The organisers of the Volkswagen Prague Marathon have announced one of the biggest names in distance running as their latest recruit for the 20th anniversary edition of the race on May 11: Moses Mosop. The Kenyan’s best time of 2:03:06, achieved in Boston in 2011, makes him the second fastest marathon runner in history. The 28-year-old will also become the fastest runner to compete in the Volkswagen Prague Marathon and there are high hopes that he will crown the anniversary edition with a top class performance. The event is an IAAF Gold Label race, the top category for road racing awarded by the governing body of world athletics.

See Athletics Illustrated interview here, with Mosop.

“In this 20th anniversary year we shall have the biggest events and strongest fields in our history and we are proud that Moses Mosop will add his name to those of the many great runners who have run with us here in Prague: Paul Tergat, Haile Gebrselassie, Stefano Baldini, Patrick Makau, Zersenay Tadese – and now Moses Mosop, known by so many as ‘The Big Engine’”, said Carlo Capalbo, president of the organising team of the Volkswagen Prague Marathon.

See Interview with Moses Mosop, here.

Moses Mosop’s name was originally on another list for the spring season, catching the eye as the fastest entrant for the prestigious Boston Marathon on April 21. However, his training was hindered by a knee injury and he didn’t have enough time to prepare properly. Boston was the site of his historic marathon debut, where he finished four seconds behind Geoffrey Mutai in 2:03:06 and 17 seconds inside the current world record. But the descent and Boston’s point to point course means it does not conform to official world record requirements, hence fellow Kenyan Wilson Kipsang is the official world record holder with 2:03:23. Nonetheless, Mosop’s performance on Boston’s course, which includes the renowned sequence of climbs known as Heartbreak Hill, is worthy of respect.

“After getting injured in preparation for the Boston Marathon I thought that there was no chance of a spring marathon for me. But then I heard from my management that the Prague organisers were interested in me,” explained Mosop. The later date has given him time to regain form for a marathon.

“The path of a professional marathon runner is paved with challenges, difficulties and possibilities. This way I have the chance to run the Volkswagen Prague Marathon and experience the 20th anniversary of the event,” said Moses Mosop. “I’ve heard a lot of good reports from other athletes and friends about the races in Prague so I’m looking forward to running there on May 11 and hope to run a time of between 2:06 and 2:07.” The course record in Prague for the marathon stands at 2:05:39, set by Kenya’s Eliud Kiptanui in 2010.

Mosop enjoyed success in equal measure in track and cross country, taking third place in the 10,000 m at the 2005 World Championships and finishing runner-up at the 2007 World Cross Country Championships. He then ran that sensational marathon debut in Boston in 2011 while setting a track world record for 30 km (1:26:47) and winning the Chicago Marathon with 2:05:37 in October of the same year. After finishing third in 2:05:03 in the 2012 Rotterdam Marathon, he has struggled with injuries which have prevented him realising his full potential. But now the runner known in the trade as “The Big Engine” on account of his impressive achievements will be making his comeback at the Volkswagen Prague Marathon.