10 000 Euros is awarded to the runner that passes the sprint line just before 11 km at the Lindholmen Science Park. The magical number is 60 minutes for men and 68 minutes for women. This year could be the year!
– We have an extremely strong women’s class this year. I think that the sprint prize could be won this year, says Per Crona, Head of the Elite Runners in GöteborgsVarvet.
Last year’s winner, Worknesh Degefa, Ethiopia, was only 13 seconds from winning it last year and is looking to take her third win in a row. She is going up against some tough competition of world ranked number one Viola Jepchumba, Kenya that debuted in the distance last year at the GöteborgsVarvet Half Marathon. She placed number five with the time 1:11:46. The pace this year will be much faster.
– She was about to beat the world record in Prague in April when she shocked the running world by running it in 1:05:51. It is going to be exciting to see them chase after the record.
Those are not the only two that are chasing the sprint prize. Kenyan, Angerla Tanui was on Degefa’s heels in Ostia back in March and ran just over 1:07.
– I´m actually quite amazed over the quality of runners when you take in consideration that our prize money is relative low is relation to the other half marathons around the world. It is they themselves that want to come here say Per Crona who has spent the last week turning down loads of strong runners that want to come to Göteborg.
He is not so sure about the men’s sprint prize.
– There are those that could possibly do under 60 min but it is extremely tough. It requires an absolute flawless conditions if someone is to pull it off.
Last year’s winner Richard Mengich, Kenya, two time world champion and Olympic silver in marathon Abel Kirui, last year’s number 3 in the world Leonard Langat and GöteborgsVarvet course record holder Victor Kipchirchir, all from Kenya, are some of the ones with the capacity to reach the magical number.
We also have two Japanese in every class and a couple of really good Europeans, boasts Per Crona that is just as tense over how the fight for the Swedish Championship medals are going to end up.
– It is exciting that the Swedish Championships are held during such a festive event. In the men’s class it is going to be a battle between Mikael Ekvall, who is trained by Mats Erixon, with the most won GöteborgsVarvets and Eskilstunas Abraham Adhanom.
Among the women, Isabellah Andersson past Eric Lemming last year with the most Swedish Championships of all time. She could win her 30th title coming up.
– We also have several locals that are debuted, Elin Borglund, Sävedalens AIK and Robin Lindgren, Örgryte IS. It is going to be interesting to see what they got when it comes to this distance.