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.