Defending champion Tony Migliozzi and 2015 runner-up Marija Vrajic will start as favourites at the 2nd IAU 50km World Championships in Doha, Qatar, on Friday (11).
The race will take place over a 2.5-kilometre course that differs slightly from the one that passed through the Aspire Grounds in the Qatari capital last year, giving runners a slightly different glimpse of the sprawling sporting facility in the center of Doha.
Migliozzi of the US, who took the title last year in 2:52:09, is back to defend his crown. He’ll face stiff competition at the front led by Collen Makaza of Zimbabwe who knows the streets around Aspire very well having won the 2014 50km World Trophy Final in Doha.
Other athletes who will be vying for a spot on the podium include Ross Houston of Great Britain who recently posted a 2:56:37 performance; Niels Buber of Germany with a personal best of 2:55:16; Zivanai Dombojena of Zimbabwe; and the Kenyan trio of Charles Maina, Arnold Kiptoi and Samuel Ongeki. The field is expected to be very competitive suggesting the race might come down to the last few laps.
In the women's race, Croatian distance running veteran Vrajic returns as the top finisher from 2015 after her silver medal-winning performance in Doha last year.
A prolific racer, Vrajic, 40, has competed in eight marathons already in 2016, including the Olympic contest in Rio. She set her marathon lifetime best of 2:40:41 earlier this year in Treviso, and has a bronze medal to her credit from the 2015 100km World Championships.
Those joining Vrajic at the front include Czech Petra Pastorova who has a personal best of 3:30:37 from this year, and London 2012 Olympian Tanitha Maxwell of South Africa, who finished second at this year’s 56km Two Oceans Marathon.
Rebecca Hilland of Great Britain and Caroline Boller of the US are also expected in the chase.
The race begins at 18 local time (GMT+3).
IAU for the IAAF