A rising star of the RunCzech Racing Running Team, Joyciline Jepkosgei, on the podium of RAK Half Marathon
It’s hard to believe, that the young lady Joyciline Jepkosgei who crossed the finish line in Friday’s RAK Half Marathon, right behind the titans of athletics, has been present on the international scene for less than a year.
She managed to follow the world record pace to the 15 km mark in the time of 00:46:31 , and has improved her half marathon personal best by 3 minutes to 01:06:08, becoming seventh fastest woman ever.
Born at high altitude in Nandy, Kenya, Joyciline Jepkosgei, started to train only two years ago. She moved to Iten in 2015, with a dream, like many others in this country, to become a world class athlete.
Coached by her husband Nicholas Koech, Jepkosgei was noticed during local races by Ikaika Sports staff, and was offered to join a special project – adidas RunCzech Racing. Supported by adidas, the RunCzech Racing is managed by Czech based companies, Ikaika Sports and RunCzech (major race organizer in the Czech Republic) whose goal is to develop young athletes and help them progress to the top level.
2016, marked the beginning of the international career for Jepkosgei. She used every race as an opportunity to improve herself, and she certainly succeeded: Having the 2016 Mattoni Karlovy Vary Half Marathon as an international debut, she celebrated the victory with a personal best and competition record; which was followed by earning a bronze medal at the IAAF African Championships the following month. In September, she was back to the Czech Republic to further showcase her strengths - finishing second in the Birell Prague Grand Prix 10k with a personal record of 31:08, beaten only by Violah Jepchumba, who missed the world record just by 3 seconds in time of 0:30:24.
2017 RAK Half Marathon was truly a significant race for Jepkosgei. No one expected that the lady with a modest personal best of 1:09:07 would surprise the world. She followed the world record pace to 15 km, and managed to finish third, improving her half marathon result by 3 minutes. While Peres Jepchirchir broke the world record, Joyciline was more than pleased with a major improvement and the fact that she left behind current marathon Olympic Gold medalist, Jemima Sumgong, and multiple Olympic medalist, Tirunesh Dibaba.
“To get 66:08 out of world record pace, I was on till 15 km, is something I still can’t believe,” – shared after finish, shining Jepkosgei, – “It was very hard from 15 km, I lost 62 seconds to Peres Jepchirchir, and I had to fight very hard for this PB.”
Athlete representative Davor Savija, said: “We knew that Joyciline is a special one and her 2016 performances, especially in her nature of running in Prague 10K and Marseille-Cassis 20K, indicated further, that 2017 shall be a year, in which she starts to really perform and shine. She is bubbly, personable and easy to work with. Of course, as with many other young athletes, we need to discuss rest, recovery and over-racing, and we will to continue to do so, but today’s performance in RAK Half has shown Joyciline what we have been seeing all along, and I am certain, that the best is yet to come this year and as the seasons go by.”