Elijah Tirop Serem led a Kenyan quartet to victory and took 20 seconds off the course record to win the men’s title at the Mattoni Karlovy Vary Half Marathon in the Czech Republic on Saturday. Serem broke away from the leading group with four kilometres left to achieve what he described as the best win of his career in 61:01. Nicholas Kipkemboi finished second in 61:13 and Bernard Bett third in 61:22. The Mattoni Karlovy Vary Half Marathon is an IAAF Silver Label Road Race.
Mulu Seboka won the women’s title, running 69:11 for a personal best and a course record by six seconds. The prolific marathoner from Ethiopia went clear at 13 km on an undulating course. Kenya’s Linah Cheruto finished second with a personal best of 70:22 while Bahrain’s Eunice Chumba placed third in 70:59.
Seboka’s improvement at half marathon was long overdue, chiefly because she has concentrated on the full distance in recent years. That paid off with 2:21:56 for sixth place in Dubai in January and she admitted her marathon strength gave her confidence.
The Ethiopian broke away from Linah Cheruto of Kenya and Bahrain’s Eunice Chumba at 13km, running strongly on the long road to the finish. The margin of victory was over a minute as Seboka finished in 69:11, well clear of Kenya’s Linah Cheruto who also set a personal best. Eunice Chumba finished third, almost two minutes behind the winner. Mulu Seboka will be back on the Czech roads for the Mattoni Olomouc Half Marathon on June 20 and is keen to press her claims for marathon selection for Ethiopa at the World Championships in Beijing.
The half marathon debut of Ireland’s Fionnuala Britton ended in eighth place in 73:46. Britton’s talent at the distance events has been amply proven by her two European Cross Country titles but on this exploration of new territory she was never a threat to the leaders.
1 Elijah Serem KEN 1:01:01 (Course Record)
2 Nicholas Kipkemboi KEN 1:01:13
3 Bernard Bett KEN 1:01:22
4 Edwin Kiptoo KEN 1:01:31
5 Hailemariam Tesfaye ETH 1:03:47
6 Erick Ndiema KEN 1:03:50
1 Mulu Seboka ETH 1:09:11 (Course Record)
2 Linah Cheruto KEN 1:10:22
3 Eunice Chumba BAH 1:10:59
4 Lucy Murigi KEN 1:12:06
5 Lucy Llavoga KEN 1:12:38
6 Tsehay Desalegn ETH 1:13:06
For further information online, please go to: www.runczech.com
Please Note: the attached photos showing the two winners in Karlovy Vary, can only be used online in conjunction with this press release and with the following credit: Mattoni Karlovy Vary Half Marathon