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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.(04/26/2019) ⚡AMP
The Marathon, organized since 2002 is one of the most popular running events in Poland. It is also the event which brings the biggest number of international participants, who every year come to Krakow to compete. So far, the Cracovia Marathon has seen participants from 55 countries. The Sports Infrastructure Management Board of Krakow is leading the project of the...more...
On the men's side, four entrants with sub-2:10 credentials will be on the start line targeting the 2:13:05 standard set by Kenyan Josphat Too in 2013.
Among the favourites is Kenyan Mike Mutai, the winner of the 2016 Hong Kong Marathon who also boasts podium finishes from marathons in Singapore, Hangzhou and Hefei. Mutai, 36, clocked his 2:09:18 lifetime best in Dubai in 2012.
Another contender is Ethiopian Abraham Girma whose 2:06:48 personal best set in 2012 makes him the fastest in the field. More recently, he clocked 2:12:46 in Porto last November, finishing fifth.
A third contender is Philip Kangogo of Kenya, who set his 2:08:16 lifetime best when winning the 2015 Barcelona Marathon in his debut over the distance.
Mathew Kipsaat, who clocked 2:09:19 at the 2017 Rome Marathon, is also in the field.
Similarly in the women's race, five women with sub-2:30 credentials have been recruited to set their sites on Kim Jong-hyang's 2:34:53 race record set in 2014.
He Yinli (marathon world ranking: 164) of China is the fastest in the field with a personal best of 2:27:35 set at the 2015 Chongqing Marathon where she's finished on the podium twice. She clocked 2:31:14 at the Osaka Women's Marathon in January, her most recent race.
Kenyan Nancy Koech (marathon world ranking: 318) is another contender. She arrives armed with a 2:29:30 career best set at the 2017 Daegu Marathon, with wins at the Malaga, Copenhagen and Munster marathons to her credit.
Another Kenyan, Sylvia Medugu (marathon world ranking: 201), has a 2:29:09 personal best, set at the 2017 Frankfurt Marathon.(03/15/2019) ⚡AMP
The best thing about Wan Jin Shi Marathon Race, is the chance to take in the enchanting view along the North Shore. The breathtaking view of the mountains and the seaside is the centerpiece of the race. The Queen's Head Rock is set against the backdrop of the North Shore, complemented by the area's many scenic landmarks. This is the...more...