Despite warm conditions, Kenyan Patrick Ivuti cruised to a 2:07:48 course record at the Volkswagen Prague Marathon. Olga Glok extended the Russian win streak in the Czech capital with her 2:28:27 victory in the women’s race.
The Volkswagen Prague Marathon is an IAAF Silver Label Road Race.
Top-2 dip under 2:08 - men's race
More than 6000 runners set off on a sunny morning in Prague’s historic Old Town Square and despite the early morning temperature of 19 C, the pacesetters set off on their planned assault of the 2:08:52 course record set by Elijah Lagat in 1998.
The pair of pacesetters cruised through the first 10 kilometres in30:04, welll inside record pace. The initial pack tagging along included Kenyans Leonard Mucheru, Andrew Kipkembo Limo, defending champion Kenneth Mungara, and pre-race favourite Ivuti, along with Ukraine’s Mykola Antonenko.
By the midway point, clouds begin to roll in to provide some cover from the sun, which kept the pace on target, with the half reached in 1:04:08, and 10 runners still in the lead group.
But by 30Km only Ivuti was still with the pace maker, reaching the marker in1:31:09, with Maina trailing be seven seconds and Antonenko another three seconds behind. Five kilometres later Kenyan Stephen Kibiwott moved up to briefly take over the lead.
With less than a kilometre to go, Ivuti retook the lead and held on for the 2:07:48 victory, knocking more than a full minute from the previous standard and, most significantly for the 2005 Chicago Marathon winner, just two seconds shy of his onw career best.
Kibiwott was next in 2:07:54, more than two minutes better than his previous best. Mungara completed the podium taking third in 2:10:29. Antonenko was fourth in 2:10:54, with Portugal’s Luis Feiteira fifth in 2:11:57.
Glok bides her time – women’s race
The women’s field was led by a trio of Ethiopians with sub-2:27 credentials - Shitaye Debellu, Eyrusalem Mutal, and Mulu Seboka – along with Kenyans Emmah Kiruki and Margaret Toroitich, and Russian, Olga Glok. Controlling the tempo, the Ethiopians led at 10Km (35:08). Nearing the midway point Glok began to make up some ground with Debellu falling back. Seboka and Mutal led the field through the half in 1:13:57, with Glok trailing by 24 seconds. But five kilometres later (1:45:24) Glok was side-by-side with Seboka, with Mutal now falling 21 seconds back.
It remained smooth sailing from that point on for the 26-year-old Russian who crossed the line in 2:28:27, well ahead of Seboka (2:30:39) and Mutal (2:32:43) who were a distant second and third.
Organisers for the IAAF
Leading Results -
1. Patrick Ivuti, KEN 2:07:48
2. Stephen Kibiwott, KEN 2:07:54
3. Kenneth Mburu Mungara, KEN 2:10:29
4. Mykola Antonenko, UKR 2:10:54
5. Luis Feiteira, POR 2:11:57
6. Sergio Fernando Silva, POR 2:12:09
7. Moses Kibet, KEN 2:14:36
8. Paul Lekuraa, KEN 2:15:00
1. Olga Glok, RUS 2:28:27
2. Mulu Seboka, ETH 2:30:39
3. Eyrusalem Mutal, ETH 2:32:43
4. Emmah Kiruki, KEN 2:33:02
5. Margaret Toroitich, KEN 2:33:22
6. Malgorzata Sobanska, POL 2:34:35
7. Karolina Jarzynska, POL 2:35:28
8. Radiya Roba, ETH 2:36:01
9. Kateryna Stetsenko, UKR 2:36:46
10. Josephine Wangoi, KEN 2:42:43