RunCzech Announces the Elite Athletes set to attack fast times in the 2018 Sportisimo Prague Half Marathon


On April 7, 2018 the 20th edition of the Sportisimo Prague Half Marathon, an IAAF Gold Label Road Race, will feature the strongest field of professional runners and the largest field of amateur entrants in its storied history. The field of 11,500 will include six men whose personal bests are under the magic one hour mark and another eight under 1:01. The leading time belongs to the event record holder, Atsedu Tsegay, whose 58:47 from 2012 is also the Ethiopian National Record and the 7th fastest time in history. His challengers will be the young Benard Kimeli, last year's Birell Prague Grand Prix 10K winner in 27:10 (RunCzech Racing Alumni) or Josphat Kimutai Tanui who was the second in the last year’s Prague half marathon (RunCzech Racing member). But any one of another dozen men could step up to the top of the podium.
The Women’s field includes three women under 1:07 including two under 1:06 led by Caroline Chepkoech Kipkirui whose 1:05:07 in Ras Al Khaimah this year makes her the fifth fastest women in history, and Joan Chelimo Melly the eighth fastest woman with 1:05:37 in the same race. They will be hoping to capture some of the magic that occurred last year when Joyciline Jepkosgei set four World Records here (10, 15, 20 km and half marathon). But they will face an experienced and talented challenger in the form of Worknesh Degefa, the 2015 winner here whose 1:06:14 personal best was run in Prague in 2016.
The Czech favorites will be Jiří Homoláč who is currently training in Kenya prior to the World Championship Half Marathon in Valencia later this month and Eva Vrabcová-Nývltová of RunCzech Racing who will be hoping to break the women’s National Czech Record of 1:11:02 after coming within four seconds of that time here in 2016. She will face strong competition to be the top European from the Lithuanian Olympian, Diana Lobachevska (1:11:33) and the veteran Belarusian, Sviatlana Kudzelich (1:11:49).
When the Prague half marathon started on March 13, 1999 it probably seemed unlikely to anyone other than Carlo Capalbo, the President of the RunCzech organizing committee, that the race would grow into an event that would attract thousands of runners from all over the world and produce World Record performances. This year, in the jubilee twentieth year of the race, the organizers believe great performances are once again possible. "In the elite starting list we have six men with a personal record under an hour, including Atsedu Tsegay, and so we hope the men will look at the example of Joyciline from last year and go for an outstanding time” said Jana Moberly, the elite athlete coordinator for the race.
The race starts on April 7th at 10 am CET from Jan Palach Square and will be broadcast live.
The capacity of the 20th Sportisimo Prague Half Marathon has been filled since the end of January. The registrations for other RunCzech races 2018, including the Volkswagen Prague Marathon are still available at www.runczech.com


TOP MEN
TSEGAY Atsedu | ETH | 0:58:47
TANUI Josphat Kimutai | KEN | 0:59:22
KANGOGO Justus Kipkogei | KEN | 0:59:31
KIBET Alex | KEN | 0:59:06
YEGON Geoffrey | KEN | 0:59:44
RONOH Geoffrey | KEN | 0:59:45
KIMELI Benard | KEN | 1:00:16
GUERRA Javier | SPA | 1:01:38
HOMOLÁČ Jiří | CZE | 1:03:23
TOP WOMEN
KIPKIRUI Caroline Chepkoech | KEN | 1:05:07
MELLY Joan Chelimo | KEN | 1:05:37
DEGEFA Worknesh | ETH | 1:06:14
VRABCOVÁ Eva | CZE | 1:11:06
LOBACEVSKE | Diana | LTH 1:11:33
KAMÍNKOVÁ |Petra | CZE 1:12:19