The Hervis Prague Half Marathon, contested on 1 April, was won by Stephen Kibiwott from Kenya with a time of 1:01:15. Two other Kenyans made it a sweep in the men’s competition, with Stanley Salil taking second, and Justus Kiprono taking third. Their finish times were 1:01:38 and 1:05:08 respectively.
Caroline Kwambai, also from Kenya, was the first woman to cross the finish line, clocking a time of 1:10:08, knocking 30 seconds from the course record in the process. The previous record had been held by Catherine Kurui. Kwambai’s countrywoman, Hellen Kimutai, made it a very tight race, finishing just three seconds off the pace. While Hungarian, Simona Staicu finished third, with a time of 1:13:24. A performance that Staicu was fairly pleased with, especially having given birth just six months earlier.
The first Czech man to finish, Pavel Faschingbauer, placed fifth overall, with a time of 1:06:35, while five-time winner Jana Klimešová finished fifth overall in 1:17:00.
Wet weather had been predicted. And it had been feared that a rising river would alter the original course. But instead, the race began under a cloudless blue sky with temperatures at a near perfect 12 degrees C. The wind, however, made it a challenging run according to nearly all the winners. At one point it was announced that the runners appeared on a record setting pace. But the wind, in the end, thwarted them.
For the first time, the Prague International Marathon organizers also staged a Corporate Half Marathon — a relay event with each participant running a 5.27Km leg. Roughly 100 teams competed in this inaugural race, representing about 50 companies and institutions. The 2006 Corporate Half Marathon was won by Èeská pošta (Czech Post Office) with a time of 1:16:58.
While many runners commented on what a challenging course it was, they noted also how enthusiastic and supportive the crowds were all along the course.
Daniela Riedlová for the IAAF