Tag Archives: Prague Half Marathon

Vivian Cheruiyot to battle Joyciline Jepkosgei at Great North Run

Kenyans will once again be the talk in the City of Newcastle as world’s fastest woman over the half-marathon distance Joyciline Jepkosgei will face off with the 2018 London marathon champion Vivian Cheruiyot at the 38th edition Great North Run that will be held on Sunday (9) in England.

Jepkosgei, the world half marathon record holder, has been added to the field for the world’s biggest half-marathon this weekend and will be the main competitor to challenge the reigning Olympic 5,000m Cheruiyot in the iconic race.

“I have no injury concerns after shaking off the foot problem back in March. I hope to do well in my return to England,” said Jepkosgei..

The Kenyan clocked 64.51 in the Prague Half Marathon last year where she also broke the world 10km, 15km and 20km records.

She went on to beat her own 10km world record time back in Prague three months later when she clocked 29.43 to become the first woman to ever run under the 30 minutes mark in the distance.

Cheruiyot won on her debut over the distance in 2016, and finished second to Mary Keitany last year.

“I want to be on top of that podium again next month as I look forward to returning to England for the Simplyhealth Great North Run,” Cheruiyot said.

Last year, Keitany led Kenyans to sweep the top five places at in Great North Run women’s elite race.

The World marathon record holder timed 1:05:59 seconds, the third fastest women’s time in the race’s history for her third win.

Cheruiyot finished in second place with Caroline Kipkirui closing the podium three finish.

 

Kipkurui, Chelimo bag titles at Kisii Marathon

Nicodemus Kipkurui and Joan Chelimo are the winners of the 9th edition of the Safaricom Kisii Half Marathon.

Running in cold and wet conditions, Kipkurui clocked 62:39 minutes to win the men’s race while Chelimo crossed the finishing line in 72:25 to win the women’s edition as the event live up to it’s reputation of producing new winners every year.
The 24 year old father of one who trains in Iten took charge of the race at Getare on the Kisii-Chemosit road with five kilometres to the end and never looked back, relegating early leaders Nobert Kigen and Emmanuel Bor to second and third places.
“I tried to urge them on because when you run as a group, it’s easier but when I saw that they are not willing, I decided to go for it. I’m happy I won the race,” Kipkurui said.
While dedicating the win to his wife Scholar Chemutai, Kipkurui added: “The course was good and the weather perfect which is similar to where I train.”
Kigen finished second in 62:56 while Bor was third clocking 63:13. Kipkorir Birir returned home fourth in 63:16 with Edwin Mokua taking the title of the first local runner to cross the finishing line in fifth place. Mokua clocked 63:19 ahead of Bernard Ngeno ( 63:19 ) while race favourite Sammy Nyokaye finished a distant seventh in 63:26.
“Last year, I finished second but I’m unhappy with my performance here. However, I will not rest but continue to train hard,” said Mokua. was sixth while Last year’s winner Joseph Koech pulled out midway through the race after suffering a stitch.
Chelimo winner of Prague half Marathon in April triumphed in the women’s category after clocking 72:25 minutes, followed by Joy Kemuma ( 72:35 ) while Lydia Njeri was third crossing the finishing line in 73:50.
Chelimo, the fourth fastest woman in half marathon said: “I’m happy for the win despite running in a hilly course. I enjoyed running in Kisii for the first time.”
She dedicated the win to her husband Jullan de Maria and daughter Arriana Kechei. “The two have supported me throughout my athletics career,” she said.
Experienced marathoner Georgina Rono settled for fourth in 73:52 as Risper Chebet came home fifth in 73:59. Another veteran runner, Caroline Kilel, was relegated to sixth in 74:69.
Last year’s winner Philes Ongori finished 15th. She said she was using the event to prepare for Rochelle marathon in France on November 25.
Winners in each category received Sh100, 000 with runners up getting Sh50, 000 and third placed athletes Sh30, 000. Top three finishers in the masters and children’s events also received cash awards. The race started and finished at Kisii Primary. It took the athletes to Omogonchoro in Nyamira County then back to Kisii County.

Chepkirui targets Mattoni Olomouc Half Marathon course record

Former Commonwealth and African 10,000m champion Joyce Chepkirui of Kenya will face a stiff challenge as she returns to the Mattoni Olomouc Half Marathon in the Czech Republic on Saturday.

The Prague Half Marathon champion leads a horde of eight Kenyans at the race. The team departed Nairobi on Wednesday for the Czech capital.

Ethiopia’s world half marathon champion Netsanet Gudeta is fastest on the entry list but Chepkirui is banking on her endurance and speed to turn the tables and claim the title.

“I have had very good training and will be happy to see who the opposition lining up against me is. I want to run a fast time and look at making the Kenya team for the World Championships in 2019 in Qatar,” she said Wednesday in Nairobi.

Chepkirui said she will not be seeking a slot in the Kenya team at the Africa Athletics Championships in Asaba, Nigeria, but will be keen to improve her performance on the road.

