FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Ivuti Goes For Third Prague Exploit
Organisers of the Volkswagen Prague Marathon are looking forward to the
third visit of top Kenyan Patrick Ivuti to their event, on Sunday, May 9.
On his two previous trips to the beautiful Czech capital, the 31 year old
Ivuti has come away with record breaking victories, 61.00 for the
half-marathon in 2007, and 2.07.48 for the full distance last year.
"If Patrick could set another record, that would make this our most
successful marathon ever," said race director Carlo Capalbo today
(Tuesday). "We have already passed our target of increasing participation
by 15%, but our priority is to achieve the IAAF Road Race Gold Label, which
we already have for our half-marathon".
Ivuti's win last year left him just two seconds shy of the personal best he
set in his debut in Chicago 2005. Two years later, on a sweltering day in
Chicago, Ivuti had the biggest win of his career, outsprinting twice world
champion Jaouad Gharib of Morocco.
Due to the 30C heat, the time was slow (2.11.11), and a recommendation from
brother-in-law Jimmy Muindi, a six-time winner in Honololu himself, that
Ivuti go there has resulted in similarly slow times for Ivuti's sucessive
two victories in Honolulu. But Prague last year proved that in temperate
climes, Ivuti can still run fast. And he is unbeaten in four marathons over
the last two years.
His manager Federico Rosa said today, "We are still expecting him to be one
of our very best, and very soon". With a squad that includes former world
record holder, Paul Tergat, and current Olympic champion, Sammy Wanjiru,
that's high praise.
Ivuti will have plenty of top class opposition to make or mar his race,
notably Yemane Tsegay, fourth in last summer's IAAF World Championships.
The Ethiopian has run 2.06.30, and finished a close third in the Hervis
Prague Half-Marathon on March 27.
And Ivuti should be wary of his own colleague, Nicholas Kipruto Koech, who
lowered Ivuti's half-marathon record to 60.07 in Prague last year.
While the men's race will doubtless be another Kenya v Ethiopia contest,
Lyubov Morgunova (2.25.12) can take the example of a Russian one-two in
last weekend's London Marathon women's race into her struggle against race
favourite Helen Kirop of Kenya whose best of 2.24.54 is also under the
current Prague women's record of 2.26.33, set by Maura Viceconte of Italy
Entries, which remain open until the day before the race, have already
reached 6600, with a huge 50% representation from abroad. Last year's field
numbered 5800, so race director Capalbo's target has already been
outstripped with almost two weeks still to go before the race.