FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Records Galore In The Volkswagen Prague Marathon
Kiptanui Smashes Mens' Record - 2:05:39
Kirop Smashes Womens' Record - 2:25:29
Prague, May 9th, 2010: After a build up to race day, the likes of which
have never been seen before in Prague, the pistol, in the hands of the
Prague Mayor, Pavel Bem, went off at 09.00 am this morning to start the
16th running of the Volkswagen Prague Marathon.
In bright sunshine with temperatures hovering around 12 degrees celsius,
and winds of only 1 meter per second, conditions were ideal for a fast
marathon. Tension built as a record number of 7,900 runners (an increase of
30% over last year), and a world class field of more than 55 elite athletes
lined up on Prague's historic Old Town Square to await the start.
Having compiled an elite start list that would grace the field of any
worldclass marathon, the organizers, Prague International Marathon spol.
s.r.o. ("PIM") had expected a fast pace, with 12 of the elite men having
run inside 2:10, including 6 under 2:09. The defending champion, and event
record holder, Patrick Ivuti of Kenya, and his countryman, Sammy Korir,
along with Yemane Tsegay of Ethiopia were the pre-race favourites, but they
were all in for a surprise.
Denis Ndiso of Kenya went through 10 Km in 29:13, some 48 seconds ahead of
the pack of 17 runners which included all of the favourites. This group
passed the 10 Km marker at 30:01 and it was clear that at this pace they
were headed for a race record. At halfway Ndiso still led in 1:02:33, a
very ambitious 2:05:06 pace for a runner with a personal best of 2:12:33. A
group of ten, still including all of the favourites, followed in 1:03:18.
By 30 km the young Kenyan, Eliud Kiptanui, the Ethiopian, Getu Feleke, and
Tsegay had opened a four second lead on Nicholas Koech of Kenya. Soon
Tsegay dropped off the pace and at 35 km Kiptanui pushed the pace again and
broke away from Feleke very quickly.
Kiptanui had only a 2:12:17 marathon to his credit previously, but it was
run at altitude in the Safaricom Marathon in Kenya so he was definitely an
unknown quantity. By 40 km he was on his own and looking so strong that the
only question remaining was how much under the race record the 20 year old
would run. That question was soon answered when he crossed the finishing
line in a brilliant 2:05:39, smashing the old record by more than two
minutes and running the sixth fastest time in the world this year - a time
that would have been considered unthinkable in Prague before today. Yemane
Tsegay managed to recover enough to finish in a fine 2:07:11 in second,
also under the old course record, as was Nicholas Koech in 2:07:23 for
In the women's race the lead group of four women at 10 km included Ashu
Kasim and Eyerusalem Kuma of Ethiopia, and Helena Kirop and Rose Cheruiyot
of Kenya. By the halfmarathon mark, reached in 2:12:30, only Kasim and
Kirop remained in contention. By 30 km Kirop had opened up a lead of over
one minute on the second place Kasim. From there to the finish she
continued to push the pace, opening up a lead of more than two minutes,
and crossing the line in another race record time of 2:25:29, almost one
minute under the old record of Maura Viceconte which was set back in 2001.
A strong finish by Alevtina Ivanova of Russia moved her up to second in
2:27:36, while Kasim crossed in 2:29:54 for third.
This year's Volkswagen Prague Marathon also incorporated the European
Police Championship Marathon, which saw 150 police officers from 25
countries all over Europe (and Pakistan) taking part in the main race.
Winner in the mens' section was Andrii Naumov of Ukraine in 14th place
overall with a time of 2:13:49, while the first woman was Yuliya Ruban also
of Ukraine in 2:31:13.
The race was also one of the last chances for Czech athletes to achieve
their qualifying times for the forthcoming European Championships (2:17 for
men and 2:36 for women), but none were able to meet those times. The first
Czech man was Petr Pechek in 2:22:18 while the top Czech woman was Radka
Churanova in 2:59:24.
This year's Volkswagen Prague Marathon sets a whole new benchmark for PIM
and really seals the company's arrival on the world stage. Consider that
the first ever race, just sixteen years ago, saw just 958 runners and less
then 10 elites taking part, and compare this to what was achieved today,
and the scale of its growth is staggering. One can only wonder what next
year will bring.