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The Future of Fitness Can Fit in Your Ear

Dubbed ’hearables,’ these AI-enabled headphones help plot running routes, track fitness goals and coach you through tough workouts

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Run towards a better future: A look at the marathons in India

Over the past few years, marathons have attracted a lot of importance in our country. Even the smaller cities are joining in with the metros to glorify the marathons trend. With the growing consciousness about fitness and good health, running a marathon occupies a prime spot on the wishlist for many. Some in the corporate circles take up the cause diligently and train all year long to perform well at the marathons. We’ve got you a glimpse of some cities as they play host to a marathon.

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Woman tackles Austin Marathon after surviving ovarian cancer, leukemia, car crash

Even leukemia, breast cancer, ovarian cancer and a car accident can’t stop Austinite Donna Monroe from running.

AUSTIN, Texas — If there’s anything Austin native Donna Monroe can teach you, it’s that if she can run the Austin Marathon, so can you.

At 70 years old, Monroe completed her run Sunday, but it’s not her age that’s the most surprising. Monroe has survived multiple cancers and being struck by a vehicle while out riding bikes with her partner.

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Solomon Deksisa heads men’s field, defending women’s Champion Kitur returns to the TMM

Race promoters Procam International have put together men’s and women’s elite fields of impressive depth to contest the Tata Mumbai Marathon 2018 on Sunday 21 January.


With the announcement of the elite field, four men who have run under 2:07:00 and another five who have run under 2:09:00, as well as six women who have gone faster than 2:29:00 will be on the start line.


The elite runners will do battle for US$42,000 first prize cheques in what is anticipated to be a spectacular race played out in front of thousands of spectators lining the course in India’s entertainment and financial hub.

“We are delighted to welcome on board TATA as our new title sponsor, ushering in a new era for the Mumbai Marathon. Its fitting as this year we are celebrating the landmark 15th anniversary, of this iconic event, said Vivek Singh, Joint MD of Procam International.

“We have yet again increased the overall prize fund – re-inforcing the Tata Mumbai Marathon’s position as Asia’s prestigious road race and one of the leading marathons of the world.  We have a stronger mens field this year and I think the men’s course record of 2:08:35 (set in 2016 by Kenya’s Gideon Kipketer), will be under threat.

The women’s course record of 2:24:33 ( set in 2013 by Kenya’s Valentine Kipketer) is probably a tougher proposition but far from unbeatable, with the calibre of athletes coming here,” added Singh.


The fastest runner in the Tata Mumbai Marathon 2018 is Ethiopia’s Solomon Deksisa who can boast of a best of 2:06:22, more than two minutes quicker than the course record.

Deksisa, 23, ran that time when finishing second at the 2016 Rotterdam Marathon and after third place in the Toronto Marathon last October, he will be bidding for his first marathon victory in Mumbai.


Ethiopia’s Chele Dechasa and Abraham Girma, and Bahrain’s Shumi Dechasa, the latter running for his country in the last two IAAF World Championships marathons, are the three other men who have run under 2:07:00 in their careers.

However, pundits are pointing towards two other young Ethiopian runners as perhaps the men to spring a surprise on their ostensibly faster rivals.


Yitayal Atnafu, 24, was the 2011 African U20 5000m champion on the track and set a

marathon personal best of 2:07:21 when finishing fourth in the Paris Marathon last year. He also finished second in the Houston Marathon earlier last year and, like Deksisa, will be very motivated to get his first marathon victory.


Aychew Bantie, 23, has few international credentials but clocked 2:09:40 in his one and only marathon to date, in a high-quality affair in Amsterdam last October, and will have learnt a lot from that experience.


Among the prominent Kenyan runners in the elite field are Joshua Kipkorir and Eliud

Barngetuny, who were second and third in last year’s Mumbai Marathon.

The women’s race sees the last two Mumbai Marathon winners return, Ethiopia’s 2016

champion Shuko Genemo and her Kenyan successor 12 months ago, Bornes Kitur.

