Ruth Chepngetich of Kenya and Ethiopia’s Mare Dibaba are ready to compete at the Bogota Half Marathon
The favorite in the Bogota Half Marathon women’s race is Ruth Chepngetich of Kenya, who started the year with a win in the Dubai Marathon, setting a course record with the No. 3 performance of all-time, 2:17:08. And just three months before that she shattered the course record at the Istanbul Marathon with a 2:18:35 performance.
Those performances elevated the Kenyan to No.1 in the IAAF’s world rankings in the marathon. Also an accomplished half marathoner, Chepngetich won the Istanbul Half Marathon this April in another course record, 1:05:30, making her the 11th fastest woman of all-time to rank her No.3 currently over that distance.
The main challenge to Chepngetich is likely to come from Ethiopia’s Mare Dibaba, the marathon bronze medalist at the Rio Olympic Games and world champion over the distance in 2015. Also expected to feature at the front of the race are 2:21:37 marathoner Visiline Jepkesho of Kenya, recently announced as a member of the Kenyan squad for the Worlds Championships (along with Chepngetich), and Helalia Johannes of Namibia, who is undefeated in six major international competitions, all of which have seen her lower her own national records at 10km, the half marathon and full marathon distances.
Unlike the women’s race, the men’s competition doesn’t have one overwhelming favorite, and instead should see a tight battle between several evenly-matched competitors. The Ethiopian delegation is led by 20-year-old Betesfa Getahun of Ethiopia, the defending men’s champion, who last year became the youngest champion in the race history.
Next to him will be Feyisa Lilesa, the silver medalist at the Rio Olympic Games marathon and a former winner of this race and Tamirat Tola, a silver medalist in the 2017 World Championships marathon and a bronze medalist in the 10,000m in Rio.
The Kenyan challenge to this Ethiopian trio will be led by Lawrence Cherono, a 2:04:06 marathoner and the No. 5 athlete in the world presently at that distance. He is joined by two strong half marathon specialists, Wilfred Kimitei (59:40) and John Lotiang (1:00:09).
And rounding out the likely lead pack are Eritrean Samuel Tsegay, a past silver medalist at the IAAF World Half Marathon Championships, and Ugandan Abdallah Mande with a 1:00:14 lifetime best whose strong current form was illustrated by a 27:22 10,000m run just eight days ago.
posted Friday July 26th