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Cam Levins to return to racing at Istanbul Half Marathon

The Canadian marathon record holder Cam Levins will return to the roads on April 28 in Turkey.

On Tuesday, Levins was announced as one of the headliners for the Istanbul Half Marathon next month. This will be Levins’ first race since his DNF at the New York City Marathon last November.

Levins chose to race New York in preparation for the hilly Paris Olympic marathon, which he had already qualified for. The 34-year-old had high expectations heading into NYC but dropped out near the 20 km point. He later disclosed that he was not injured but did not feel well, and things didn’t improve.

The Istanbul Half Marathon annually attracts some of the fastest distance runners in the world, resulting in sub-one-hour men’s champions in four of the last five years. In 2021, the women’s world half marathon record of 64:02 was set at the race by Kenya’s Ruth Chepngetich. Ethiopia’s Letesenbet Gidey broke the world-record mark at the 2021 Valencia Half Marathon later that year.

Levins currently holds both the Canadian marathon record and half marathon mark of 60:18, which he ran at the Vancouver First Half in February 2023. A month later, he hit the 2024 Paris Olympic marathon standard at the Tokyo Marathon, where he clocked a personal best and North American area record of 2:05:36.

He is one of two Canadian men to have hit the Olympic standard and has already received early nomination for Team Canada at the Paris Olympics.

(03/27/2024) Views: 336 ⚡AMP
by Marley Dickinson
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N Kolay Istanbul Half Marathon

N Kolay Istanbul Half Marathon

The Istanbul Half Marathon is an annual road running event over the half marathon distance (21.1 km) that takes place usually in the spring on the streets of Istanbul, Turkey. It is a IAAF Gold Label event. The Istanbul Half Marathon was first organized in 1987. After several breaks it was finally brought back to life in 2015 when the...

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Berihu and Chepkurui head Istanbul elite fields

With fast races and deep elite fields the Türkiye Is Bankasi Istanbul Half Marathon has in recent years established itself among the world’s most prestigious races at the distance.

It looks certain that this pattern will be continued when the 19th edition takes place on 28th April. The current elite start list features 18 runners who have personal bests faster than 1:01:00 and nine women who have already run faster than 1:08:00. There are only very few other half marathons in the world who can match such an impressive depth. Ethiopia’s Solomon Berihu is currently the fastest athlete on the list with a PB of 59:17 while Gladys Chepkurui of Kenya heads the women’s field with 1:05:46.

In total around 16,000 runners are expected to compete in the Türkiye Is Bankasi Istanbul Half Marathon, including a 10k race staged parallel on 28th April. Turkey’s number one road race features a Gold Label of World Athletics, reflecting the high standards of the event. Registration for the Türkiye Is Bankasi Istanbul Half Marathon is still possible at: https://www.istanbulyarimaratonu.com/en/

“The Türkiye İş Bankası İstanbul Half Marathon stands out with its historic route. It is also one of just a smaller number of races in the Gold Label category worldwide“, said Race Director Renay Onur. “Our race is a special event that brings together both internationally renowned athletes and talented newcomers. This year, elite athletes from many different countries will take part. Despite a month remaining until the deadline, the registration record has already been broken and we expect to have 16,000 athletes.”

With his personal best of 59:17 Solomon Berihu is just two seconds slower than Istanbul’s course record, set by Kenya’s Rodgers Kwemoi two years ago in windy conditions. It remains to be seen if the 59:15 record will be challenged next month. While Berihu is the fastest on paper a fellow Ethiopian has lately shown very good form: Dinkalem Ayele clocked a personal best of 59:30 for fourth place in Barcelona earlier this year. He then went on to take the prestigious Lisbon Half Marathon this month. Running in very warm conditions and without a pacemaker for much of the distance his winning time of 1:00:36 would most likely have been much faster in different circumstances.

