The Half Marathon World Champion will take on the race record holder this Saturday in České Budějovice, Czech Republic this Saturday, June 7th at 7:00 p.m. The south Bohemia city will see some 2,800 runners toe the start line in historic Přemysla Otakara II. Square for the fourth race in this year’s RunCzech Running League while another 1,800 will join in the non-competitive dm family run 3 km earlier in the evening.
The Mattoni České Budějovice Half Marathon will feature Geoffrey Kamworor who became the World Champion in Copenhagen just over two months ago. With a personal best of 58:54 from 2013 he has stated that his goal will be to break the race record if the weather cooperates, but he and the other Kenyans came here straight from Nairobi and he felt that the predicted warm conditions would not be a problem. Geoffrey will be challenged by several strong athletes including the race record holder, Daniel Chebii (59:49 in 2012) and Daniel Wanjiru, another Kenyan, who ran this year’s Sportisimo Prague Half Marathon in 59:59 breaking one hour for the first time. Another recent entry and a very familiar face in RunCzech events Henry Kiplagat, will be anxious to improve on his personal best of 1:00:01 from Prague in 2012.
Following some last minute changes the women’s field will be led by Betelhem Moges who won the Mattoni Olomouc Half Marathon in 2013, and the Mattoni Usti and Labem Half Marathon in 2012. She will be going for a trifecta of RunCzech Running League events, but she will face strong competition from, amongst others, a late entry, Vicoty Chepkemoi, a fellow Kenyan making her first start in the Czech Republic. Unlike many young Kenyans who begin their running careers in school the 27 year old Vicoty began only five years ago after the birth of her daughter.
With a concurrent music festival, a sport expo, and plenty of activities for the entire family this IAAF Silver Label race Mattoni České Budějovice Half Marathon promises great weekend for all. As the Mayor of České Budějovice, Juraj Thoma stated, “It’s amazing to think that several thousand people come to run here once a year and together with local runners will compete shoulder to shoulder with world elite.”