thGeoffrey Ronoh seeks to conquer the maraon distance in Prague

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Kenya’s conveyor belt of world-class runners produced yet another new name in 2015 as Geoffrey Ronoh became last year’s rising star. Signed as a pacemaker in the Mattoni Olomouc Half Marathon, he famously snatched victory, leaving behind superstars Wilson Kipsang and Dennis Kimetto. If Ronoh can transform the kind of form he showed last summer onto the marathon distance then he could produce some performance in Sunday’s Volkswagen Prague Marathon. While possessing to date a modest personal best of 2:15:51, Ronoh is justifiably considered one of the favourites. However, the fastest runner in the field has a PB that is almost ten minutes faster than Ronoh’s: Ethiopia’s Deribe Robi ran 2:06:06 in Dubai earlier this year and leads a field of nine sub 2:10 runners in Prague. As for the women’s race, Ethiopians are expected to lead the chase for the title. Five of them show personal bests of sub 2:25 and Koren Jelela is the fastest of this quintet with 2:22:43.

The Volkswagen Prague Marathon had its inaugural edition exactly 20 years ago. The race has developed into one of the world’s best quality marathon events and is an IAAF Gold Label Road Race. While 985 marathon runners competed back in 1995 this year organisers have once again a capacity field of 10,000 entries. Bib numbers sold out already half a year ago. “The Volkswagen Prague Marathon is an unbelievable success story. I have to thank all those who made it happen,” said the President of the organising team, Carlo Capalbo, who initiated the RunCzech Running League. Seven races spread through the Czech Republic registered 70,000 runners last year. “In total RunCzech has now had 770,000 runners within 20 years – we can be really proud of this,” said Capalbo.

2015 Bank of America Chicago Marathon Lottery Entrants Receive Notification

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Lottery entrants will be informed of their status throughout the day via email. The world-class event will take place on Sunday, October 11, 2015 - CHICAGO - Runners who entered the 2015 Bank of America Chicago Marathon lottery will be notified today of their selection status. This year's field will be comprised of runners selected through the lottery as well as participants who qualified for one of five guaranteed entry opportunities. Lottery entrants will be informed of their status throughout the day via email. The world-class event will take place on Sunday, October 11, 2015.

"The Bank of America Chicago Marathon draws runners from around the world to Chicago and we're proud to welcome everyone to our hometown to experience this first-class race," said Tim Maloney, Bank of America Illinois president. "Chicago is especially vibrant with excitement during race week. We're honored to host this annual event because of its positive economic impact to the city and to charitable causes, and to ensure everyone touched by the marathon has a great experience."

Runners selected through the lottery will join those who guaranteed their entry into the race during the six-week lottery entry period. Guaranteed entries included Chicago Marathon legacy finishers, time qualifiers, international tour groups, charity runners and those who deferred their 2014 entries. The 2015 field size is expected to resemble previous years, with approximately 45,000 participants.

Annie Bersagel clocks personal best despite a fall

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(photo: Norbert Wilhelmi / METRO GROUP Marathon Duesseldorf) Annie Bersagel fell early in the race but recovered to defend her title in the METRO GROUP Marathon Duesseldorf. The American showed great determination to go on and clock a personal best of 2:28:29. In good weather conditions Marius Ionescu of Romania won the men’s race with 2:13:19. Adding other running events staged parallel to the marathon a total of 18,000 runners entered the METRO GROUP Marathon Duesseldorf.

For financial reasons there was only a very limited elite field in Sunday’s race. However organisers are hopefully that the situation will be much improved again next year.

Chasing her personal best which she ran last year in Duesseldorf with 2:28:59 the race against the clock began with some sort of a shock for Annie Bersagel. Around the 10 k mark the defending champion tumbled to the ground after an athlete running behind her had touched her accidentally. But the 32 year-old was quickly on her feet again and continued despite some bad scratches and bruises. Guided by pacemakers she then passed the half way mark in 1:13:40, which was 20 seconds faster than planned. At that stage there was no serious rival left in the race. Brazil’s Sirlene De Sousa Pinho was well behind early on, trailing Bersagel by almost five minutes after eight kilometres. She then dropped out after 13 k due to cramps.

Defending champion Annie Bersagel targets another personal best

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Defending champion Annie Bersagel will be the main contender in Sunday’s METRO GROUP Marathon Duesseldorf. The American hopes to further improve her personal best she ran last year in this race with 2:28:59. While elite fields for this edition had to be cut drastically for financial reasons there are hopes for a national winner in the men’s race. With the Rio Olympic Games already in mind André Pollmächer intends to go for a sub 2:12 time. Adding other events at shorter distances a total of 18,000 runners have entered the METRO GROUP Marathon Duesseldorf.

There are hopes that next year the METRO GROUP Marathon Duesseldorf will return to higher standards again. However this year the fastest man in the elite field is former Maroccan Abdelhadi El Hachimi who competes for Belgium. Already 40 years of age he has a personal best of 2:11:30 from 2011. Last year El Hachimi clocked 2:12:45 in Berlin.

Cheshari Jacob takes Hannover, second win in a row for Souad Ait Salem

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( photos: Cecilia Wenig / HAJ Hannover Marathon )Cheshari Jacob and Souad Ait Salem won the 25th edition of the HAJ Hannover Marathon on Sunday. In very good weather conditions 31 year-old Kenyan Jacob clocked 2:09:32. In a close finish Ethiopia’s Chala Bekele had been in the lead briefly in the final kilometre but then had to settle for second in 2:09:42. Martin Kosgey of Kenya also ran a sub 2:10 time with 2:09:50 for third place.

Algeria’s national marathon record holder Souad Ait Salem built a big lead during the second half and clocked a fine 2:27:21. The 36 year-old missed the course record by just 14 seconds. Olha Kotovska of Ukraine was second with 2:29:13 and South Africa’s Mapaseka Makhanya clocked a personal best of 2:31:02 to take third.

Adding other races at shorter distances the HAJ Hannover Marathon had a record entry of slightly over 20,000 runners. The event is an IAAF Silver Label Road Race.