Galen Rupp of the U.S. and Bornes Jepkirui Kitur of Kenya ran to victory at today's Volkswagen Prague Marathon, an IAAF Gold Label road race, on Sunday (6).
Breaking away from Sisay Lemma in the final four kilometres, Rupp cruised to a 2:06:07 victory, chopping more than three minutes from his previous best of 2:09:20 set at last year's Chicago Marathon.
“Sisay is a really great marathon runner, it was no easy feat and I’m really pleased I managed to defeat him and win," said Rupp, who bounced back quickly from disappointment at the Boston Marathon three weeks where asthma and hypothermia forced him to drop out after 30 kilometres. "I tried to keep a check on my pace, to get into it and stay positive."
Lemma was second in 2:07:03 followed by Stephen Kwelio Chemlany who clocked 2:09:42 for third.
By contrast few could have predicted the results in the women’s race. Kitur wasn’t even considered in the favourite's group before the race, but she managed to hold off all challenges en route to a clear victory in 2:24:19.
“I had a really good race, the only slight issue I found were the cobblestones," she said. "I managed to shave more than four minutes off my personal best and am really delighted to have won.” The 30-year-old set her previous personal best of 2:28:48 in Mumbai in January where she finished second.
The second and third podium spots went to Ethiopians Belaynesh Oljira and Amane Gobena who clocked 2:27:43 and 2:25:13 respectively.
The event's 24th edition featured 9778 runners. IAAF President Sebastian Coe started the race.
Organisers and Bob Ramsak for the IAAF