“I have no plans to compete on the track this season. My focus is on the road race and hopefully, I will string together good results and put my name up for selection to the marathon team for the World Championships next year,” she added.

Gudeta of Ethiopia is the leading athlete, based on time. She was second at the Mattoni Olomouc Half Marathon last year, running 27 seconds quicker than the 66:38 course record of Mary Keitany from 2015.

But Chepkirui, who ran 66:19 to win the Prague Half Marathon in 2014, will be the athlete to watch.

Alongside Chepkirui, Kenya will also have Antonina Kwambai (68:07) and Linet Masai (69:33) who are returning from maternity leave and are keen to restart their road racing careers.

Other athletes to watch out for will be Ethiopia’s Aselefech Mergia (67:21), and Trihas Gebre of Spain (69:57), who is the top European along with in-form Frenchwoman Clemence Calvin.

Eva Vrabcova-Nyvltova leads the domestic entries. Organizers have invited seven athletes who have previously run under the 70-minute mark.

Ethiopia’s Jemal Yimer, who was second in Ras Al-Khaimah in United Arab Emirates in February in a time of 59:00 is the fastest of four sub-60 runners in the men’s field.

He will have to contend with Kenyans Gilbert Masai (59:31), Justus Kangogo (59:31), Stephen Kiprop (59:44) and Abel Kipchumba (60:05), while Jiri Homolac (63:23) is the top domestic entrant.

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Tarbei smashes Hapalua Half Marathon course record

Kenya’s Philip Tarbei smashed the 6th edition of the Hapalua Half Marathon that was held on Sunday (8) in Kapiolani Park, Hawaii.

The 24 year-old chased down all 21 Team Hawaii runners who had left 24 minutes before the elite as he also bettered his three pro challengers, as well, to crash the course record of 64:08 that was set by Peter Kirui in 2015 when he cut the tape in a new course record of 63: 27.

Team Hawaii rookie Ryan Tsang of Maui finished second with an adjusted time of 64:05, based on his 12-minute head start. Kenya’s RunCzech Racing runner Abraham Kipyatich took third in 65:29, as he was still recovering from a 61:03 half marathon last weekend in Prague in the Czech Republic.

“When we hit 5k I saw the time was really good (14:40), and I was still strong,” Philip said afterwards.  “I was telling him (running partner Kipyatich) ‘let us push.”

Tarbei and Kipyatich maintained their quick tempo, passing the 10k mark in 29:28 (14:48) where they passed four-time Japanese Olympian Kayoko Fukushi, who was considered the race favorite.

Philip Tarbei holds the trophy after winning the 2018 Hapalua Half Marathon. Photo: thehapalua.com

From there it was knocking off one Team Hawaii runner after another on his way to victory.

“I can use this race to predict more good things,” said Philip. “I know I can run much faster on a flatter course.”

Tarbei only began running seriously two years after graduating from Tambach Teachers College where he studied teaching. The Hapalua was only his third international competition following a sixth place finish at the Venloop half marathon in Netherlands where he finished in 1:00.48.

The Chase is the Hapalua’s signature element, a racing tool designed by race founder Jim Barahal who once was one of the islands’ stop runners when he moved to Hawaii from his native Michigan in the late 1970s.

“We set up the head starts for someone to win in 63:30,” said Barahal, “either straight up or with the handicap. I told Team Hawaii, ‘you’re not going to win $5000 with an average day. It’s going to take a PR.”

Rungaru and Kipkirui favourites at Prague Half Marathon

Kenyans James Rungaru and Caroline Chepkoech Kipkirui will start as favourites at the 20th edition of the Sportisimo Prague Half Marathon, an IAAF Gold Labelroad race, on Saturday (7).

The course, which winds through the historical heart of the Czech capital, is notoriously fast, evidenced last year when Joyciline Jepkosgei broke the world record with a sizzling 1:04:52 run, while picking up world records for 10km (30:04), 15km (45:37) and 20km (1:01:25) en route. While the latter two are now considered world bests and Jepkosgei has gone on to further improve the 10km and half marathon marks, her performance was nonetheless one of the most memorable road running achievements in recent memory.

The men’s course record is fast too. Atsedu Tsegay clocked 58:47 to win the 2012 edition, still the seventh fastest performance in history and Ethiopian national record. The 27-year-old returns to Prague hoping to bounce back into sub-one hour territory for the first time since 2013. He showed reasonably good form last month in Lisbon, where he clocked 1:00:28 in windy conditions to finish fifth in the Portuguese capital.

But it will be 25-year-old Kenyan Rungaru who brings the strongest credentials and form to the start line on Saturday. Four weeks ago, Runguru clocked 59:37 to win the City Pier City Half Marathon at The Hague, his first dip into sub-one hour waters.

Justus Kangogo meanwhile is the fastest in the field at 59:31 set in last year’s Rome-Ostia race. He was sixth in the same contest last month in 1:01:02.

