Nearly six thousand runners gathered at the starting line of the ONICO Gdynia Half Marathon in northern Poland on March 18th. Ben Chelimo Somikwo (UGA) and Christine Moraa Oigo (KEN) prevailed in the tough, windy conditions on the Baltic Sea coast. So far undefeated in Gdynia, Hilary Kiptum Maiyo Kimaiyo (KEN) finished fifth.
“Conditions were really difficult today. Despite the sunny weather, strong winds made it hard to push stronger,” said Marcin Chabowski, who finished as the best Pole in 6th place.
A total of 5915 individual runners took part in the half marathon race, with female athletes accounting for nearly 30% of the field – according to the organising team at Sport Evolution, which also organises IRONMAN 70.3 Gdynia in the city each August.
ONICO Gdynia Half Marathon is an IAAF Road Race Bronze Label event, also recognized with the European Athletics’ Five Star Quality certificate. In two years – on 29 March 2020 – Gdynia will host the IAAF World Half Marathon Championships.
Gdynia itself is referred to as ‘the city made of dreams and the sea’. Located at Gdansk Bay, the city is known for its love for sports as well as its dynamically developing cargo port. It is a popular holiday destination, and recognised as ‘the sunniest Polish city’.