Genemo had a 2017 best of 2:26:06 at the Vienna Marathon and ran under 2:29:00 in her other two marathons last year, including a win in the Ljubljana Marathon in October while Kitur followed up her win in Mumbai by setting a personal best of 2:29:01 when finishing second in the Sydney Marathon in September. However, the slight favourite on form over the last two years will be the fastest women in the field, Ethiopia’s Amane Gobena. Now 35, Gobena ran her personal best of 2:21:51 when finishing second in the 2016 Tokyo Marathon and returned to the famous race in the Japanese capital last February where she finished third in 2:23.09.


Ethiopia’s Kumeshi Sichala and Tigist Girma retrun to the race havng made the podium in the past, Sichala was second in 2015 and Girma third last year, and will no doubt be able to use their previous expecience to good advantage on race day.


The Tata Mumbai Marathon has a total prize fund of US$405,000 in 2018. As an IAAF Silver Label Road Race, the Tata Mumbai Marathon has established itself as one of Asia’s leading races over the classic distance since it was inaugurated in 2004.

Approximately 46,000 runners will take to the roads in Mumbai for the six different races in what has become an annual event in the city on the third Sunday of January.

In addition to the marathon, there is a half marathon, Dream Run (6.6km), Senior Citizens Race (4.6km), a Champions with Disability Race (2.4km) and, a new race in 2018, the Timed 10K run.


MALE ELITE ATHLETES (with nationality, year of birth and personal best)

Solomon Deksisa ETH/1994 2:06:22

Chele Dechasa ETH/1984 2:06:33

Shumi Dechasa BRN/1989 2:06:43

Abraham Girma ETH/1986 2:06:48

Tebalu Zawude ETH/1987 2:07:10

Yitayal Atnafu ETH/1983 2:07:21

Evans Ruto KEN/1984 2:07:49

Philip Kangogo KEN/1983 2:08:16

Samuel Mwaniki KEN/1984 2:08:56

Aychew Bantie ETH/1995 2:09:40

Joshua Kipkorir KEN/1994 2:09:50

Eliud Barngetuny KEN/1987 2:10:23

Robert Chemonges UGA/1997 2:10:32

Vincent Kipchumba KEN/1990 2:10:32

Jeffrey Eggleston USA/1984 2:10:52

Shumet Akalnaw ETH/1988 2:13:18

Husen Muhammedamin ETH/1993 2:14:19

Gopi Thonakal IND/1988 2:15:25



Bornes Kitur KEN/1988 2:29:01 (defending champion)

Amane Gobena ETH/1982 2:21:51

Shuko Genemo ETH/1995 2:24:31

Helalia Johannes NAM/1980 2:26:09

Monika Stefanowicz POL/1980 2:28:26

Kumeshi Sichala ETH/1995 2:28:42

Afera Godfay ETH/1991 2:28:46

Tigist Girma ETH/1993 2:29:05

Kuftu Tahir ETH/1995 2:31:27

Tejitu Daba BRN/1991 2:31:32

Rose Maru KEN/1987 2:33:05

Birke Debele ETH/1995 2:40:48

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35 World Record holder, Pole vault legend – SERGEY BUBKA is International Event Ambassador of Tata Mumbai Marathon 2018

Procam International, organisers of the country’s finest distance running events, today announced six-time world champion, 1988 Olympic Gold medallist and former world record holder for men’s pole vault, Sergey Bubka as the International Event Ambassador for the 15th edition of the Tata Mumbai Marathon, to be held on 21st January 2018.

The 54-year-old Ukrainian pole vaulter was one of the first 24 athletes to be inducted as the inaugural members of the International Association of Athletics Federations Hall of Fame. Sergey was the first pole vaulter to clear 6.0 metres and 6.10 metres, and broke the world record for men’s pole vault 35 times. He is Senior Vice President of the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF), serving since 2007, and President of the National Olympic Committee of Ukraine, serving since 2005. He is also an Honorary Member of the International Olympic Committee (IOC), having been involved since 1996. Sergey works closely with the UNESCO as a Champion for Sport, and as an Academy Member for the Laureus Sport for Good Foundation. He dedicates most of his time in promoting the value of sport to young people across the globe.

On being announced as International Event Ambassador of the Tata Mumbai Marathon, Sergey Bubka said “It’s an absolute pleasure to be a part of the esteemed Tata Mumbai Marathon. I have heard a lot about the energy and spirit of this iconic race, and am looking forward to partaking in the exhilarating experience in Mumbai. The determination and commitment to training that avid runners and marathoners put in prior to the race day makes the journey to the finish line worthwhile. I wish all the participants a great race!”

