Kenyans Nicholas Kipruto Koech and Rose Kosgei ran to new course records at the 11th Hervis Prague Half Marathon today.
The Hervis Prague Half Marathon is an IAAF Silver Label Road Race.
Kipruto threatens 60-minute barrier
Pace setter Willy Karikumangi pulled a group of eight men led by Matthew Koech Kipchirchir past the five kilometre mark in 14:15, but five kilometres later only a pack of three remained in contention: Kipchirchir, Nicholas Manza Kamakya, and Nicholas Kipruto Koech who reached 10 kiolmetres in 28:17.
The leading trio continued to eye one another as the pace remained brisk (42:29 at 15km) but it was Kipruto Koech who would make the decisive move. He pulled away in the 20th kilometre to win in 1:00:07, well under the 1:01:00 course record set by Kenyan Patrick Ivuti in 2007.
The next three all dipped under the previous course record, with Manza reaching the finish two seconds adrift in 1:00:09 to finish runner-up. Kipchirchir eased in to the finish third in 1:00:15, while Stephen Kibiwott closed well in 1:00:19 for fourth.
Women's race - four under 1:09
The women’s race proved to be just as fast and just as competitive as the men’s as four women also broke the existing course record (1:10:08 by Caroline Kwambai in 2006). But the day belonged to Kenyan Rosa Kosgei who led from the gun en route to her 1:09:03 victory.
By 10 kilometres (32:13), Kosgei only had compatriot Irene Kwambai for company, but five kilometres later had already built a nine second lead, one she extended to 24 when she reached the finish. Kwambei finished second in 1:09:27 and Pasalia Chepkorir Kipkoech third in 1:09:56.
Ethiopian Werknesh Kidane, who clocked 1:09:59, rounded out the top four.
In all, some 6500 runners lined-up on a cool windless morning in the center of Old Prague to take part.
Organisers for the IAAF