Others to watch include Josphat Tanui who returns with purpose after finishing second both here last year in 1:00:38 and in Usti Nad Labem, some 90 kilometres to the north, with a 59:22 personal best.

Meanwhile, Benard Kimeli is looking to move his good fortunes in Prague up in distance. Last September the 22-year-old won the Birell Prague 10km in 27:10, the fastest performance in the world in 2017. he made his half marathon debut in at the RAK Half in Ras Al Khaimah in February, clocking 1:00:16 for eighth.

Geoffrey Ronoh, 35, also has sub-60 minute credentials, but his 59:45 lifetime best came four years ago.

On the women’s side, the favourite role falls on Kipkirui, after her notable 2018 start. In February, the 23-year-old clocked 1:05:07 at the RAK Half to become the fifth fastest ever over the distance, yet finished no better than third in that high quality race. That performance wasn’t a one-off. In January she clocked 1:06:48 to finish second in Houston.

Her compatriot Joan Melly Chelimo is also expected to challenge. The 27-year-old was fourth in Ras Al Khaimah in 1:05:37, landing her at No. 8 on the all-time performers list.

They’ll be challenged by 2015 winner Worknesh Degefa of Ethiopia, the runner-up here last year in 1:06:14. That performance remains the 27-year-old’s lifetime best but she’s illustrated strong form in 2018 after a fourth place finish in the Dubai Marathon where she clocked 2:19:53, finishing fifth.

Aiyabei to battle Cheyech at the Nagoya Women’s Marathon

Sub-2:22 runners Valary Jemeli Aiyabei and Flomena Cheyech will face off at the Nagoya Women’s Marathon, an IAAF Gold Label road race, on Sunday (11).

The race, this year celebrating its 37th edition, is the largest women’s-only marathon in the world, with a capacity exceeding 22,000 runners. The main focus will however fall on the Kenyan pair who bring strong marathon momentum to the start line.

Aiyabei is the fastest in the field of 17 invitees, with a personal best of 2:20:53 recorded at the Berlin Marathon last September where she finished third. Prior to that appearance in the German capital, Aiyabei won four straight marathons: Eldoret, Barcelona, Valencia and Prague. Notably, the 26-year-old has also improved her lifetime best in each of her last four races, from Barcelona to Berlin. Her half marathon lifetime best of 1:07:50 also came in 2017 with her victory at the Prague Half Marathon.

Her main challenger is Cheyech, whose marathon best of 2:21:22 was set at the 2017 Paris Marathon where she too finished third. The 35-year-old followed up that performance with a fourth place finish at the IAAF World Championships London 2017. More recently Cheyech, the 2014 Commonwealth Games champion, won the Saitama Marathon in November and paced January’s Osaka Women’s Marathon through the midway point in 1:12:02. Cheyech’s half marathon best is 1:07:39, faster than Aiyabei’s.

The course record is 2:21:17 set by Eunice Kirwa last year.

Other contenders from abroad include Merima Mohammed of Bahrain, who has a marathon personal best of 2:23:06 from 2010 and Ethiopian Meskerem Assefa, who clocked 2:24:18 at the 2017 Rotterdam Marathon. Assefa ran two 2:24 marathons in 2017 so could be a threat to the favourites. Karolina Nadolska of Poland, with a personal best of 2:26:31, and Italy’s Sara Dossena with a lifetime best of 2:29:39 round out the international field.

For Japanese runners, the race also doubles as a qualifying race for both the 2018 Asian Games marathon team and the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Marathon team trials. After three qualifying races for the latter, only three women have thus far qualified, quite a contrast with the men’s side in which 13 have already earned their spots for the Olympic team trials race. In Nagoya, up to six runners can earn qualification: the top three, if they finish under 2:28, as well as those who finish fourth to sixth provided they ran under 2:27.

The fastest Japanese in the field is Sairi Maeda who finished second in Nagoya in 2015 with 2:22:48. She was 13th at the 2015 World Championships. Other contenders include Rei Ohara with a best of 2:23:20 recorded in this race in 2016, Mao Kiyota who clocked 2:23:47 here last year, and Reia Iwade whose best of 2:24:38 came in Nagoya in 2016. Kiyota was 16th at last year’s World Championships.

Others vying for a top-six finish include Shiho Takechi, with a best of 2:25:29; Hanae Tanaka, who’s clocked 2:26:19; Michi Numata, with a lifetime best of 2:27:27; Miharu Shimokado, with a 2:27:54 personal best: Misaki Kato, who’s clocked 2:28:12; and Keiko Nogami, with 2:28:19. Among the ten Japanese runners invited, eight have set their marathon bests in Nagoya.

The most intrigue runner in the field is Hanami Sekine who will be making her marathon debut. The 22-year-old has track bests of 15:24.74 and 31:22.92 over 5000m and 10,000m, but has never raced farther than 11km. The fastest marathon debut time by a Japanese is 2:21:36 set by Yuka Ando in Nagoya last year.