23 year-old Ayele is the third fastest on the start list behind Berihu and Edmond Kipngetich. The Kenyan clocked 59:25 in Copenhagen two years ago. He has consistently run fine half marathon times, clocking times below 60:00 four times in the past three years. A runner from Kenya with a prominent name could be in for a surprise: Solomon Kipchoge (who is not related to the double Olympic champion Eliud Kipchoge) must still be regarded as a newcomer despite being already 27. He first raced in Europe in 2022, when he clocked 1:02:00 in Italy’s Trento Half Marathon. Last year Kipchoge improved significantly when he finished fifth in Lille with 59:37.

Cameron Levins might well try to challenge the African favorites. A year ago he broke the Canadian half marathon record when he won the race in Vancouver with 1:00:18. The Türkiye Is Bankasi Istanbul Half Marathon will be his first major race in a year, when Levins will compete in the Olympic marathon in Paris.

In the women’s field the fastest runner on the start list has shown great consistency in the half marathon: Gladys Chepkurui clocked her personal best of 1:05:46 in Barcelona last year, when she was fourth in a fast race. The 29-year-old has already run the half marathon under 70:00 on eleven occasions. Last year she competed at eight races over her favorite distance, winning three of them and finishing runner-up three times. Gladys Chepkurui already showed fine form this year as well, when she was third in Barcelona and second in New York with 1:06:34 and 1:09:27 respectively.

Ftaw Zeray is another athlete whose focus is very much on the half marathon. 2023 was her best year so far. The Ethiopian took third in the competitive Ras Al Khaimah Half Marathon in the United Arab Emirates with 1:06:04, which remains her personal best. Zeray then was sixth in the World Half Marathon Championships in Riga, Latvia. This performance suggests that the 26 year-old should be able to improve her personal best.

Sheila Chelangat is an athlete who has just run her half marathon debut. The Kenyan was runner-up in Lille this March with 1:09:38. She has been a good track runner, featuring a fine PB of 14:40.51 in the 5,000 m. After a solid debut in Lille there is more to come from her.

Italy’s Giovana Epis is an experienced marathon runner, who was 12th at the World Championships in Budapest last year and has fine PB of 2:23:46. In the half marathon she has not yet broken 1:10:00 which she should be well capable of. Epis’ personal best stands at 1:10:15 and she is the leading European entrant of the Türkiye Is Bankasi Istanbul Half Marathon.

(03/26/2024) Views: 308 ⚡AMP
by AIMS
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N Kolay Istanbul Half Marathon

N Kolay Istanbul Half Marathon

The Istanbul Half Marathon is an annual road running event over the half marathon distance (21.1 km) that takes place usually in the spring on the streets of Istanbul, Turkey. It is a IAAF Gold Label event. The Istanbul Half Marathon was first organized in 1987. After several breaks it was finally brought back to life in 2015 when the...

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Purity Komen upsets Ruth Chepngetich and Daniel Ebenyo wins in Istanbul

Purity Komen was the surprise winner of the N Kolay Istanbul Half Marathon. Overtaking fellow-Kenyan and race favourite Ruth Chepngetich the 24 year-old stormed to her biggest career win with a personal best of 66:30. Course record holder Chepngetich followed in second with 67:18 while Evaline Chirchir made it an all-Kenyan podium with 67:31. Stella Rutto of Romania was the fastest European, finishing 10th with 70:05.

In partly windy conditions hopes for a course record faded in the men’s race as well after a fast first section. 27 year-old Daniel Ebenyo of Kenya was the winner of Turkey’s best quality road race with 59:52. Marokko’s Hicham Amghar took second place in 59:58 and Haftu Teklu clocked 60:03 for third. Britain’s Marc Scott was the best European runner in 63:17 for 12th place.

A record number of 12,300 runners competed in the 18th edition of the half marathon and the 10k race staged parallel. Many athletes ran for charity, collecting money for the victims of the devastating earthquake that shook southern Turkey earlier this year. The N Kolay Istanbul Half Marathon is a Gold Label Road Race of World Athletics. 

