Israel’s Lonah Chemtai Salpeter moved up to third on the European all-time list with a runner-up finish in the Sportisimo Prague Half Marathon, a five-star certified road race by European Athletics Running for All, on Saturday (6) which saw 12,000 runners take to the streets of the Czech capital.
As Kenya’s Caroline Kipkirui forged away to take the win in 65:44, Chemtai Salpeter crossed the finish-line in 66:09 to move ahead of former world champions Ingrid Kristiansen (66:40) and Lornah Kiplagat (66:25) with only Paula Radcliffe (65:40) and Sifan Hassan (65:15) ahead of her on the European all-time list.
Not only did Chemtai Salpeter comfortably surpass her official lifetime best of 67:55, she was also faster than her 66:40 clocking which she set on a point-to-point course in the Rome-Ostia Half Marathon last month.
Next up for Chemtai Salpeter is the Volkswagen Prague Marathon on 5 May when she looks on course to further improve her lifetime best of 2:24:17 from last year’s Florence Marathon. She will finalise her preparations at altitude in Kenya.
“I came to compete at the Prague Half Marathon as part of my preparation for next month's Prague Marathon,” said Chemtai Salpeter, the reigning European 10,000m champion.
“After running 66:40 and focusing mostly on heavy marathon training, I'm happy I could still improve in the half marathon. According to my coach my personal best today shows I still have a big room for improvement.”
Chemtai Salpeter passed through the 10km checkpoint in 30:57 which was also a national record - and even faster than her corresponding track lifetime best of 31:33.03 which she set at the European 10,000m Cup in London last May.
At that point, Chemtai Salpeter was still in contention with Kipkirui before the Kenyan began to forge a winning gap in the second half of the race. “After that Caroline opened a 22-second gap between 10-15km which I couldn't respond to. This gap remained the same until 20km and grew a bit at the finish. I will focus on my recovery before resuming my final marathon preparations,” she said.
Chemtai Salpeter also paid tribute to the organisers RunCzech who have been an active force, particularly in supporting European distance running at both elite and recreational level. Four RunCzech races are supporting the EuroHeroes initiative in 2019 while the second edition of the European Running Business Conference will be held in conjunction with the Birell Prague Grand Prix from 6-8 September.
“I enjoy running here in Prague in front of this great crowd. A special thanks to the RunCzech staff: I really felt everyone who is part of the organising committee really cares about the athletes’ need.”
The European Athletics Quality Road Race standards act as an assurance for road runners throughout Europe. They distinguish between races that respect the standards and those that haven’t sought certification or assessment. They form the foundation of Running for All, a strong recognisable brand for running activities throughout Europe.
More information on Running for All:
More information on the European Running Business Conference:
Registration page: https://registration.mylaps.com/business-conference