Hellen Obiri will return to the N Kolay Istanbul Half Marathon on 27th March. Kenya’s reigning World 5,000 m Champion and World Cross Country Champion ran a spectacular debut at the Bosporus last year. Finishing third she clocked an unofficial world debut record of 64:51. When Hellen Obiri travels back to Istanbul she will be one of five women who feature personal bests of sub 67:00. While organisers from Spor Istanbul announced some of the women elite runners for the N Kolay Istanbul Half Marathon today general registration for the race is still possible until 1st March at: https://www.istanbulyarimaratonu.com/en/
The N Kolay Istanbul Half Marathon is an Elite Label Road Race of World Athletics.
Hellen Obiri has gained quite some experience in half marathon running since her debut. The 32 year-old, who now focusses on road running, won the Great North Run in Newcastle last September with 67:42 and showed great form just recently. In February she took second place in the competitive Ras Al Khaimah half marathon in the United Arab Emirates, where she improved to 64:22. With this personal best Hellen Obiri is now the fifth fastest half marathon runner of all times.
“I am so happy to be returning to Istanbul. I ran my half marathon debut in this race last year and I hope I can improve both my position and my time on this occasion,“ said Hellen Obiri. Most likely her strongest challengers will come from Ethiopia. Organisers of the N Kolay Istanbul Half Marathon announced that there will be a group of four Ethiopians who have all personal bests of sub 67:00.
The fastest of the Ethiopian quartet is Tsehay Gemechu who won last year’s Copenhagen half marathon with a strong PB of 65:08. The 23 year-old has an impressive half marathon record with four wins out of five races. Hawi Feysa was runner-up behind Tsehay Gemechu in Copenhagen in September, when she clocked 65:41 in her debut half marathon. Nigsti Haftu and Bekelech Gudeta are the other two Ethiopians who will try to challenge Hellen Obiri. While Haftu has a PB of 66:17 Gudeta ran her personal record of 66:54 when she was seventh at the N Kolay Istanbul Half Marathon a year ago.
Hellen Obiri is looking forward to the challenge on the flat Istanbul course. “My training has been going on well but I know it will be a tough challenge as the field is very strong. I look forward to an exciting race in a beautiful city,“ said the Kenyan, who was second in the Olympic 5,000 m final and fourth in the 10,000 m final in Tokyo last year.
More information and online entry at: https://www.istanbulyarimaratonu.com/en/