"It was a nice race and especially the men’s elite was very competitive. We are happy that we continue to register record fields. It is always exciting to experience the historic atmosphere here in Istanbul and we are now inviting everyone to be back for our marathon on 5th November,“ said Race Director Reynar Onur.

The women’s race began as expected. Ruth Chepngetich sped away from the field right after the start and was so quick that even the TV cameras missed her on a few occasions early on. Passing the 5k mark in 15:16 the Kenyan was almost on course for breaking her Kenyan record and her Istanbul course record of 64:02, which in 2021 was a world record as well.

However once the 2019 Marathon World Champion came off Galata Bridge and had to run against the wind for almost four kilometers she slowed considerably. At the 10k point her 31:09 split time then indicated a 65:45 finish and her lead had shrunk to only four seconds. Purity Komen, Evaline Chirchir and Ethiopia’s Bosena Mulatie caught her a few minutes later. Then it was  Komen, who had only been number nine with a PB of 67:08 on the final start list, who moved ahead before the 15k mark. Chepngetich tried to follow her in a bid to make it six wins from six races in Istanbul, but today she was unable to do so. Purity Komen won the race with 66:30 and became the first woman to beat Ruth Chepngetich on the historic roads of Istanbul. 

“My body did not respond after the early part of the race. I don’t know why, but I assume that may be the race came a bit too soon after the Nagoya Marathon in March,“ said Ruth Chepngetich. “I have not yet decided if I will run the World Championships’ marathon or an autumn race. The big goal is the Olympic Games next year and I hope to be selected for the team.“

While Ruth Chepngetich is an experienced marathoner the victory in Istanbul may well have brought Purity Komen closer to her debut at the classic distance. “This victory was unexpected. I was surprised when I suddenly saw Ruth in front of me and was then able to pass her,“ said Purity Komen. “I had hoped to achieve a 65 minutes’ time, but it was too windy today. I now plan to run my marathon debut next year.“

The men’s race began very fast as well with the first couple of split times indicating a finishing time of around 58:00. But as in the women’s competition the pace then dropped considerable once the leading group hit the wind. A group of around ten athletes passed the 10k mark in 28:22, which is sub 60 minutes’ pace.

Two athletes were pushing the pace at the front: Kenya’s Daniel Ebenyo and Hicham Amghar of Morocco, who have PBs of 59:04 and 59:53 respectively. Soon after the 15k point (42:33) Ebenyo took the lead, covering the 16th kilometre in 2:46. Only Amghar was able to follow him, but when Ebenyo indicated to him to help pushing the pace the Moroccan stayed right behind him. Ebenyo then kept pressing ahead and opened up a decisive gap with around 4k to go. 

“I hoped to catch Daniel but I am happy with my result. I was going for a PB, but it was not possible in the wind,“ said Hicham Amghar, while Daniel Ebenyo was happy about his first major half marathon victory. “I am excited to have won this race. My aim was to run 59:00 minutes but it was too windy for that,“ said the Kenyan. “I will probably run my marathon debut next year. May be I come back to Istanbul for that.“

Results, Men:

1. Daniel Ebenyo KEN 59:52

2. Hicham Amghar MOR 59:58

3. Haftu Teklu ETH 60:03

4. Charles Langat KEN 60:07

5. Vincent Kipkemoi KEN 60:09

6. Boniface Kibiwott KEN 60:23

7. Benard Biwott KEN 60:47

8. Ashenafi Kiros ETH 61:21

9. Alfred Ngeno KEN 62:24

10. Alene Mekonen ETH 62:32

 

Women:

