Strong field have been assembled for the PZU Cracovia Marathon and the course record will be under attack
The 19th edition of the PZU Cracovia Marathon taking place in Krakow this Sunday, marks the first time that the race has been given IAAF Bronze Label status and appropriately strong fields have been assembled.
Hopes are high that the current course records of 2:11:34 by Berga Birhanu Bekele and 2:28:14 by Tetyana Gamera may be broken.
Philip Sanga Kimutai is the fastest man in the field. The 35-year old Kenyan has bettered 2:07 three times in his career, topped by 2:06:07 in Frankfurt in 2011 and has achieved podium finishes in multiple major races, including Vienna, Rome and Eindhoven.
Cybrian Kotut could start as the marginal favorite. The Kenyan won the 2016 Paris Marathon in a PB of 2:07:11 and finished third in Frankfurt in 2:07:28 the same year, but this will be a comeback race for him as he has competed since December 2017.
With a best of 2:08:35, Japan's Kentaro Nakamoto might not be the fastest runner in the field, but he is hugely experienced and extremely consistent, having finished in the top 10 at four global championships.
France’s Abraham Kiprotich, world ranked No.75 in the marathon, is another top contender. He won in Daegu in 2013 with a PB of 2:08:33 and followed it with victories in Istanbul and Taipei in 2017.
Kenya’s Josphat Leting, Philip Kangogo and Wycliffe Biwott all stand good chances of making it on to the podium, as does 2016 Krakow runner-up David Metto, who won three marathons last year, including two in Poland.
Kenyan duo Gladys Kipsoi and Eunice Jeptoo will start as the favourites for the women’s race. Kipsoi clocked a PB of 2:27:32 in Houston last year, while Jeptoo has gone even faster, with a 2:26:13 win in Eindhoven in 2017.
Nastassia Ivanova's best of 2:27:24 dates back to 2012, but the Belarusian has competed well in recent seasons, winning in Warsaw in 2017 and 2018 and finishing fifth at the 2018 European Championships.
Germany’s Katharina Heinig has bettered 2:30 in each of the past three seasons, with a best of 2:28:34 set in Berlin in 2016.
Two Ukrainians in the field are also possible contenders. Natalia Lehonkova won in Dublin in 2017 with 2:28:58, while 2008 Krakow winner Olga Kotovska has a PB of 2:28:47.
posted Friday April 26th
by Pawel Jackowski