WR holder Jepchirchir for Prague HM
PRAHA (CZE): The streets of Prague will be graced by the greatest collection of elite athletes ever to run a half-marathon in the Czech Republic on Saturday, April 1, for the 19th edition of the Sportisimo Prague Half-Marathon, organizers announced. The women's field is particularly compelling, led by the reigning IAAF World Half-Marathon champion, Peres Jepchirchir of Kenya, who is also the newly minted world record holder (1:05:06). She will be challenged by compatriot Violah Jepchumba, who not only won the race last year but also ran the fastest half-marathon of 2016 (1:05:51). Another Kenyan, Joyciline Jepkosgei, who recently set a personal best of 1:06:08 at the RAK Half-Marathon last month, should also challenge for the title. Men field is strong enough for chasing sub one hour. Four Kenyans --Barselius Kipyego, Leonard Patrick Komon, Geoffrey Yegon and Vincent Yator-- have all run sub-60:00 during their careers. Komon, the world record holder for both 10-K and 15-K on the roads, is the fastest with a 59:15 career best. Kipyego has run 59:15, Yegon 59:44, and Yator 59:55. The men's field also has two Olympic medalists, Galen Rupp of the United States and Tamirat Tola of Ethiopia. Rupp --who earned the silver medal in the 10,000m in London in 2012, and the bronze medal in the marathon in Rio in 2016-- will be using this race as a tune up for his Boston Marathon debut in April. 2014 European Marathon champion Daniele Meucci of Italy (1:01:06) is the top European entrant. Informs RRW.