World Half champion Jepchirchir added to Airtel Delhi field

Peres Jepchirchir winning at the IAAF/Cardiff University World Half Marathon Championships Cardiff 2016. PHOTO/Courtesy
Peres Jepchirchir winning at the IAAF/Cardiff University World Half Marathon Championships Cardiff 2016. PHOTO/Courtesy

Kenya’s IAAF/Cardiff University World Half Marathon Championships Cardiff 2016 gold medallist Peres Jepchirchir will have the Airtel Delhi Half Marathon course record in her sights on Sunday, November 20.

Jepchirchir is the biggest name in the women’s elite field as the race promoters Procam International released the rest of the invited international runners who will contest the 12th edition of India’s leading half marathon.

She will be chasing the Airtel Delhi Half Marathon course record of 1:06.54 set by her compatriot and three-time New York Marathon champion, Mary Keitany in 2009 and also looking to extend her winning streak to four consecutive half marathons after her recent victory in the Spanish city of Valencia on October 23.

“I’m recovering well after my race in Valencia and getting ready for the Airtel Delhi Half Marathon, where I think I can get the course record,” commented Jepchirchir.

“Mary’s record is a good one but my time of 1:07:09 in Valencia showed that I am in good shape, even though I was a little worried beforehand there about not having done my best training due to a few small injury problems and having changed my plans to have my marathon debut around this time.

“However, I have felt no ill-effects from my run in Valencia and I am getting ready to return to India and hope to run well again, especially if I have a month’s good training.

“I was in Bengaluru in May for the 10K there (which she won in 32:15) and I heard good things about the Airtel Delhi Half Marathon as they are both organised by the same race promoters and so I feel very happy about running this race,” added the reigning world half marathon champion.

Jepchirchir has actually run faster than the Airtel Delhi Half Marathon course record, setting a personal best of 1:06:39 when finishing fourth at the Ras Al Khaimah Half Marathon in February, so going into new territory in the Indian city is certainly not an unreasonable target.

In a year which has seen Jepchirchir establish herself as one of the world’s top road runners, her race in Ras Al Khaimah has actually been her only loss in seven top-class outings so far in 2016.

However, she will not be the fastest woman on the start line in Delhi.

Ethiopia’s Worknesh Degefa and Kenya’s Mary Wacera both have quicker half marathon personal bests, having clocked 66:14 and 66:29 respectively in races earlier this year.

Additions to the men’s elite field, following the recent announcement that the Rio 2016 Olympic Games marathon champion Eliud Kipchoge will be racing in Delhi, include 2012 Olympic Games marathon gold medallist Stephen Kiprotich.

The leading men and women will be chasing first prizes of US$27,000 with a total prize fund (men and women) of US$270,000.

Elite fields for the 2016 Airtel Delhi Half Marathon (with personal bests)


Eliud Kipchoge (KEN) 59:25

Yigrem Demelash (ETH) 59:49

Abrar Osman (KEN) 60:39

Leonard Korir (USA) 61:06

Gladwin Mzazi (RSA) 61:12

Stephen Kiprotich (UGA) 61:15

Jackson Kiprop (UGA) 62:05

Paul Pollock (IRE) 62:09

Sibusiso Nzima (RSA) 62:10

Alphonce Felix Sambu (TAN) 62:58

Augustine Choge (KEN) 63:24

David McNeil (AUS) debut


Peres Jepchirchir (KEN) 66:39

Worknesh Degefa (ETH) 66:14

Mary Wacera (KEN) 66:29

Gladys Chesir (KEN) 66:57

Netsanet Gudeta (ETH) 67:31

Helah Kiprop (KEN) 67:39

Valeria Straneo (ITA) 67:46

Rose Chelimo (BRN) 68:08

Afera Godfay (ETH) 68:32

Ababel Yeshaneh (ETH) 69:36

Gelete Burka (ETH) 75:38

Alemitu Heroye (ETH) debut

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Story By Mutwiri Mutuota
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