Vivek B Singh, Joint Managing Director, Procam International said, “We are delighted to bring on board a living legend, Sergey Bubka as the event ambassador for the 2018 edition of the Tata Mumbai Marathon. To this day, Bubka works tirelessly to spread the spirit of sport through his stellar work in sports administration across the world. He has won numerous international awards for his sporting achievements and continues to share his passion for sport with the widest audience possible. With his vast experience and international achievements, he will lend a positive impact to the event and provide inspiration to sport fans across the country.”

Tata Mumbai Marathon is one of the largest participative sporting events in Asia and India’s biggest platform for charity.  With a prize money of US$405,000, the TATA Mumbai Marathon 2018 will witness participants including world-class Indian and international athletes, professional and amateur runners, and fitness enthusiasts.


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Asian Marathon Champion Gopi T & Asian + Commonwealth Gold Medallist Sudha Singh to headline 15th edition of TATA Mumbai Marathon

Two new Partners on board; Tata Nexon as Driven By Partner & Bisleri as Hydration Partner

First-time-ever ‘Inspiration Medal’ to be given to all 42K finishers & their inspirational heroes


Mumbai, 11th January 2018: As the countdown to Asia’s most prestigious marathon begins, Procam International, promoters of the iconic event, today announced 44407 registrations including the crème de la creme in long-distance running, lining-up to vie for the top honours at Tata Mumbai Marathon 2018.


The USD 405,000 event will witness a supreme battle between world class athletes and India’s best. Getting off the blocks will be Ethiopia’s Tokyo Marathon 2017 runner-up Solomon Deksisa and Mumbai Marathon 2017 runner-up Kenya’s Joshua Kipkorir; while the women’s category will see the defending champion Kenya’s Bornes Kitur and 2017 Ljubljana Marathon winner Ethiopia’s Shuko Genemo. The Indian men’s field will be headlined by Asian Marathon Champion Gopi T, along with Nitendra Singh Rawat, Mumbai Marathon 2016 course record holder; whilst Asian & Commonwealth Steeplechase Gold Medallist Sudha Singh will lead the women’s challenge along with L Suriya the fastest Indian women and course record holder for Airtel Delhi Half Marathon and Tata Steel Kolkata 25K. The Indian contingent will be paced by Hendrick Ramaala, the New York Marathon and Mumbai Marathon winner in 2004.

In an overwhelming response, the event heralded a new high with registrations across all six categories of races from over 30 nationalities. 21st January will bring together the elites, the working athletes, the differently abled, the young at heart, the affluent, the Housewife, the Industrialists, the Celebrities, the Police, the Navy, the Army, the College Student all showcasing the ‘Can Do…Will Do’ spirit of the event.

Pradipta Bagchi, Group Chief Communications Officer said, “The Tata Mumbai marathon has created an opportunity for the Tata group to increase its engagement with the community, connect with the youth and create awareness about the importance of good health and wellness. Marathon running requires commitment, passion, integrity & dedication, these reflect the ideals of the Tata group.”

He added, “The Tata group has promoted and nurtured sports for over 75 years. This commitment has resulted in the setting up of academies for different sports, sponsorships of events and individuals. We are delighted to start this new  partnership on the occasion of  the 150 years of the Tata group .”

The feature race will witness a participation of 6955 runners, while 14950 runners will run the Half Marathon. The inaugural Timed 10K Run has 1652 runners in its debut year. The Senior Citizens and the Champions with Disability Run will witness 1130 and 1220 runners, respectively. Mumbai’s favourite, the very colourful Dream Run will have 18500 enthusiastic runners take to the road adding to the carnival-like atmosphere.

Ravi Viswanathan, Chief Marketing Officer, TCS said, “TCS has been associated with the Mumbai Marathon for the last 10 years and this year it is even more special to us, since it is the Tata Mumbai Marathon. It is the single largest philanthropic sporting event held in India and provides a great platform to run for a cause.

