Kenya’s world half marathon champions Gladys Cherono and Geoffrey Kipsang will start as favourites for the 15th edition of the Bogota International Half Marathon on Sunday (27).
Both runners have won in the Colombian capital before. Kipsang took the honours last year when he won in 1:03:46 and Cherono triumphed in 2012 in 1:13:34.
However, neither runner owns the course record, despite both possessing impressive personal bests of 58:54 and 1:06:48 respectively.
The course records are held by a pair of their compatriots. Geoffrey Mutai ran 1:02:20 on the testing course in 2011 while Susan Chepkemei clocked 1:10:29 in the third edition of the race back in 2003, a time which has not been seriously approached since. By comparison, the next-best women’s winning time is 1:12:24 by Priscah Jeptoo last year.
It’s another Jeptoo, three-time Boston Marathon champion Rita Jeptoo, who has a best of 1:06:27, who might be the biggest rival to Cherono.
Other top names in the women’s field are the Ethiopian duo of Gelete Burka and Mare Dibaba, the former making her debut over the distance while the latter has a best of 1:07:13.
Among the athletes trying to stop Kipsang from successfully defending his title are Eritrea’s Nguse Tesfaldet, who has a best of 59:39.
Other Kenyans on the start line include the 2014 Tokyo Marathon champion Dickson Chumba, who has a best of 1:00:39, and his compatriot Sylas Chebogel, who has run 1:00:17.
The best Ethiopian in the men’s race is Tilahun Regassa, who has a best of 59:19 from 2010 but who has not been in that sort of form in the past 12 months.
Phil Minshull for the IAAF