Caroline Kwambai setting the course record at the Prague Half Marathon (Prague International Marathon) © Copyright
General News Prague, Czech Republic

Kenyan men sweep, new women’s record at Prague Half Marthon

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