1. Purity Komen KEN 66:30

2. Ruth Chepngetich KEN 67:18

3. Evaline Chirchir KEN 67:31

4. Bosena Mulatie ETH 67:43

5. Tigist Gezahagn ETH 68:49

6. Betelihem Afenigus ETH 69:04

7. Beatrice Cheserek KEN 69:14

8. Bekelech Gudeta ETH 69:35

9. Shamilah Kipsiror KEN 69:38

10. Stella Rutto ROM 70:05

(04/30/2023) Views: 737 ⚡AMP
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N Kolay Istanbul Half Marathon

N Kolay Istanbul Half Marathon

The Istanbul Half Marathon is an annual road running event over the half marathon distance (21.1 km) that takes place usually in the spring on the streets of Istanbul, Turkey. It is a IAAF Gold Label event. The Istanbul Half Marathon was first organized in 1987. After several breaks it was finally brought back to life in 2015 when the...

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Kenyan Ruth Chepngetich wants to make it six out of six in Istanbul

Ruth Chepngetich, one of the world’s leading long distance runners, will be the star attraction of the N Kolay Istanbul Half Marathon on Sunday. The Kenyan, who broke the world record on this course with 64:02 two years ago, has a unique win streak in Istanbul.

The 28 year-old competed five times in Turkey’s two major international road races, the half marathon and the marathon. She always won and broke the course record on each occasion. There is no other city in the world where Ruth Chepngetich participated more often in a road race. On Sunday the Kenyan World Marathon Champion from 2019 wants to make it six wins from six races in Istanbul. With her PB of 64:02 she is currently the third fastest half marathon runner of all times and leads a very strong women’s start list, which features 14 runners with personal bests of sub 68:00. Fellow-Kenyan Charles Langat head the men’s list with a PB of 58:53. There are seven men in the field who have already run below the hour mark.

A record number of 12,300 runners will be competing in the half marathon and the 10k race staged parallel on Sunday. This is an increase of participants of close to 25 percent compared to the previous entry record from 2022. The 18th edition of the N Kolay Istanbul Half Marathon, which is an Elite Label Road Race of World Athletics, will start at 9.30 am and will be streamed worldwide at: https://youtube.com/@IBBSporIstanbul

“Turkey has gone through a difficult period due to disasters. During these times sport is the best way to stand up. We are looking forward to the N Kolay Istanbul Half Marathon, it will be a very competitive race. Ruth, who broke the world record on this course in 2021, is with us again. May be this year we will see another record,“ said Race Director Renay Onur.

A large number of runners who have entered the N Kolay Istanbul Half Marathon will be running for charity on Sunday, collecting money for the devastating earth quake that hit the southern area of the country in winter. One group of charity runners, that is close to race organizer Spor Istanbul as it was founded by Renay Onur, will have over 1,250 runners alone on Sunday.

Turkey’s Yayla Gönen, who is on the women’s elite start list with a PB of 70:26, was in a training camp in Diyarbakir when the earth quake struck. The 26 year-old was lucky since the house in the camp did not collapse. But it was a struggle for her to get food for a week and she was then brought back to Istanbul by her club IBBSK. Despite this she still managed to run a marathon PB of 2:29:10 in Sevilla in February. Yayla Gönen is the favourite to win the Turkish Half Marathon Championships which are included in Sunday’s event.

“Istanbul is a beautiful city, the people and their support are amazing. It is my favourite city and I have to thank the race organisers for inviting me back once again“ said Ruth Chepngetich, who last raced on 12th March when she won the Nagoya Marathon in a world-class time of 2:18:08. “My recovery after the marathon was good and after a two-week-break I started preparing for the N Kolay Istanbul Half Marathon. Compared to my race here in 2021 I can say that my form is better now.“ However the Kenyan record holder does not have a certain time goal.

"My goal is to win and as always in this race I will do my best,“ said Ruth Chepngetich, who will have some additional motivation since her daughter Shalyne has accompanied her to Istanbul. “My daughter always motivates me a lot. Since she is here with us I will have to make sure not to disappoint her!“

Ruth Chepngetich knows that it will not be an easy task to make it six wins from six in Istanbul on Sunday. Ethiopia’s Bosena Mulatie has a strong PB of 65:46 while fellow-Kenyan Evaline Chirchir has run 66:01.

