Helped by cool temperatures and enthusiastic crowds, European 10,000m champion Lonah Chemtai Salpeter smashed the Volkswagen Prague Marathon course record at the 25th edition of the IAAF Gold Label road race on Sunday (5).
On a partly cloudy morning with light winds and near-perfect conditions and a temperature of 5C at the start, some 10,000 runners began their journey through the historic streets of Prague.
Salpeter was part of a lead group of five women during the early stages, joined by Eshete Shitaye of Bahrain, Lucy Cheruiyot of Kenya, Ethiopia’s Yalew Genet and Kellyn Taylor from the US. Following a pacemaker, they covered the first 5km in 16:42.
By half way, reached in 1:10:12, Salpeter had a lead of a few seconds over defending champion Bornes Jepkirui Kitur, Eshete and Yalew. Less than 10 kilometres later, the Israeli’s lead had grown to more than a minute and she was on schedule to break the course record of 2:21:57.
Although the wind increased in the latter stages of the race, she continued to increase her pace in the second half for a negative split of 1:09:33 as she finished in 2:19:46 becoming the first woman to break 2:20 in Prague and smashing her own national record, moving to third on the European all-time list.
Eshete was second in 2:22:39 with Yalew placing third in 2:24:34.
Looking for fast times, a group of eight men followed three pacemakers across the famed Charles Bridge and on to the 5km mark in 14:49. By halfway, reached in 1:02:51, a group of eight men including pre-race favourites Almajoub Dazza and Amos Kipruto still followed the three pacemakers, but they had slowed just slightly and had fallen behind course record pace.
Once the pacers had done their work, a group of five men remained, with Dazza and Kipruto continuing to do most of the leading. Amos’s efforts eventually took their toll and when Dazza increased his pace at 40km the others were unable to respond.
The Moroccan went on to win in 2:05:58, the second-fastest time in the race’s history. Dawit Wolde came through to take second place in 2:06:18, a PB by more than three minutes, while fellow Ethiopian Bantiye Aychew was third in 2:06:23.
1 Almahjoub Dazza (MAR) 2:05:58
2 Dawit Wolde (ETH) 2:06:18
3 Bantie Aychew (ETH) 2:06:23
4 Amos Kipruto (KEN) 2:06:46
5 Solomon Kirwa Yego (KEN) 2:07:30
6 Ben Hamid Daoud (ESP) 2:08:14
7 Paul Muchemi Maina (KEN) 2:09:17
8 Girmaw Amare (ISR) 2:09:54
9 Nicodemus Kipkirui Kimutai (KEN) 2:10:00
10 Goitom Kifle (ERI) 2:10:18
1 Lonah Chemtai Salpeter (ISR) 2:19:46
2 Shitaye Eshete (BRN) 2:22:39
3 Genet Yalew (ETH) 2:24:34
4 Kellyn Taylor (USA) 2:26:27
5 Lucy Cheruiyot (KEN) 2:27:16
6 Hellen Jepkurgat (KEN) 2:29:10
7 Catherine Bertone (ITA) 2:31:07
8 Leslie Sexton (CAN) 2:31:51
9 Elisa Stefani (ITA) 2:33:36
10 Diane Nukuri (BDI) 2:33:38