TCS has been actively involved in promoting a healthy and active lifestyle with a focus on fit workforce. Globally, we have been leveraging our Fit4Life initiative as well as external partnerships with leading international distance running properties to promote wellness and community development among our employees, their families, and our customers. Tata Mumbai Marathon is a great way to increase our engagement with the community, raise funds for charity as well as create societal awareness about the necessity of good health and fitness”.

Vivek B Singh, Joint Managing Director, Procam International said, “The TATA Mumbai Marathon has constantly aimed to bring out the best in our society and the growing running community is a testimony to our faith and dream for delivering a world class event. This success is not possible without the support from Government of Maharashtra and all our new and existing sponsors. We would like to welcome on board Tata Motors and Bisleri for the 2018 edition of the event. With the spectacular line-up of professional athletes and Sergey Bubka as the event ambassador, we are sure the 2018 edition of the event will be a day to remember. We wish all the participants good luck as they gear up for race day.”



NEW SPONSORS: To make any sporting event a grand success, it is imperative to have like-minded sponsors on board and this year, two new global brands have extended their association with the event. India’s leading mineral water brand Bisleri has come on board as the Hydration Partner, and Tata Nexon as a Driven-by Partner.

Vivek Srivatsa, Head Marketing, Passenger Vehicles, Tata Motors said “It is our pleasure to partner with India’s premier and Asia’s most prestigious marathon – the Tata Mumbai Marathon. Sport has always been an integral part of the Tata way of life and we stand committed to furthering the cause of Indian sport. We look forward to being a vital part of the event as the Driven By Partner and support the event as it attracts the world’s best athletes on Indian soil. Our most recent introduction, the stylish, compact lifestyle SUV, the Tata Nexon will be the star attraction at the event. With Level Nex design, driving dynamics, the Nexon will be the lead car of the Tata Mumbai Marathon and we are planning exciting on-ground & digital activations to engage with fans and participants at the event.”

INSPIRATION MEDAL: The Inspiration Medal is a creative outcome of the collaboration between Procam International and Chlorophyll Innovation Lab, the Innovations Partner for the event. First of its kind in world marathon history, the Inspiration Medal is a unique symbol of victory and inspiration together. At first glance, it looks like one medal but it can be split into two medals: one for the finishers and the other for those who inspired them to #bebetter. This year, every 42K finisher and his inspiration will be awarded this medal.

CHAMPIONS WITH DISABILITY: With renewed vigour, this category has been energised with the help of Adapt, an NGO that engages with this community. Adapt is helping to create a unique running experience for the participants. There has been a remarkable increase in participation numbers with 1200 participants this year, making the event the largest platform of inclusion. To add a silver lining to the category, the event will witness the presence of Indian Paralympian and Medallist, Varun Singh Bhati, who will be a part of the event to encourage and acknowledge all CWD participants.

ASICS RACE DAY TEE: As an added motivation for all Full Marathoners, Sports Goods Partner ASICS launched the exclusive Race Day Tee for all Full Marathon participants.

FREE SHUTTLE SERVICE: For the convenience of all half marathon participants there will be shuttle service from Currey Road station on the Central Railway and Mahalaxmi Station on the Western Railway lines. These buses are free for all half marathon participants wearing valid bibs, will operate from 3.30 am to 5.00 am on race day 21st January 2018.

MIRCHI GET ACTIVE EXPO: A one-stop destination for runners, the Expo will be organised at MMRDA Ground, Plot No-18, G Block, Opposite Bank of Baroda, Next to BKC One Building, Bandra Kurla Complex, Bandra -East, Mumbai from 17th to 20th January 2018. The Expo will be on between 10.30 am and 7.00 pm on 17th to 19th January 2018 and on 20th January 2018 it will be on between 10.00 am and 5.00 pm.

Mirchi Get Active Expo is also the venue for all confirmed participants from Mumbai & Outstation registered runners to come and collect their running bibs. We advise all participants to study in detail race day instructions, familiarize themselves with all the time lines, approach plans, layout plans, security arrangements, traffic restrictions, road closures and other provisions that will come into force on Race Day.

The expo will also see a host of activities and interactive stalls of partners like Asics, Tata Motors, ORSL, TATA, Volini, Jet Airways, HRX, Skechers and other leading lifestyle brands.  In addition to this, Procam Running along with Selection Centre Sports have recently launched a wide range of running gear and equipment which will be available at the Get Active Expo.

