyed a high international profile is Hendrick Ramaala of South Africa. At the age of 44 it is probably too much to expect him to be in contention for victory, but the 44-year-old could still achieve something out of the ordinary: Hamburg represents his attempt to qualify for a fourth Olympics. Ramaala has proven pedigree, having won the New York City Marathon in 2004 and run 2:06:55 for third place in London in 2006. Challenging for a fourth Olympic Games will still be a tall order, given that Ramaala has not broken 2:12 since 2009.

Two marathon debutants will be worth watching on April 17: Moses Kipsiro of Uganda, the 2009 World Cross Country silver medallist and with a successful track career behind him, moved closer to realising his marathon potential with a half marathon debut of 60:41 for eighth place in New Delhi last autumn. Nicholas Bor of Kenya should also be capable of a strong debut, having run 27:38 for 10km on the road and 60:09 at half marathon.

More information about the Haspa Marathon Hamburg and online entry is available at: www.haspa-marathon-hamburg.de 

Please note: You may use the attached photo for online purposes and only in conjunction with this press release. It shows the leading group during the Haspa Marathon Hamburg in 2014 with Shumi Dechasa and Philemon Rono. Credit essential: Haspa Marathon Hamburg

lunedì 14 marzo 2016

Defending Champions Wanjiru, Degefa Return to Sportisimo Prague Half Marathon

Defending Champions Wanjiru, Degefa Return to Sportisimo Prague Half Marathon
Reigning champions Daniel Wanjiru of Kenya and Worknesh Degefa of Ethiopia are back to defend their crowns, but each promises to face strong challenges from a field deep with fast and experienced contenders at the Sportisimo Prague Half Marathon on April 2. The men’s race will feature five athletes who have broken the one-hour barrier and another 11 who have run sub-1:01. On the women’s side, the field includes six runners with a personal best under 1:10.

The Sportisimo Prague Half Marathon marks the start of the RunCzech Running League 2016, which features a total of seven high-quality races throughout the Czech Republic. Among those is the Volkswagen Prague Marathon on May 8.

For the first time, the RunCzech Running League races will all carry an IAAF Gold Label, the highest award given to long distance races by the sport’s global governing body. In 2016, there are 35 cities that have received the IAAF Gold Road Race Label, and a total of 43 labels awarded by IAAF. With three Gold Labels, Prague is the most decorated city in road racing, and with seven Gold Labels, the Czech Republic has more than any country in the world.

“The Sportisimo Prague Half Marathon is the first race of RunCzech Running League 2016, and we are very proud that for the first time in history all seven RunCzech races are awarded the IAAF Gold Race Label,” Carlo Capalbo, the President of the RunCzech Organizing Committee, said when introducing the elite start list for the upcoming race. “The Czech Republic is the number one country in the world according to the number of races with the highest award a race organizer can receive.“

Wanjiru returns to Prague after a surprising victory in 2015, when he clocked 59:51 to defeat, among others, fellow Kenyans Peter Kirui, the 2014 Birell Grand Prix 10-K champion, and Geoffrey Ronoh, the 2014 Mattoni Olomouc Half Marathon winner. Kirui and Ronoh are back to challenge Wanjiru, however all three must also contend with Abraham Cheroben, the fastest half marathoner in the world in 2014. Cheroben’s PR of 58:48 is only one second off the race record of 58:47 set in 2012 by Ethiopia’s Atsedu Tsegay.

Much like Wanjiru, Degefa was a revelation in overcoming a stacked field in winning last year’s Prague Half. With headliner Edna Kiplagat unable to race due to a visa issue, and Lucy Kabuu a non-factor on a windy day, Degefa stormed to a one-minute victory in 67:14. After her win, Degefa went on to finish in the top three in her final four half marathons of 2015. The 25-year-old appears to be in fine form, judging by her seventh-place finish in the Ras Al-Khaimah Half Marathon in 67:32 on Feb 12 and her victory in RomaOstia Half Marathon with PR 1:07:08 on March 13.

This year, Degefa will face a field of stiff international competition, including Kenyans Isabella Ochichi, who was third in the 2013 Prague Half, and Violah Jepchumba, who will be running her third career marathon having won her first two, in Remich in 2014 and in Udine in 2015. Another top challenger figures to be Sara Moreira of Portugal, who last year clocked a personal-best 69:18 in a second-place finish at the Lisbon Half and also finished runner-up in the Volkswagen Prague Marathon, in a PR 2:24:49, and fourth in the TCS New York City Marathon.

Other international women’s challengers include Susan Partridge of Great Britain, who owns a 70:32 PR in 29 career half marathons; Alessandra Aguilar of Spain, who has a PR of 70:36 and ran 72:02 in Santa Pola in January; and Misato Horie of Japan, whose PR of 70:26 should have her in the mix.

The Czech faithful will have strong athletes to cheer for in both the men’s and women’s races. Jan Kreisinger is the class of the Czech men with his PR of 63:38, but Jiri Homolac (65:41) and Milan Kocourek (65:47) promise to be hot on his heels. In the women’s race, look for Anezka Drahotova, the 2014 European bronze medalist in the 20-kilometer race walk and 2014 World Junior champion in the 10,000-meter race walk, to contend for a Top 10 position. Drahotova ran her half marathon PR of 74:25 in Prague earlier that year.

“We are extremely happy that both winners of the last year’s Prague Half Marathon edition, Daniel Wanjiru and Worknesh Degefa, will come up to the start line of this race also this year” Capalbo said. “I’m also looking forward to the performances of Czech athletes, both men and women.”

Main contenders with personal bests
 
Men:
 
Abraham CherobenKEN0:58:48
Peter KiruiKEN0:59:22
Geoffrey RonohKEN0:59:45
Daniel ChebiiKEN0:59:49
Daniel WanjiruKEN0:59:51
Abraham KipyatichKEN1:00:03
James RungaruKEN1:00:12
Adugna TakeleETH1:00:15
Goitom KifleERI1:00:20
Josphat KiptisKEN1:00:21
Nobert KigenKEN1:00:32
Tebalu ZawudeETH1:00:33
Felix KandieKEN1:00:42
Benard BettKEN1:00:43
Barselius KipyegoKEN1:00:46
Jan KreisingerCZE1:03:38
Jiří HomoláčCZE1:05:41
Milan KocourekCZE1:05:47
 
Women:
 
Worknesh DegefaETH1:07:08
Isabella OchichiKEN1:08:38
Sara MoreiraPOR1:09:18
Violah JepchumbaKEN1:09:29
Margaret AgaiKEN1:09:57
Afera GodfayETH1:09:51
Misato HorieJPN1:10:26
Susan PartridgeGBR1:10:32
Risper ChebetKEN1:10:43
Alessandra AguilarSPA1:10:56
Lucy KarimiKEN1:11:23
Katerina KowalskaPOL1:11:27
Anežka DrahotováCZE1:14:25

Further information can be found online: www.runczech.com