Ruth Chepngetich, one of the world’s leading long distance runners, will be the star attraction of the N Kolay Istanbul Half Marathon on Sunday. The Kenyan, who broke the world record on this course with 64:02 two years ago, has a unique win streak in Istanbul. The 28 year-old competed five times in Turkey’s two major international road races, the half marathon and the marathon. She always won and broke the course record on each occasion. There is no other city in the world where Ruth Chepngetich participated more often in a road race. On Sunday the Kenyan World Marathon Champion from 2019 wants to make it six wins from six races in Istanbul. With her PB of 64:02 she is currently the third fastest half marathon runner of all times and leads a very strong women’s start list, which features 14 runners with personal bests of sub 68:00. Fellow-Kenyan Charles Langat head the men’s list with a PB of 58:53. There are seven men in the field who have already run below the hour mark.
A record number of 12,300 runners will be competing in the half marathon and the 10k race staged parallel on Sunday. This is an increase of participants of close to 25 percent compared to the previous entry record from 2022. The 18th edition of the N Kolay Istanbul Half Marathon, which is an Elite Label Road Race of World Athletics, will start at 9.30 am and will be streamed worldwide at: https://youtube.com/@IBBSporIstanbul
“Turkey has gone through a difficult period due to disasters. During these times sport is the best way to stand up. We are looking forward to the N Kolay Istanbul Half Marathon, it will be a very competitive race. Ruth, who broke the world record on this course in 2021, is with us again. May be this year we will see another record,“ said Race Director Renay Onur. A large number of runners who have entered the N Kolay Istanbul Half Marathon will be running for charity on Sunday, collecting money for the devastating earth quake that hit the southern area of the country in winter. One group of charity runners, that is close to race organizer Spor Istanbul as it was founded by Renay Onur, will have over 1,250 runners alone on Sunday.
Turkey’s Yayla Gönen, who is on the women’s elite start list with a PB of 70:26, was in a training camp in Diyarbakir when the earth quake struck. The 26 year-old was lucky since the house in the camp did not collapse. But it was a struggle for her to get food for a week and she was then brought back to Istanbul by her club IBBSK. Despite this she still managed to run a marathon PB of 2:29:10 in Sevilla in February. Yayla Gönen is the favourite to win the Turkish Half Marathon Championships which are included in Sunday’s event.
“Istanbul is a beautiful city, the people and their support are amazing. It is my favourite city and I have to thank the race organisers for inviting me back once again“ said Ruth Chepngetich, who last raced on 12th March when she won the Nagoya Marathon in a world-class time of 2:18:08. “My recovery after the marathon was good and after a two-week-break I started preparing for the N Kolay Istanbul Half Marathon. Compared to my race here in 2021 I can say that my form is better now.“ However the Kenyan record holder does not have a certain time goal. “My goal is to win and as always in this race I will do my best,“ said Ruth Chepngetich, who will have some additional motivation since her daughter Shalyne has accompanied her to Istanbul. “My daughter always motivates me a lot. Since she is here with us I will have to make sure not to disappoint her!“
Ruth Chepngetich knows that it will not be an easy task to make it six wins from six in Istanbul on Sunday. Ethiopia’s Bosena Mulatie has a strong PB of 65:46 while fellow-Kenyan Evaline Chirchir has run 66:01.
Charles Langat is the fastest runner on the men’s elite start list. He improved to an impressive 58:53 when he won the Barcelona half marathon in February. With this time the 27 year-old is currently the third fastest half marathoner in the world this year. “If the weather conditions are good and the course is fast then I will try to run sub 59:30,“ said Charles Langat, who also won the Lisbon Half Marathon last autumn. Fellow-Kenyan Daniel Ebenyo is the number two on the start list with a PB of 59:04 while defending champions and course record holder Rodgers Kwemoi of Kenyan had to withdraw due to an injury. Great Britain’s Marc Scott is the fastest European runner on the list with a personal record of 60:39.
More information and online entry at: https://www.istanbulyarimaratonu.com/en/