Kenyan representatives ruled the roost in blistering conditions at the sixth Mattoni České Budějovice Half Marathon, another RunCzech Running League race with an IAAF Gold Label. With temperatures at 27C throughout, Justus Kangogo broke away from the elite group before halfway, managing to keep momentum all the way to an impressive finish of 1:02:47. The winner among the women – Agnes Jeruto Barsosio – was also quite swift to show everyone knew who was boss in a performance which saw her set a new race record. When it came to the Czechs, Petr Pechek was first to cross the finish line among the men with Ivana Sekyrová picking up top spot for the women.
RunCzech Running League President Carlo Capalbo was delighted with the women’s race record. “I’m really pleased to see Agnes attest to the fact that great times can be run in České Budějovice. While it didn’t break a world record like in Prague in April, her time was still really fantastic, given the weather conditions. I’d also like to take this opportunity to express my admiration to everyone who made it across the finish line today, the conditions weren’t at all easy and everyone who struggled through deserves my respect,” Capalbo revealed.
A whopping three and a half thousand participants joined the start line of this year’s Mattoni České Budějovice Half Marathon which was accompanied by muggy weather. In the end, it was Justus Kangogo – one of the Kenyan race favourites – who stood up best to the challenge, scooping up first place. He was helped out somewhat by the misfortune befalling Abraham Akopesha whose shoe came off in the first third of the race. Shortly before the mid-way point, Kangogo took the opportunity to break away even from close rival Geoffrey Ronoh, and cross the finish in 1:02:47. “I think it was one of the most difficult races I’ve ever run. I was on my own for a long time, and was pretty surprised to see the others drop off so soon. Today’s time may well be a fair way off my personal best, but given the heat which didn’t give us any rest throughout the whole race, I have to say I’m pleased,” boasted the winner at the finish. He was followed by Paul Kariuki Mwangi (1:04:33) in second place and, to some surprise, Brazilian representative Paulo Paula (1:05:25) third. Japanese runner Hideto Yamanaka also experienced a successful European debut securing fourth place overall with a time of 1:06:19. One of the best runners in athletics history yet failing to reach the finish today due to the calf problem, Wilson Kipsang didn’t choose the best day to show off his best.
When it came to the women, there were two clear favourites – Kenyans Lucy Kabuu and Rebecca Chesir. In the end, however, both were outperformed by their compatriot Agnes Jeruto Barsosio who left all her rivals behind at the fifth kilometre, seeing her set a new race record while also securing a personal best of 1:09:53. “I’m really pleased with the win and the personal record. Completing the race in under seventy minutes today is something I consider a huge success and I’m truly delighted that I’ve finally done it,” said the winner at the finish. Running in second place was Rebecca Chesir (1:13:05) followed by Ukrainian representative Olga Skrypak (1:14:12) in third – yet another surprise addition on the podium.
Czech running scene fans were all geared up to a well-balanced battle between Petr Pechek, Jan Kreisinger, David Vaš and Robert Míč. With a time of 1:10:20, reigning Czech champion in the marathon distance Petr Pechek scooped up first place.
When it came to the Czech women, Ivana Sekyrová managed to live up to expectations (1:21:15), clearly in great form after winning the half marathon in Karlovy Vary, also part of the RunCzech Running League.
TOP 10 MEN
1. Kangogo Justus | KEN | 1:02:47 2. Mwangi Paul Kariuki | KEN | 1:04:33 3. Paula Paulo Roberto | BRA | 1:05:25 4. Yamanaka Hideto | JPN | 1:06:19 5. Kagimbi Solomon Gachoka | KEN | 1:07:44 6. Mitei Donald | KEN | 1:09:04 7. Sitkovskyy Oleksandr | UKR | 1:09:27 8. Pechek Petr | CZE | 1:10:20 9. Matviychuk Vasyl | UKR | 1:10:43 10. Vaš David | CZE | 1:11:53
TOP 10 WOMEN
1. Agnes Jeruto Barsosio | KEN | 1:09:53 2. Rebecca Kangogo Chesir | KEN | 1:13:05 3. Olga Skrypak | UKR | 1:14:12 4. Joy Kemuma Loyce | KEN | 1:14:14 5. Veronicah Njeri Maina | KEN | 1:15:08 6. Pauline Naragoi Esikon | KEN | 1:17:58 7. Lucy Liavoga | KEN | 1:19:05 8. Ayaka Fujimoto | JPN | 1:19:15 9. Maki Ashi | JPN | 1:20:17 10. Ivana Sekyrová | CZE | 1:21:15