Two former world record holders plus an Olympic gold medalist – Mary Keitany, Wilson Kipsang and Stephen Kiprotich regularly appear at the start line of the world’s most prestigious marathons. It’s rare, however, that we get to see this stellar trio perform together in one race. But the Mattoni Olomouc Half Marathon has managed to do just that. And so the city is busy getting ready to welcome the world’s latest top running stars next week.
With a time of 1:05:50, Mary Keitany ranked as the fastest female half marathoner in history until last year when Florence Kiplagat snatched that title with a fantastic time of 1:05:12, which she went on to enhance further this year to 1:05:09. After giving birth to her second child, Keitany, the two-times winner of the prestigious London marathon (2011 and 2012), is back in great shape having added a win to her extensive medal collection at the famous TCS New York City Marathon back in November. And her winning time of 1:06:02 at February’s half marathon in Ras-Al-Khaimah, which ranks as the second fastest time so far in 2015, gives us reason to suspect that the women’s Olomouc race record is about to face its biggest threat yet.
The men’s stellar start line will be dominated by Wilson Kipsang and Stephen Kiprotich. While Wilson Kipsang’s accolades include scoring wins at four World Marathon Majors series races, earning himself a bonus of half a million dollars, plus world marathon record holder status until recently, Stephen Kiprotich is certainly no newcomer to high profile races. At the London Olympics he managed to garner the first gold Olympic medal in the marathon in forty years for his home country, Uganda. Then at the Moscow World Championships he became the second athlete in history to achieve the world marathon championship title just one year after securing his Olympic triumph. For him the Mattoni Olomouc Half Marathon will be a final test before taking on the forthcoming World Championships in Beijing, China where he’ll be keen to present himself in the best possible light.
Ostrava’s Golden Spike athletics meeting may well have starred Usain Bolt, but the Mattoni Olomouc Half Marathon will play host to three of the greatest endurance running stars currently out there. The race will be broadcast live on www.runczech.com in conjunction with Seznam.cz. Keep track of who will fare the best on the Olomouc course or whether we can expect to see similar surprises to last year’s event, at which the highly celebrated Kipsang had to bow down to his training colleague Geoffrey Ronoh.
We ventured to far-flung Kenya to meet athletes. Take a look at how they prepare for RunCzech races!