Kenyan Felix Kandie won the men’s race in 2:08:32 and Yebrgual Melese of Ethiopia clocked a fine 2:23:49 to take the women’s race at the 2015 Volkswagen Prague Marathon on Sunday.
Kandie might well not have made it to the start line in Prague, feeling the effects of a sore throat. But he decided to give it a go and his resolution paid off handsomely.
“I wanted to see how far I could get,” said Kandie. In the end, he went to the limit in the Czech capital, coming from behind he took his second marathon win in a succession with another personal best.
Last November, the 27 year-old showed his strength to set a 2:10:37 course record in the Athens Marathon.
Fellow-Kenyan Evans Chebet was runner-up for the second consecutive year with 2:08:50, followed by Ethiopians Deribe Robi and Fikre Assefa, who ran 2:09:05 and 2:10:01 respectively, while Geoffrey Ronoh from Kenya finished fifth with 2:10:52.
Despite finishing 18 seconds adrift and missing out on victory for a second time in a row, Evans Chebet was not disappointed.
“I had a leg problem in the build up to the race. So this time I am really happy with the second place. Hopefully I can finally achieve victory next year,” said Chebet.
In contrast to the men’s event, the Volkswagen Prague Marathon women’s race was much faster during the first half.
Yebrgual Melese looked very strong in the final five kilometres and finished in 2:23:49, which is the third fastest winning time in the history of the race that was first started in 1995.
Portugal’s Sara Moreira took second in her second marathon race with a personal best of 2:24:49, improving on her debut in New York last November by over a minute. Letebrhan Haylay of Ethiopia was third with 2:25:24.
“It was my plan to save some energy for the second half. This is why I chose a more careful approach and did not start that fast,” said Melese after the race.
More than 10,000 runners entered the Volkswagen Prague Marathon, which is an IAAF Gold Label Road Race.
1. Felix Kandie KEN 2:08:32
2. Evans Chebet KEN 2:08:50
3. Deribe Robi ETH 2:09:05
4. Fikre Assefa ETH 2:10:01
5. Geoffrey Ronoh KEN 2:10:52
6. Raymond Chemungor KEN 2:12:09
7. Jamel Chatbi ITA 2:12:17
8. Hillary Kipchumba KEN 2:13.01
9. Gilbert Yegon KEN 2:13:29
10. Tesfaye Belay ETH 2:13:59
1. Yebrgual Melese ETH 2:23:49
2. Sara Moreira POR 2:24:49
3. Letebrhan Haylay ETH 2:25:24
4. Janet Rono KEN 2:26:31
5. Ashete Bekere ETH 2:26:55
6. Betelhem Moges ETH 2:27:20
7. Afera Godfay ETH 2:32:44
8. Halima Hussen ETH 2:32:51
9. Iulia Andreeva KGZ 2:37:37
10. Koren Jelela ETH 2:37:42