Nobert Kigen and Felix Kandie of Kenya headline a men’s pro field aiming for a sub-60 minute performance at the fifth Napoli City Half Marathon in Naples, Italy.
February 4 will mark the fifth iteration of the race and the second under the direction of Carlo Capalbo, a native of Napoli who serves as chairman of the IAAF Road Running Commission, and the president of the RunCzech Organization. Capalbo has made it his personal mission to bring a world-class running event to his hometown.
More than 4000 runners are expected to participate in the race through the historic city, recognized 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.
In addition to the race, the day's festivities will include an invitational 5K run where some talented young local runners will have the opportunity to test themselves against international elites.
For the pros, a new course that eliminates a mid-race hill and adds a longer stretch along the bay should make for faster times will help to move Napoli into the mix of top international events.
In addition to Kigen and Kandie — both of whom have excelled at the Prague Half Marathon — the men’s field will also include Stefano La Rosa of Italy, who boasts a PR of 1:02:39 from the world championship in Cardiff.
On the women's side, Veronica Inglese will hope that her bib No. 1 will reflect her finish in the race. The 27-year-old Italian was the silver medalist in the 2016 European Championships Half Marathon in 1:10:35. She also ran 31:37.43 for 10,000m in that same meet to finish sixth.
Inglese will face strong challenges from the Kenyan Antonina Kwambai, who won the Santa Pola, Spain Half Marathon in 1:09:49 in 2017, and Shitaye Ishete, who competes for Bahrain, whose half marathon best is 1:10:10 from Trento, Italy, last year.
|1||KEN||Nobert Kipkoech Kigen||59:42|
|2||KEN||Felix Kipchirchir Kandie||1:00:04|
|3||ITA||Stefano La Rosa||1:02:39|