Rotterdam, The NetherlandsThe fifth edition of the Fortis Half Marathon Rotterdam will offer a great spectacle on Sunday 14 September 2008. The race is an IAAF Silver Label Road Race.
No less than seven runners with personal bests under the hour will gather for the race which outside a World championship is probablyt one ofg the strongest line-ups ever.
The field will be led by Patrick Makau Musyoki of Kenya with a personal best of 58:56. The African was second in 59:19 in Rotterdam in 2007. On 15 March, he won the Fortis City-Pier-City Half Marathon in The Hague in 60:08. Makau has already run four half marathons in 2008, of of which he has won. Beside The Hague he was winner in Ras Al Khaimah (59:35), Reading (61:19) and Berlijn (60:00).
Makau wants a revenged over compatriot Evans Kiprop Cheruiyot, who ran a course record last year on 9 September with (59:12) in Rotterdam. Cheruiyot was the bronze medallist at the World Championships in Udine on 14 October 2007. In the Italian city he ran a personal best of 59:05.
The two Kenyans will meet Paul Kosgei (Kenya, PB 59:07), Francis Kibiwott (Kenya, 59:26), Dieudonné Disi (Ruwanda, 59:32), Joseph Maregu (Kenya, 59:45) and Dickson Marwa Mkami (Tanzania, 59:52).
An outsider will be Ethiopian Eshetu Wondimu with a personal best of 60:01.
In the last four years the Fortis Half Marathon Rotterdam has got a worldwide reputation with an excellent name. In the first edition (2004) Robert K. Cheruiyot (Kenya) ran the fastest time of the year with 60:11. Beijing Olympic marathon champion Samuel Wanjiru ran 59:16, then a junior, ran a senior World record on 11 September 2005. He bettered the World record in The Hague on 17 March 2007 with 58:33.
On 20 September 2006 Zersenay Tadesse of Eritrea equalled the 59:16 of Wanjiru. This course record stood only for one year, as in the fourth edition, (9 September) Evans Kiprop Cheruiyot was four seconds faster (59:12) on the proven Rotterdam course.
Wim van Hemert for the IAAF