Charles Langat is the fastest runner on the men’s elite start list. He improved to an impressive 58:53 when he won the Barcelona half marathon in February. With this time the 27 year-old is currently the third fastest half marathoner in the world this year. “If the weather conditions are good and the course is fast then I will try to run sub 59:30,“ said Charles Langat, who also won the Lisbon Half Marathon last autumn.

Fellow-Kenyan Daniel Ebenyo is the number two on the start list with a PB of 59:04 while defending champions and course record holder Rodgers Kwemoi of Kenyan had to withdraw due to an injury. Great Britain’s Marc Scott is the fastest European runner on the list with a personal record of 60:39.

(04/29/2023) Views: 601 ⚡AMP
by Runners Web
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N Kolay Istanbul Half Marathon

N Kolay Istanbul Half Marathon

The Istanbul Half Marathon is an annual road running event over the half marathon distance (21.1 km) that takes place usually in the spring on the streets of Istanbul, Turkey. It is a IAAF Gold Label event. The Istanbul Half Marathon was first organized in 1987. After several breaks it was finally brought back to life in 2015 when the...

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Ruth Chepngetich returns for another fast race in Istanbul

Both course record holders will return to the N Kolay Istanbul Half Marathon on 30th April: Organizers from Spor Istanbul announced today that Ruth Chepngetich and fellow-Kenyan Rodgers Kwemoi will head extraordinary strong elite fields next month. The marathon world champion from 2019 has established a unique win streak at the Bosphorus, which she will try to build on further: Ruth Chepngetich won the N Kolay Istanbul Half Marathon three times and triumphed in the N Kolay Marathon twice.

In total she competed five times in these races and broke the course record on all occasions. When Ruth Chepngetich established the current half marathon mark of 64:02 in 2021 this was a world record as well. Rodgers Kwemoi will compete in Turkey’s best quality elite road race for the second time. He improved the course record to 59:15 a year ago.

Currently, nine men are on the start list of the Istanbul Half Marathon who have already broken the hour mark and nine women feature personal bests of sub-67 minutes. Istanbul 2023 offers one of the strongest line-ups in half marathon racing this year. The 18th N Kolay Istanbul Half Marathon is an Elite Label Road Race of World Athletics.

Kenyan Ruth Chepngetich has shown superb marathon form earlier this month, when she took the Nagoya women’s race with a world-class 2:18:08. Seven weeks later the 28-year-old hopes to be ready for another fast performance in Istanbul.

“I am super excited to come to the N Kolay Istanbul Half Marathon for the fourth time and to defend my title. I have always performed well in Istanbul and I am hoping to run another fast race if the weather cooperates,“ said Ruth Chepngetich, whose course record of 64:02 still is the Kenyan record while the world record now stands at 62:52. 

To build on her Istanbul win streak Chepngetich is mixing with a top-level field on Sunday, April 30. A group of Ethiopians could challenge the Kenyan.At just 21 years of age Bosena Mulatie already has a strong personal best of 65:46. She ran the time in Ras Al Khaimah (United Aarab Emirates) last year, where she finished fifth. In the summer, she achieved qualification for the World Championships and placed eighth in the 10,000 m final. Ethiopians Ftaw Zeray and Bekelech Gudeta feature personal records of 66:04 and 66:35 respectively. Gudeta ran her PB last year in Istanbul when she was third. Gete Alemayehu has been in fine form earlier this year, when she finished 12th in the challenging World Cross Country Championships. The Ethiopian has a half marathon PB of 66:37.

Additionally, there is Evaline Chirchir, she ran 66:01 in Ras Al Khaimah (RAK) in 2020 when taking fourth. The 24-year-old did not compete for some time internationally, but ran a solid race in RAK last month with 67:15 for fifth place.

