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Nicholas Kemboi and Caroline Rotich triumph in Prague

by Press Release
Monday 13th May 2013
 
 

Race report:  Volkswagen Prague Marathon - May 12, 2013

Nicholas Kemboi and Caroline Rotich celebrated their biggest career wins on the streets of the Czech capital on Sunday, taking the 19th edition of the Volkswagen Prague Marathon. Kemboi, who originally comes from Kenya but competes for Qatar since 2005, ran 2:08:51 while Kenya’s Rotich clocked 2:27:00. Warm conditions with temperatures of more than 20 Celsius in the sun ruined any hopes for world-class times or even course records. 9,500 runners entered the Volkswagen Prague Marathon, which is an IAAF Gold Label Road Race.

Volkswagen Prague Marathon - May 12, 2013 - Nicholas Kemboi and Caroline Rotich © Volkswagen Prague Marathon

Photos: Nicholas Kemboi and Caroline Rotich © Volkswagen Prague Marathon

Though he has a personal best of 2:08:01 Nicholas Kemboi was not among those thought to be the big favourites before the start. Wearing bib number 27 says it all and he could have almost been mistaken for a pacemaker when he was in the lead for most of the time from 16 kilometres onwards. Kemboi, pacemaker Silas Ngetich, Julius Lomerinyang (both Kenya) and Girmay Birhanu (Ethiopia) increased the pace around 16 k and broke up the big leading group. While the pacemaker soon dropped back the trio passed the half way mark in 63:21.

The pace was uneven throughout the race. And soon after the 30 k (1:30:36) mark Kemboi lost contact to Lomerinyang and Birhanu. But he quickly managed to catch up and then turned on the heat himself. At 34 k the Ethiopian was dropped, two kilometres later Lomerinyang was beaten as well. “There was a section with cobblestones around 30 k. Then my muscles in my left leg felt somehow tired, but after about two kilometres I felt fine again and was able to catch the other two,” explained 29 year-old Nicholas Kemboi, who ran his third marathon after a second place in Valencia in 2011 (2:08:01) and a fifth in Istanbul 2012 (2:20:40).

“Running alone in front I looked back at 38 k and knew that I would win,” said Nicholas Kemboi, who was well ahead of Birhanu (2:09:30). For the Ethiopian it was a remarkable second marathon within two months and his second runner-up position. He ran a personal best of 2:08:11 in Rome on March 17.

There is also an unusual story about third placed Patrick Terer, who clocked 2:10:10 – one place ahead of Albert Matebor (Kenya/2:10:56). The Kenyan had to endure a “visa marathon” before he was finally able to run the Volkswagen Prague Marathon. He was originally one of the favourites for the Hanover Marathon last Sunday. But a Schengen visa was made invalid in Nairobi when he was about to fly to Hanover via Amsterdam. Prague’s elite race coordinator Jana Moberly managed to get him a new visa for the Czech Republic just in time. However shortly before Terer was travelling it was discovered that the start date of the visa was wrong. Another urgent contact with the Czech embassy in Nairobi finally made sure that Terer could fly to Prague. “Thank you for getting me here,” said Terer, who promised: “Next time I will come back and win it.”

Kemboi hopes that his next race will be the World Championships’ marathon in Moscow this August. “I hope this win will gain me selection since I am the only runner from Qatar who has achieved the qualifying time.” Qualification for major championships had been the reason why he chose to run for Qatar instead of Kenya. “It was very dificult to get on the Kenyan team,” said Kemboi, who had clocked 26:30.03 minutes in the 10,000 m in Brussels back in 2003 as a 19 year-old. With this time he still is the fourth fastest 10,000 m runner ever. “But I now concentrate on road running.”

It was hoped that the women would run at a pace that could lead to Lydia Cheromei’s course record of 2:22:34. But in the warm weather that never materialised. Caroline Rotich, Cheromei and Philes Ongori passed the half way mark in 1:13:03. Very soon after that point Rotich broke away and established a substantial lead. In contrast Cheromei, who had a hip problem in the build-up to Prague but on Friday said she felt fine, dropped back. The course record holder finished sixth with a disappointing 2:34:26.

While Ehitu Kiros first overtook Philes Ongori at around 25 k it was then Ongori who came back and finally took second place with 2:28:53. Kiros followed in third with 2:30:02. “It did not go as good as I had hoped, because I could not respond when Caroline went off. But after 29 k I felt better again and was able to catch Ehitu,” said Philes Ongori.

For Rotich, who will celebrate her 29th birthday tomorrrow, Prague is another major step in her marathon career. “This win gives me a good platform for my future marathon career. Every marathon is different. In Prague I really enjoyed the atmosphere and I would like to come back next year,” said Caroline Rotich, who had won the New York Half Marathon in March with 69:09 minutes.     

More information about the Volkswagen Prague Marathon is available online at: www.runczech.com

Men's results (including bib numbers)

1 Nicholas Kemboi QAT / # 27 2:08:51
2 Girmay Birhanu ETH / 6 2:09:30
3 Patrick Terer  KEN / 28 2:10:10
4 Albert Matebor KEN / 4 2:10:56
5 Sium Kiflom  ERI / 10 2:11:39
6 Amanuel Mesel  ERI / 3 2:11:51
7 Julius Lomerinyang KEN / 9 2:13:31
8 Benjamin Kiptoo KEN / 4 2:14:13
9 Julius Karinga KEN / 5 2:14:21
10 Teshome Gelana ETH / 8 2:18:06

 

Women's results (including bib numbers)

1 Caroline Rotich  KEN / F3 2:27:00
2 Philes Ongori KEN / F5 2:28:53
3 Ehitu Kiros ETH / F4 2:30:02
4 Tatyana Aryasova RUS / F8 2:32:24
5 Mercy Kibarus KEN / F15 2:33:23
6 Lydia Cheromei KEN / F1 2:34:26
7 Yulia Ruban UKR / F9 2:34:50
8 Petra Pastorova CZE / F12 2:36:44
9 Ednah Kimaiyo KEN / F10 2:40:16
10 Azusa Nojiri JPN / F6 2:40:59

 

Click here for full results

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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