Prague, Czech RepublicKenyan Kenneth Mungara and Russian Natalya Yulamanova braved warm temperatures to claim the 14th edition of the Volkswagen Prague Marathon.
The Volkswagen Prague Marathon is an IAAF Silver Label Road Race.
Yulamanova, last year’s winner, defended her title after breaking away late from a pack of runners that included Kenya’s Caroline Kwambai and compatriot Alina Ivanova, a two-time champion in Prague. Yulamanova, 27, finished in 2:31:43, more than 90 seconds better than her winning time in 2007.
Kenyans Emily Kimuria (2:35:55) and Caroline Kwambai (2:37:51), who won the Prague Half Marathon in 2006, were second and third, respectively.
Despite temperatures that hit 18 C at the end, Mungara finished in 2:11:06 to become the 10th Kenyan since the inaugural race 1995 to win the men’s title in Prague.
“The race was fine,” he told Czech Television, which covered the race live, and also on the Internet. “The weather wasn’t a problem for me.”
Kenyans also grabbed the other two spots on the podium. Eliah Sang took second with a time of 2:12:15, while Simon Njoroge Kariuki crossed the finish line in 2:13:24.
But the weather was a problem for others. Several runners from around the world had hoped to use this year’s race to qualify for the Olympic Games in Beijing. However, none were successful.
The Czech Republic’s biggest Olympic hope, Pavel Novák, failed to finish, dropping out in the 24th kilometer. The top-ranked runner, Kenya’s David Makori Omiti, also dropped out.
The fastest Czech, Robert Štefko, finished 15th with a time of 2:23:53.
Volkswagen Prague Marathon organisers for the IAAF