Double world champion, Hellen Obiri will be making her comeback at the 44th edition of the Istanbul Half Marathon that will be held on March 27, 2020 in Istanbul, Turkey.
The 31 year-old made her half marathon debut here in 2020 where she ran an exceptional time of 1:04.51 that made her the fourth-fastest Kenyan of all-time over the distance.
Obiri has gained experience in half marathon running since her debut. She has put her focus on road races, she won the Great North Run in last September with a time of 1:07.42 and recently she displayed her great form when she finished second at the Ras Al Khaimah half marathon that was held last month, where she also improved on her personal best to 1:04.22.
The World Cross Country Champion is now ranked the fifth fastest half marathon runner of all time. “I am so happy to be returning to Istanbul. I ran my half marathon debut in this race last year and I hope I can improve both my position and my time on this occasion,” Obiri said.
The race organizers have lined up for Ethiopians who have personal best of sub 1:07.00 that will also face Obiri in the coming three weeks time.
The 2021 Copenhagen half marathon champion, Tsehay Gemechu leads the four athletes as she comes to this race with the second fastest time on paper of 1:05.08.
The 23 year-old has an impressive half marathon record with four wins out of five races. Hawi Feysa was second behind Gemechu in Copenhagen in September, when she ran a personal best of 1:05.41 in her debut.
Nigsti Haftu and Bekelech Gudeta are the other title contenders and they come to this race with their personal best of 1:06.17 and 1:06.54. Haftu got her all time best at last year’s Valencia Half Marathon where she finished in sixth place while Gudeta got her lifetime best at this race in last year’s edition where she finished in position seven.
The two times Olympic 5000m silver medallist is ready to battle the four and she is looking forward to the challenge on the flat course.
“My training has been going on well but I know it will be a tough challenge as the field is very strong. I look forward to an exciting race in a beautiful city, “said Obiri.
The four athletes have been put together by the race organizer to chase the race course record of 1:04.02 that was set last year by Ruth Chepngetich from Kenya. This time still stands as the world record because it has been ratified by the World Athletics.
The current world half marathon record holder is Letesenbet Gidey from Ethiopia who broke the previous mark by more than a minute in 2021 in Valencia.