As usual season will be opened by "SemiMarathon International De LilleMetropole " better and easily known as LilleHalf with an impressive field as last years.
Reading startlists,surely we can speak about a probably very fast race and course-record of Ezekiel Chebii of 59:05 last year could be beaten quite surely.
Top contenders will be lead by course-record Ezekiel Chebii (Ken) who will come back to defend his title and try to improve his PB.
Atsedu Tsegay (Eth) strong of his 58:47 realized in Praguehalf will contend him the frech title.
Very interesting with number 3 will be young Robert Chemosin (Ken) with a PB of 59:13 run in UdineHalf last september and looked like as a great athlete to follow absolutely.
Azmeraw Bekele (Eth) with 59:39 will complete the favourites with best PB under 60'.
But also some good marathoners at the start of this frech half: Vincent Kipruto (Ken) with 2h05:10 ,Francis Kiprop (Ken) with 2h07:04 and Levy Matebo (Ken) with 2h05:16.
Personally i think Philemon Rono (Ken) with 60:58 could be one of the big surprises of the race and with him of course Dominic Ondoro (Ken) after his 28:26 who let him be winner in Arras(fra) on 10k last sunday.
Very curious also the presence of some japanese athletes in this fast half with pb around 62'.
Six athletes with PB under 69' announced in women.Flomena Daniel (Ken) with her 67.39 will be the top one but she will pay attention to Filomena Chepchirchir (Ken) with 68:06 and Diane Chepkemoi (Ken) in 68:08.Japanese group also in women will be on front with Yukiko Akaba (Jpn) with her 68:11 pb on half and 2h24:09 on marathon: Ohara,Matsuura and Sakaida are completing the interesting japanese in group.
Ethiopian Afera Godfay will be the best outsider and probably a big surprise of the day even if at debut on distance but with her impressive PB on 10000m in 31:08 ran in Sollentuna (swe) last June.
Do not forget also Waganesh Mekasha (Eth) 68:48 pb and Monica Jepkoech (Ken) with 69:11.
Strong field for an openinng season event..