Tag Archives: EuroHeroes

Traynor and Fisikovici win the Ceske Budejovice Half Marathon

Great Britain’s Luke Traynor and Moldova’s Lilia Fisikovici shared the honours in the elite races at the Mattoni Ceske Budejovice Half Marathon, a race with a five star endorsement by European Athletics Running for All, on Saturday (2).

The organisers of the Ceske Budejovice Half Marathon assembled European-only elite fields as part of RunCzech’s EuroHeroes initiative which is supported by European Athletics. The foremost purpose of the initiative is to support distance running at an elite level in both the Czech Republic and Europe more widely.

“It is very important that European athletes get more opportunities to race at the top level in road races across Europe and EuroHeroes is a fantastic initiative to encourage and promote our road race stars on the continent,” said European Athletics president Svein Arne Hansen on the initiative.

Traynor made the most of the opportunity as he became the first European winner in Ceske Budejovice in 63:42 ahead of Ukraine’s Roman Romanenko, the winner of the Karlovy Vary Half Marathon a fortnight ago. Romanenko clocked 64:05 with Austria’s Valentin Pfeil third in 65:08.

“We ran together right from the start, Roman kept up with me for practically the whole race, but I felt I had a bit extra to give and in the end managed to speed up a bit,” said Traynor, who has a lifetime best of 61:57 from the Barcelona Half Marathon in February.

“Although I’m a bit tired, I have to say I really enjoyed the race, the atmosphere was fantastic, with loads of fans along the course and I’m also delighted with my finishing time. Even though my personal best is two minutes faster, it’s still a good time on this course which is a tad tricky.”

There was a rare win for Moldova in the elite women’s race as Lilia Fisikovici, who holds her country’s national records in the half marathon and marathon, clocked 73:20. She was a comfortable winner ahead of Ukraine’s Olha Kotovska (74:14) and Italy’s Rosaria Console (74:38).

“I’m slightly in shock, but really delighted. I absolutely loved the city, the fans were amazing and I also ran really well. At the seventeenth kilometre I felt I could speed up a bit, overtook my rivals and managed to stay ahead right till the finish,” said the winner.

In total, 3252 runners took part in the half marathon and another 2913 took part in the dm Family Run.

The European Athletics Quality Road Race standards act as an assurance for road runners throughout Europe. They distinguish between races that respect the standards and those that haven’t sought certification or assessment. They form the foundation of Running for All, a strong, recognisable brand for running activities throughout Europe.

Romanenko and Vrabcova-Nyvltova take honors at Karlovy Vary Half Marathon

Roman Romanenko and Eva Vrabcova-Nyvltova cruised to victories at the Mattoni Karlovy Vary Half Marathon, an IAAF Gold Label road race, on Saturday (19).

Vrabcova-Nyvltova, who set a new Czech half marathon record of 1:11:01 at the Sportisimo Prague Half Marathon earlier this year, lived up to her favourite’s status in this race, leading from the start en route to a 1:11:54 win, well clear of Ukraine’s Olha Kotovska, who finished second in 1:16:16. Kristyna Dvorakova, another Czech, was third in 1:17:46.

Eva Vrabcova-Nyvltova winning the Karlovy Vary Half Marathon (Organisers)

“I didn’t have any target finishing time in mind, but even so it was tough right from the start,” the winner said. “I was running alone, there was a strong wind and I didn’t appreciate seeing all the guys run past me.”

The men’s race was a battle between Ukraine and Spain. As the race progressed the fastest runner group gradually thinned out leaving Romanenko and Houssame Bennabou at the helm. At the 14th kilometre, Romanenko cranked up the pace, leaving Bennabou struggling to keep up.

“I felt good and told myself I’d try to go for it,” Romanenko said. “I believed I was capable of maintaining my pace right until the finish and am pleased I managed to do it.”

He forged on to take the win in 1:03:58, with Bennabou second in 1:04:16. Ukrainian Serhiy Lebid was nearly another minute back, finished third in 1:05:08.

The race is part of EuroHeroes, a new initiative by organisers RunCzech in partnership with European Athletics to celebrate European running stars and promote active lifestyles in Europe. The project’s launch limited the elite fields to runners from Europe.