World 10,000m champion Vivian Cheruiyot will move up in distance when she competes at the EDP Half Marathon of Lisbon, an IAAF Gold Label Road Race, on 20 March.
To date, the longest race she has contested was last year’s Great South Run over 10 miles, which she won in 51:17, one of the fastest times in history for the distance.
A four-time gold medallist at the IAAF World Championships, Cheruiyot will continue to focus on the track for the 2016 season but will make a more serious move to the roads after the Olympics in Rio.
Cheruiyot will face defending champion Rose Chelimo, who won last year in 1:08:22, Portugal’s Sara Moreira, who finished second last year in a PB of 1:09:18, and 2009 world 10,000m champion Linet Masai, who will be contesting her second half marathon to date.
World half-marathon silver medallist Samuel Tsegay leads the men’s field. The Eritrean finished sixth in Lisbon three years ago and has a half marathon PB of 59:21, making him one of 14 men in the field with a sub-60-minute PB.
Kenya’s 2007 world 10,000m bronze medallist Martin Mathathi is also on the entry list, along with Olympic 10,000m bronze medallist Tariku Bekele, two-time Chicago Marathon runner-up Sammy Kitwara, and 2015 Boston Half Marathon winner Daniel Salel.
The EDP Half Marathon of Lisbon boasts one of the fastest courses in the world. It is where, in 2010, Zersenay Tadese set the existing world record of 58:23. The women’s course record stands to Susan Chepkemei with her 1:05:44 clocking from 2001.