Geoffrey Ndungu (KEN) and Joyce Njeru (KEN) both claimed victories at Krkonossky Half Marathon on Sunday, in round six of the World Mountain Running Association (WMRA) World Cup.
The duo have enjoyed success in the World Cup this season, most notably at Grossglockner Berglauf in round two, when Njeru took an impressive win and Ndungu picked up a solid fourth place.
For their respective triumphs at Krkonossky, the pair had to overcome an array of local talent, with the event also serving as the Czech Republic Long Distance National Championships.
However, it would be another prosperous day for Kenyan runners, as Ndungu clinched his win in the men’s race by finishing in 1:32:30, 0:52 ahead of Timothy Kirui (KEN) in second and 1:05 clear of Marek Chrascina (CZE) in third.
In sweltering conditions in Janske Lazne, the three eventual podium finishers were quick to break away from the pack, reaching the first checkpoint on the 21km route in close proximity.
After scaling the summit of Cerna Hora mountain and with 6km to go, Ndungu upped the pace and left the chasing duo to fight over second place – a battle which Kirui ultimately edged.
In the women’s race, Njeru took victory 0:25 clear of second placed Barbora Macurova (CZE) and nearly three minutes ahead of Pavla Matyasova (CZE).
Njeru, who now sits at #8 in the WMRA World Rankings following her second win of the season, hit the front early on, opening a gap of almost two minutes to Matyasova and Macurova by the 6km mark.
The Kenyan maintained her advantage for much of the race before holding off a late surge from Macurova to finish in 1:50:02.
There is now a short break from WMRA World Cup action before the competition returns for two quickfire rounds in Italy, with Vertical Nasego on September 4 and Trofeo Nasego on September 5.