Kenya’s Risper Chebet will return to Czech Republic one month after her third-place finish at the Volkswagen Prague Marathon in 2:27:23, at the fifth edition of the Mattoni Ceske Budejovice Half Marathon, an IAAF Gold Label Road Race, on Saturday (4).
Back in April, Chebet also finished sixth in the Prague Half Marathon in a personal best pf 1:09:24.
On paper, Chebet’s primary competition – with the runners chasing a course record of 1:10:54 – would appear to be her 28-year-old compatriot Esther Chemtai Ndeima, who finished fourth in the 2014 Prague Half Marathon in a personal best 1:09:49.
However, look out also for Ethiopia’s Ashete Bekele. The 28-year-old ran 2:23:43 in the Dubai Marathon last year and opened 2016 with a solid seventh-place finish at the Tokyo Marathon in 2:25:50.
Other women potentially in contention for a place on the podium include Kenyans Lucy Wambui Murigi (best of 1:10:52), Janet Jelagat Rono (1:11:10 PB) and half marathon debutante Sarah Jebet (debut).
Volha Mazuronak leads the European challenge and although the runner from Belarus has a relatively modest half marathon best of 1:12.02, she finished fourth in this year’s London Marathon in April in 2:23:54.
Local interest will be focused on Czech international Jiri Homolac, who was forced to abort his attempt to qualify for the Rio 2016 Olympic Games at last month’s Prague Marathon due to the hot conditions; and 43-year-old Petra Kamínkova, the 41-time Czech champion at distances from 1500m to the half marathon.