It was the first sub-1 hour half on Czech soil.
Written by David Monti
(c) 2011 Race Results Weekly, all rights reserved. Used with permission.
Sunday’s Hervis Prague Half Marathon saw record-breaking performances in both the men’s and women’s contests. The 13th edition of the IAAF Gold Label road race in the Czech capital also saw a record 7229 finishers. Kenyan Philemon Kimeli Limo clocked 59:30 to get the win, becoming the first man to break the one hour mark for a half-marathon on Czech soil.
After a 28:06 opening 10K, Limo pulled away from rivals Titus Masai, Azmeraw Bekele, Henry Chirchir, and Edward Muge in the next 5 kilometers, splitting 13:50 for that segment. By the time he hit the finish tape in Old Town Square, he had a 55-second gap on Ethiopian Bekele (1:00:35) and Kenyan Masai (1:00:40), who finished second and third, respectively.
Lydia Cheromei, also of Kenya, dominated the women’s race. She came through 10 kilometers in 32:05 with Kenyan compatriot and two-time Prague Half-Marathon champion Rose Kosgei three seconds behind her. But like Limo, she stepped up the pace and ran 15:45 for the next 5K, and opened up a 30 second lead. That gap continued to widen to the finish, where she stopped the clock at 1:07:33, also a Czech all-comers record. Kosgei slipped to third (1:09:33), and second place went to Ethiopia’s Belainesh Gebre in 1:09:17.
Both Limo and Cheromei earned € 2000 in prize money, event record bonuses of € 3000, and € 10,000 time bonuses for breaking 60:00 and 68:33, respectively.