Rodgers Kwemoi is not only the course record holder but also the fastest athlete on the start list. The 25-year-old ran 58:30 when he was runner-up in RAK last year. After that race he broke the Istanbul course record by 20 seconds with 59:15 despite windy conditions. “My next goal in the half marathon is a time of 58:00,“ said Rodgers Kwemoi after this impressive win. He had no opportunity yet to reach that goal, so the N Kolay Istanbul Half Marathon could be the place for him to chase such a world-class time. 

Among Rodgers Kwemoi’s competitors there will be Amedework Walelegn, who has good memories of the N Kolay Istanbul Half Marathon as well. The Ethiopian was the winner in 2018 and at that time became the first runner to break the one hour barrier at the Bosphorus with a time of 59:50. Since then he has improved this PB to 58:40. The 24-year-old was in great form recently, when he first took the Sevilla Half Marathon with 60:28 and then won the Seoul Marathon in 2:05:27. 

Recent road race results from Kenyans Charles Langat and Daniel Ebenyo have been impressive as well and suggest that they could be in contention for victory in Istanbul as well. Langat won the Barcelona Half Marathon in February with 58:53 and Ebenyo, who has a very fast 10k PB of 26:58, was runner-up in the Manama Half Marathon in Bahrain in December with 59:04. 

Britain’s Marc Scott is the fastest European runner on the start list. The 3,000 m bronze medalist from the World Indoor Championships 2022 ran 60:39 in Larne (Northern Ireland)  three years ago for a runner-up spot behind Mo Farah. 

(04/05/2023) Views: 742 ⚡AMP
by Christopher Kelsall
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N Kolay Istanbul Half Marathon

N Kolay Istanbul Half Marathon

The Istanbul Half Marathon is an annual road running event over the half marathon distance (21.1 km) that takes place usually in the spring on the streets of Istanbul, Turkey. It is a IAAF Gold Label event. The Istanbul Half Marathon was first organized in 1987. After several breaks it was finally brought back to life in 2015 when the...

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Obiri and Kwemoi claim half marathon crowns in Istanbul

Hellen Obiri ran the 10th fastest ever women's half marathon and Rodgers Kwemoi broke the course record to win the N Kolay Istanbul Half Marathon, a World Athletics Elite Label road race, on Sunday (27).

Both races got off to a blistering start and while the early world record pace could not be maintained on a sunny and breezy morning, Kenya's Obiri and Kwemoi held on to triumph by a big margin, beating two stong fields.

Two-time world 5000m champion Obiri ran 1:04:48 to win the women's race by more than a minute ahead of Ethiopia’s Tsehay Gemechu and Bekelech Gudeta, while Kwemoi improved the men's course record to 59:15 to beat his training partner Daniel Mateiko (1:00:05) and Emmanuel Bor, who had started the race as a pacemaker.

The N Kolay Istanbul Half Marathon was one of the few international races that went ahead last year during the pandemic and it ended with a world record by Ruth Chepngetich, the world marathon champion running 1:04:02. Since then, that women's world record has been improved to 1:02:52 by Letesenbet Gidey in Valencia and it was that mark the leaders were on target for in the early stages.

Running with a male pacemaker, Obiri was joined by Gemechu as they passed 5km in 14:45, putting them on a projected pace of just outside 62 minutes, with Ethiopia’s Bekelech Gudeta and Kenya’s Vicoty Chepngeno running together 10 seconds behind them. Turkey’s Yasemin Can was another 10 seconds back.

Speeding up further still, it was no surprise to see Obiri open a gap on Gemechu, but that pace could not be sustained in the windy conditions and the world cross-country champion had slowed by the 10km point, although that was still passed in 30:01. By that stage she was half a minute ahead of Gemechu, who had been caught by Chepngeno and Gudeta.