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This Ultrarunner Won His Races by Hiding in a Porta-Potty

Ultramarathoner Kelly Agnew reminds me of when I was running the timed mile in middle school gym class. Back then, while kids like me would rip around the course, other kids would hide behind the generator, then pop out on the last lap, barely winded, and fly through the finish line. Agnew, the White Rim trail record holder and a runner-up at the 2013 Pony Express Trail 100, is like those other kids, but with a different hiding spot: the porta-potty.

Race officials tracked the decorated ultrarunner’s participation this year in the 24-hour race at Across the Years at Camelback Ranch in Phoenix, Arizona. They discovered that he wasn’t clocking in at a checkpoint halfway through the 1.0498-mile loop. Turns out, he was sitting in a latrine for seven minutes and then jumping out to cross the mat at the start/finish at the exact time he needed to keep his “mile pace” consistent.


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Bekele, Degitu win first international edition of TSK 25K

Multiple times world champion Kenenisa Bekele kept his reputation intact cantering past the finish line in the maiden appearance of TSK 25K in its international avatar with a timing of 1.13.48 , even as over 13700 participants took to the streets on a nippy winter morning.

In the Elite national section winner Avinash Sable set a course record of 1.15.17 breaking the previous course record set by G Lakshmanan who came third with a timing of 1.17.13 which is also better than his mark set last year. Kalidas Hirave came second with 1.16.18. Thus all three bettered last year’s record of 1.17.23.

The Ethiopian world champion earlier paced his race brilliantly staying in the mix till the 21st kilometer when he broke loose and by the time he was across the finish line his closest competitor was nowhere in sight.

The leading group went through the 7.5km checkpoint in a sluggish 24:24. Just before halfway, Bekele briefly went through a bad patch and drifted off the back of the leaders, with his compatriot Asefa Diro leading at 12km in 39:09 and Bekele seven seconds adrift in fifth place.

However, the multiple world champion and world record holder soon got back up with the group containing Diro, Eritrea’s Tsegay Tuemay, Tanzania’s Augustino Sulle and India’s Avinash Sable before surging away with just under seven kilometres to go. His move almost immediately splintered the leading group with nobody able to stay with him once he moved into a higher gear. Tuemay eventually crossed the finish line on Kolkata’s historic Red Road in second place in 1:14:21 with Sulle third in 1:14:41

Later Kenenisa said: “The race was very nice. The course is nice and flat all through. I have been training hard and the results showed. This was my first 25 K and it feels good to have won it. It was a tactical race and I paced myself depending on the kind of competition I faced.”

“The weather was good, though a little smokey in certain parts. But it was not difficult to manage. I had a great race and would like to come back here next year. Kolkata has been very warm and hospitable and I would like to laud Procam for organizing such a well managed race,” he continued.

The Ethiopian however wished he had a pacemaker to push down his time. “In a race like this you need a pacemaker, who sets you up for a fast finish. I was pushing myself, but that was not enough. I would have pushed my timing by 90 seconds at least had I a pacemaker,” Bekele rued.

Avinash Sable said: “I am concentrating for steeplechase. That is my event. The only reason I am running in the 25K is to increase my endurance. The fact that I have come first here goes to say that I am on the right track. My aim is the Commonwealth Games and a podium finish there in my pet event.”

In the elite women group the first place was taken by Ethiopian Degitu  Azimeraw with a timing of 1.26.01, followed by Kenyan Helah Kiprop with a timing of 1.26.04 and Tanzanian Failuna Matanga with 1.26.11.

In the Indian women’s L Surya won with 1.26.53 timing beating Sudha Singh’s course record of 1.27.31 . Manju Yadav came second at 1.32.51, while Jhuma Khatun came third with 1.32.58. All three ladies were from Railways.

The race was flagged off by Hon’ble Gobvernor of West Bengal Kesari Nath Tripathi, H H Shri Shri Ravishankar, General Abhay Krishna, GOC&C Eastern Command, Arup Biswas, Minister PWD and Sports, T V Narendran, MD Tata Steel.

