The European Marathon Record Holder to make his 2018 debut in Napoli
Sondre Nordstad Moen will begin his 2018 racing season in the Napoli City Half Marathon (February 4th) after a sensational final few months in 2017. In September he began with a personal best 27:55 for 10K in the Birell Prague Grand Prix and concluded with a December victory in the prestigious Fukuoka Marathon in a European Record 2:05:48. In the interim he improved to number three on the European half marathon list with 59:48, in Valencia.
Those performances made the world sit up and take notice of Norwegian Sondre Nordstad Moen who is probably currently garnering more attention than any Norwegian runner since the days of Grete Waitz and Ingrid Kristiansen.
Moen is a new European marathon record holder with an exceptional time of 2:05:47 set on the occasion of his victory at the Fukuoka Marathon last December. Moen, the first European to run under the 2:06 mark, has shown that even a European athlete can compete with the African athletes who always seem unbeatable. The 27-year-old is a formidable athlete also in the half-marathon distance; in Valencia last October, he surprised everyone by running in 59:48, the third best time ever for a European, behind Mo Farah (59:22) and Antonio Pinto (59:43).
After spending some 200 days at altitude in Kenya and Italy last year and working with Renato Canova for a full year after the Rio Olympics, Moen and Canova both think there is room for improvement. They have mapped out an ambitious schedule for 2018 including the World Championship Half Marathon and the European Marathon Championship, but he will begin his 2018 campaign on the streets of Naples.
“Napoli half marathon is the competition I need now: I’m expecting good weather there and I've been told that contenders are potentially able to run below one hour. The course on the map seems to be good. When few days ago I heard that Mr. Capalbo and his team have been working with the entire organizing committee to organise this competition, I did not hesitate: I met them in Prague where I run the 10 K road race and I found their way of working impeccable. Care of details and care of quality for both elite athletes and the mass is something extremely important for the success of an event. I’m counting days to be ready at 8.30 at the starting line, to run in the historic center – a World Heritage Site - and along the sea. They say „vedi Napoli e poi muori!“, hopefully I’ll come back as a tourist when I’ll be old. This time I’ll focus mainly on the competition," said Moen
The Napoli City Half Marathon will afford him the chance to test his fitness as he will fly directly to Naples from his training camp in Iten, Kenya. But he will face a stiff challenge from Nobert Kigen (59:42) and Felix Kandie (1:00:04) of Kenya as well as Stefano La Rosa who has won multiple Italian Championships at 5,000 and 10,000 meters and has a half marathon best of 1:02:39.
Unfortunately a last minute cancellation cost the women’s field Veronica Inglese of Italy due to some unspecified training problems. The race will now be headlined by Antonina Kwambai of Kenya (1:09:49) and Shitaye Eshete (1:10:10) who competes for Bahrain.
Carlo Capalbo, the President of the Napoli Running Organising Committee, welcomed the 27 year old Moen’s entry in the race. “The interest from elite runners like Sondre shows the growing recognition of Napoli Running as a new force on the international event calendar. And the more than 6,000 runners who will join Moen and the other professionals in Historic Naples demonstrate the growing acceptance of the running public.”
The day’s events will also include an invitational Napoli 5k Grand Prix pitting talented young local runners against international professionals.
The historic city of Naples is recognised by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site and the birthplace of pizza. Its proximity to Vesuvius, Pompeii, and Herculaneum along with the Amalfi Coast and Capri makes it an ideal addition to any runner's bucket list.
Napoli Running was born from an idea of Carlo Capalbo, Chairman of the IAAF Road Running Commission and RunCzech – the organizer of the world renowned Prague Marathon and other races in the Czech Republic. Besides the Napoli City Half Marathon Napoli Running offers the Sorrento-Positano event held in December on the famous Amalfi coast (Ultramarathon 54 km and Panoramic 27 km) and is planning another race in 2019 – the Napoli Seaside Marathon.
The Napoli City Half Marathon will be broadcasted at FOX Sports Italy, channel 204, on Sunday, February 4, at 10:00 CET.
1 KEN Nobert Kipkoech KIGEN 0:59:42
2 NOR Sondre Nordstad MOEN 0:59:48
3 KEN Felix Kipchirchir KANDIE 1:00:04
4 ITA Stefano LA ROSA 1:02:39
5 KEN Shadrack KIPLAGAT 1:02:54
6 KEN Abel KIPCHUMBA 1:03:10
7 MDA Roman PRODIUS 1:03:37
8 MAR Khalil LEMCIEH 1:04:02
9 ITA René CUNEÁZ 1:05:45
10 ITA Dario SANTORO 1:05:11
1 KEN Antonina KWAMBAI 1:09:49
2 BRN Shitaye ESHETE 1:10:10
3 UKR Olha KOTOVSKA 1:12:14
4 MAR Hanane JANAT 1:12:10
5 ITA Fabiola DESIDERIO 1:24:16
6 MAR Malika BEN LAFKIR 1:12:11