Obiri continued to forge ahead, passing 15km in 45:27 and 20km in 1:01:16 to eventually win in 1:04:48, improving both her time and position from the event 12 months earlier, when she was third behind Chepngetich in 1:04:51 – the fastest debut half marathon in history. Obiri currently sits fifth on the world all-time list with the 1:04:22 she ran to finish second at the Ras Al Khaimah Half Marathon last month.

Gemechu, who won last year’s Copenhagen Half Marathon in a PB of 1:05:08, battled the challenge posed by Chepngeno and Gudeta and solo ran her way to second place in 1:05:52. Gudeta was third in 1:06:35, Chepngeno fourth in 1:06:58 and Can fifth in 1:07:57. The top 11 finished inside 70 minutes, while Moira Stewartova was just outside that and broke the Czech Republic record with 1:10:14 to finish 12th.

The men’s race leaders were also on pace to break Jacob Kiplimo’s world record of 57:31 set in Lisbon last year in the opening kilometres and Kwemoi, Mateiko and their compatriot Bor were just off that tempo through 5km in 13:40.That trio remained together as 10km was passed in 27:35 but then Kwemoi began to move away. The tempo was easing but he was still well in control, with a 20-second lead at 15km, which he passed in 41:34. That advantage had grown to 44 seconds by 20km (56:07) and he ran unchallenged to the finish line in 59:15 to improve the course record of 59:35 set by the then world record-holder Kibiwott Kandie last year.

Bor was 15 seconds behind runner-up Mateiko, running 1:00:20 for third place, while Kenya’s Edmond Kipngetich and Brian Kwemoi finished fourth and fifth with respective times of 1:00:30 and 1:00:50.

The top 10 were all under 62 minutes, with Ramazan Ozdemir being Turkey’s top finisher in 14th (1:04:02).

The event featured a record number of around 10,500 participants.

(03/27/2022) Views: 1,067 ⚡AMP
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N Kolay Istanbul Half Marathon

N Kolay Istanbul Half Marathon

The Istanbul Half Marathon is an annual road running event over the half marathon distance (21.1 km) that takes place usually in the spring on the streets of Istanbul, Turkey. It is a IAAF Gold Label event. The Istanbul Half Marathon was first organized in 1987. After several breaks it was finally brought back to life in 2015 when the...

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Hellen Obiri goes for another PB and possibly the Istanbul course record

Hellen Obiri is back in Istanbul where strong elite fields were assembled for the N Kolay Istanbul Half Marathon on Sunday.

Both course records could be threatened at the Bosporus. Six women are on the start list with personal bests of sub 67:00 and Kenya’s reigning World Cross Country Champion and 5,000 m World Champion is the fastest of them: Hellen Obiri has improved to 64:22 earlier this year.

Fellow-Kenyans Daniel Mateiko and Rodgers Kwemoi head the men’s start list with personal bests of 58:26 and 58:30 respectively. The N Kolay Istanbul Half Marathon produced a world record a year ago when Kenya’s Ruth Chepngetich won the race in 64:02. 

A year ago the N Kolay Istanbul Half Marathon was one of very few international races that went ahead during the pandemic. 4,000 runners participated under strict hygiene regulations. Now the organizers of the N Kolay Istanbul Half Marathon are proud to announce that the race bounced back: Including races at shorter distances a record number of over 10,000 runners were registered for the 17th edition. Around 8,000 of them will run the half marathon.Turkey’s biggest spring road race is a World Athletics Elite Label Road Race. 

“We have worked for a long time to improve our 16 year-old course and to make it one of the most historic and enjoyable courses in the world, as well as one of the fastest. We succeeded in developing the N Kolay Istanbul Half Marathon further and even had a world record here a year ago,“ said Renay Onur, the Race Director of the event which is staged by Spor Istanbul.

