Nicholas Kemboi en route to his runner-up finish in London (2007) (Getty Images) © Copyright
Preview Utrecht, The Netherlands

Utrecht's 61st edition set for Sunday - PREVIEW

Utrecht, The Netherlands -  The ABN AMRO Utrechtse Singelloop, the oldest road race in the Netherlands and an IAAF Bronze Label Road Race, celebrates its 61st edition on Sunday (25).

The race over ten kilometres on a loop course through this city in the centre of The Netherlands produced a World record last year in its 60th edition when Leonard Patrick Komon of Kenya covered the very fast flat course in 26:44. Komon then came back to The Netherlands to set a new World record over 15 kilometres in the Zevenheuvelenloop in Nijmegen clocking 41:13. The Netherlands is a very good country for Komon who won the Dam tot Dam 10 miler from Amsterdam to Zaandam last weekend clocking the second fastest time ever over the distance with 44:27.

The Singelloop Utrecht had its first edition in 1925 with 37 runners. The race history has some big gaps however as it was not held due to several circumstances. It came back on the calendar several years ago and became very popular. Last year there were over 8000 starters.

Although there is a  very good field Komon's World record seems not to be in danger. Qatari Nicholas Kemboi (PB 26:30:03 on the track) and  Kenyans Kenneth Kipkemboi (pb 27:48), Philip Langat (27:49) and Kennedy Kimutai (27:50) are the fastest.  The Dutch hopes are Khalid Choukoud and young Jesper van der Wielen  who finished first (28:53) and second (29:01), respectively, in the national championship which was held in Tilburg on 4 September.

In the women's field field Kenyan Esther Chemutai looks to be the favourite with a personal best of 31:27. Her most dangerous opponents will be Hungarian Aniko Kalovics (31:42),  Kenyans Elizabeth Cherono (32:09) and Josephine  Kimuyu (32:08) and Rkia el Moukhim from Marocco (32:38).

A dark horse could be Russian Yelena Zadorozhnaya, a finalist over 5000m in the Daegu World Championships in August. The main Dutch hope is Ilse Pol, the runner-up in the national championship in Tilburg (33:51).

The weather forecast for Sunday seems ideal: sunny, light wind and a temperature and around 22 degrees Celsius.

Wim van Hemert for the IAAF