Event Ambassador Sourav Ganguly and International Ambassador Mike Powell were at the starting line to encourage the runners. Later Ganguly said: “This is amazing to see the number of people come out and run in the morning. The world Champion running here and a world record holder long jumper watching the race makes TSK 25K really special.”

He exchanged a few words with Bekele once he crossed the finishing line breasting the tape held by the Prince of Calcutta and the man with a record that stands over quarter century Mike Powell.

Powell said: “I am thrilled to see so many people come out and run. And the standard of the elite field is also great. The race is competitive and fun to watch.”

Following are the final results:

Overall Athlete Men

Kenenisa Bekele (ETH) 1:13:48; Tsegay Tuemay (ERI) 1:14:29; Augustino Sulle (TAN) 1:14:41; Avinash Sable (IND) 1:15:17; Asefa Diro (KEN) 1:15:37.

Overall Athlete Women

Degitu Azimeraw (ETH) 1:26:01; Helah Kiprop(KEN)1:26:04; Failuna Matanga(TAN) 1:26:11; Dibabe Kuma (ETH) 1:26:28; L. Suriya (IND) 1:26:53.

Overall Indian Athlete Men

Avinash Sable (IND) 1:15:17; Kalidas Hirave (IND) 1:16:18; G Lakshmanan (IND) 1:17:13; Govind Singh (IND) 1:22:19; Mukesh Singh(IND) 1:22:21; Shander Singh(IND) 1:22:28.

Overall Indian Athlete Women

L. Suriya L (IND) 1:26:53; Manju Yadav (IND) 1:32:51; Juma Khatun (IND) 1:32:58; Monika Athare (IND) 1:34:30; Monika Raut (IND) 1:36:08; Jyoti Gawate (IND) 1:38:52.

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Bekele set to chase Kimetto’s 25km world record at TSK25K 2017

Mutilple world champion and world record holder Kenenisa Bekele will be looking to add to his list of accolades at the Tata Steel Kolkata 25K on Sunday 17 December.

Speaking at the traditional pre-race press conference on Friday, the Ethiopian athletics icon said that a serious bid to improve on the 25km world record of 1:11:18, set by Kenya’s Dennis Kimetto in 2012, is likely on race day. “At the sea level it is possible to break the world record if the conditions are not extreme and if the pollution level is within control, then you can breathe properly and your legs function well. Although I have not seen the track [course] yet, I think I would set myself a target of 1:12,” commented Bekele.

Bekele’s 25km best is 1:12:47, an intermediate time when he ran in the Berlin Marathon last year, which he went on to win in 2:03:03 and go second on the all-time list for the classic distance. If he doesn’t succeed in beating Kimetto’s world record then he aims, at the very least, to improve his own time over the distance and gain some redemption for having to drop out of this year’s Berlin Marathon in September.

“I just could not run [in Berlin]. I could not enjoy what I was doing. My legs could not find grip on the surface. It was filled with water and hence I dropped out. But since then I have trained well and recovered well, and am ready to run this distance,” he added.

It will be the first race ever in India for Bekele, a three-time Olympic gold medallist and 18- time world champion on the track and cross country, but he has visited the country in the past as a guest of the TSK25K race promoter Procam International and as an as an ambassador for the Airtel Delhi Half Marathon.

“This is a great country. I like to come here. The people are warm and motivate you to do well. I have seen their impact on the runners at other big races here. I will be running here for the first time and hopefully will get a lot of support.” Bekele, now 35, also took the opportunity to confirm that he has no plans to retire in the
next year or so. He still has his sights set on an Olympic medal in the marathon at the Tokyo 2020 Olympic
Games to add to the three Olympic gold medals on the track he already has in his collection.

“That is the one [medal] missing in my cabinet,” he reflected.

If Bekele is successful in Tokyo and wins over the classic distance, he would become the oldest Olympic marathon gold medallist, an honour currently held by Portugal’s Carlos Lopes who was 37 when he won in 1984. Heading the TSK25K women’s field, after the recent withdrawal of former world half marathon record holder Kenya’s Florence Kiplagat, will be two fellow Kenyans Helah Kiprop and Valentine Kipketer.

The full elite field for both the men’s and women’s races can be found on the TSK25K website here.

News courtesy: Procam International

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