Philemon Limo winning the 2011 Ústí nad Labem Half Marathon (© organisers)
Two world-class half-marathon runners will clash at the Mattoni Usti nad Labem Half Marathon on 14 September as Ethiopian record-holder Atsedu Tsegay takes on defending champion Philemon Limo in the IAAF Silver Label Road Race.
Limo, a two-time winner of the race, holds the course record with his 1:00:38 victory from last year. But Tsegay, with his lifetime best of 58:47, is the fourth-fastest half-marathon runner in history.
The Mattoni Usti nad Labem Half Marathon is one of four events in the RunCzech Running League which take place outside of Prague.
Limo is a regular competitor at RunCzech events and in 2011 he made history when winning in Prague in 59:30, the first sub-60-minute half marathon on Czech soil. He followed that by winning the prestigious 10km in the capital in 27:34, and then the half marathon in Usti nad Labem one week later in 1:00:57.
But Limo won’t find the title defence of his title an easy matter and whoever wins the men’s race may well have to run faster than an hour again. That looks highly likely though, given the presence of Tsegay.
With his 58:47 victory in Prague two years ago, Tsegay not only broke Haile Gebrselassie’s Ethiopian record, but he also smashed Limo’s Czech all-comers’ record set one year prior.
The 22-year-old will have extra incentive to live up to that pedigree since his form this year has fallen short of expectations.
“We hope for another exciting and fast race on September 14,” said Jana Moberly, the elite athletes coordinator for RunCzech.
Organisers for the IAAF