With regard to Sunday’s race he said: “Our elite field is of high quality. With two men having recently achieved sub-59 times, we have a chance that our course record will fall. On the women’s side, I am happy that Hellen Obiri is back. I believe she can go even faster since weather conditions seem to be fine on Sunday. We invite all sport lovers to enjoy this race.“

Hellen Obiri is ready for another very fast race. "If weather conditions and pacemaking are good then I will try to break my personal best. Whenever I come to such a race it is my goal to run well and improve my time,“ said the 32 year-old who improved to 64:22 when she was second in the Ras Al Khaimah half marathon in the United Arab Emirates in February. Since then she has been training in the Ngong hills near Nairobi.

“I am in much better form now than I was before Ras Al Khaimah,“ said Hellen Obiri. Asked about the course record, which is also the Kenyan record, she answered: “The course record will be a tough challenge. But we have a very strong field, so we will definitely give it a try.“ 

Hellen Obiri will indeed face very strong competition in Istanbul. Fellow-Kenyan Vicoty Chepngeno has an outstanding half marathon record. She ran 14 half marathons since 2018 and won eleven of them.

The 28 year-old is undefeated in her past six races at the distance and improved to a world-class time of 65:03 when she took the Houston half marathon in January.

Ethiopian trio Tsehay Gemechu (PB: 65:08), Nigsti Haftu (66:17), Bekelech Gudeta (66:54) and Turkey’s multiple European long distance champion Yasemin Can (66:20) are the other women who have already run below 67:00. Tsehay Gemechu has a very strong half marathon record as well.

She has won four of her five races and is the reigning champion of the Copenhagen half marathon where she clocked her PB last year.

In the men’s race there will be an attack on the course record, which was established last year by Kenya’s Kibiwott Kandie with 59:35.

“We will both be going for the course record and a personal best,“ said Daniel Mateiko and Rodgers Kwemoi, who are training partners and belong to the group of Eliud Kipchoge based at Kaptagat. Mateiko improved by almost a full minute to 58:26 when he was third in Valencia in 2021 while Kwemoi was runner-up in Ras Al Khaimah in February with a strong PB of 58:30.

“I am now in better form than I was in Ras Al Khaimah,“ said Rodgers Kwemoi.

Two other runners in the field have already broken the one hour barrier: Kenyans Josphat Tanui and Edmond Kipngetich have personal bests of 59:22 and 59:41 respectively.

Elite runners with personal bests

Men

Daniel Mateiko KEN 58:26

Rodgers Kwemoi KEN 58:30

Josphat Tanui KEN 59:22

Edmond Kipngetich KEN 59:41

Hillary Kipchumba KEN 60:01

Vestus Chemjor KEN 60:47

Moses Too KEN 60:56

Philimon Kiptoo KEN 61:47

Daniel Kiprotich KEN 62:09

Gerald Vincent KEN 62:27

Ramazan Özdemir TUR 63:10

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Hellen Obiri KEN 64:22

Vicoty Chepngeno KEN 65:03

Tsehay Gemechu ETH 65:08

Nigsti Haftu ETH 66:17

Yasemin Can TUR 66:20

Bekelech Gudeta ETH 66:54

Pauline Esikon KEN 67:15

Stella Rutto ROU 67:45

Ayinadis Teshome ETH 68:18

Daisy Kimeli KEN 68:34

Medhin Gebreslassie ETH 68:38

Ludwina Chepngetich KEN 70:34

Moira Stewartova CZE 71:08

Fatma Karasu TUR 71:30

Kristina Hendel CRO 71:34

(03/25/2022) Views: 1,158 ⚡AMP
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N Kolay Istanbul Half Marathon

N Kolay Istanbul Half Marathon

The Istanbul Half Marathon is an annual road running event over the half marathon distance (21.1 km) that takes place usually in the spring on the streets of Istanbul, Turkey. It is a IAAF Gold Label event. The Istanbul Half Marathon was first organized in 1987. After several breaks it was finally brought back to life in 2015 when the...

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