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Team Volkswagen

Captain: Zuzana Hejnová

Zuzana Hejnová | captain
Taking home the Olympic bronze medal in London 2012 for 400m hurdles event and winning the gold medal in 2013, as well as in 2015, in the same event. She enjoys playing the piano, traveling and especially golf as leisure activities.

Czech Union for Nature Conservation | charity
To help passing the nature to our descendants in the best possible state. It is the main goal and key task of Czech Union for Nature Conservation. Every animal and plant species has its own place and role on planet Earth.
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Son of a biathlete (mother) and a competitive skier (father), Vít graduated from Jilemnické sportovní gymnasium (high school), developing into a disciplined athlete. He is now multiple National marathon, half marathon and 10,000 meters champion and a full-time employee of Pivovar Svijany, where he works as warehouse records specialist.

Vít started with winter sports, transitioning to running after he enrolled into Technical University in Liberec, which was followed by a graduation and a long setback due to Achilles tendon injury. After two years of rehabilitation, further studies, guitar lessons, ping-pong, cycling, climbing and frustrations, Vít was finally back to running and winning again.

Nowadays, Vít trains ten times per week, with a weekly mileage of 150 to 160km.

Selection of notable performances
  • Seven-time National Half Marathon Champion
  • Two-time National Marathon Champion
  • Two-time National 10,000m Champion
  • 4th in 2020 Usti nad Labem Half Marathon, 1:04:48
  • 4th in 2019 Pardubice Half Marathon, 1:07:03
  • 4th in 2018 Pardubice Half Marathon, 1:06:23
  • 4th in 2017 Pardubice Half Marathon, 1:07:31
  • 4th in 2016 Pardubice Half Marathon, 1:06:19
  • 4th in 2015 Pardubice Half Marathon, 1:05:58
  • 5th in 2019 Olomouc Half Marathon, 1:08:09
  • 8th in 2018 Ceske Budejovice Half Marathon, 1:06:43

Lilia is a well-known runner of the RunCzech Running League, with victories in Karlovy Vary, Ceske Budejovice and Olomouc and a podium finish in Usti nad Labem. With the Olympic standard secured, what is left for Lilia is to enjoy the race, have fun and perform well for herself and Team Volkswagen.

Lilia is national marathon and half marathon record holder and she is based in Ukraine, where she lives happily with her husband and coach, Sergey, and their three children – Viktoriya (11), Olga (7) and Sergey (3).

Looking back, Lilia treasures the 2016 Olympics experience as a special one, as the national team spent a month in Rio, acclimatizing to the specific weather conditions.

Lilia is a lieutenant in the army's special forces since 2019 and her hobbies include collecting board games.

Selection of notable performances
  • 27th in 2016 Rio de Janeiro Olympic Games (marathon), 2:34:05
  • Winner of 2018 Krakow Marathon, 2:31:27
  • 2nd in 2015 Warszawa Marathon, 2:35:12 (debut)
  • 4th in 2019 Liupanshui Marathon, 2:54:28
  • 6th in 2018 Ljubljana Marathon, 2:28:26
  • 6th in 2018 Singapore Marathon, 2:41:51
  • 7th in 2015 Lodz Marathon, 2:35:12
  • Winner of 2019 Olomouc Half Marathon, 1:13:32
  • Winner of 2019 Ceske Budejovice Half Marathon, 1:13:29
  • Winner of 2019 Karlovy Vary Half Marathon, 1:12:34
  • Winner of 2018 Ceske Budejovice Half Marathon, 1:13:20
  • Winner of 2018 Belaya Tserkva Half Marathon, 1:11:36
  • 6th in 2019 Usti nad Labem Half Marathon, 1:14:06
  • 6th in 2018 Usti nad Labem Half Marathon, 1:10:45
  • 6th in 2018 Olomouc Half Marathon, 1:11:43

Yitayal is a fan of football, he is a Manchester United supporter and he built his career in Houston, Texas with four 2nd place finishes in 2016 – 2019 period. He is a dependable, consistent performer and Battle of the Teams could be his stepping stone to the next level.

Meaning of his name in Amharic is – things can be seen clearly. Yitalay is married, he spends his time training, recovering and socializing with a close group of family and friends. He is a member of the Federal Defence Athletics Club.

Selection of notable performances
  • 2011 Africa U20 Champion (5000m), 13:38.52
  • 2nd in 2019 Istanbul Marathon, 2:09:57
  • 2nd in 2019 Houston Marathon, 2:10:08
  • 2nd in 2018 Houston Marathon, 2:09:07
  • 2nd in 2017 Houston Marathon, 2:12:33
  • 2nd in 2016 Houston Marathon, 2:12:09 (debut)
  • 4th in 2018 Paris Marathon, 2:07:00
  • 4th in 2017 Paris Marathon, 2:07:21
  • 5th in 2020 Dubai Marathon, 2:06:21
  • 6th in 2016 Hengshui Marathon, 2:14:32
  • 7th in 2019 Paris Marathon, 2:08:31
  • 7th in 2016 Paris Marathon, 2:08:53
  • Winner of 2014 Boulogne-Billancourt Half Marathon, 1:01:03

Diana started her marathon career in 2019 in Ljubljana, Slovenia and has completed two marathons so far. Third in debut, then victory in Istanbul. Not a bad start. :-) She is a winner of the Usti nad Labem half marathon and podium finisher in Birell Prague Grand Prix 2018. Just getting started.

Diana comes from a large family of ten children, five brothers and five sisters, with her being third-born. Life was not easy growing up, sometimes going for a whole day without a single meal, sometimes being fortunate to have a meal or two. Due to these circumstances, as many other children in Africa, Diana had to seek employment early, doing odd-jobs to help sustain family, earning less than one US dollar per day.

She decided to start running at the age of eighteen, struggling, battling and finding her way into the sport. Outside of training and recovery, Diana enjoys time in Church and watching sport on television. She is an Arsenal FC fan.

Selection of notable performances
  • Winner of 2020 Istanbul Marathon, 2:22:06
  • 3rd in 2019 Ljubljana Marathon, 2:22:07 (debut)
  • Winner of 2019 Lille Half Marathon, 1:09:45
  • Winner of 2018 Usti nad Labem Half Marathon, 1:07:17
  • Winner of 2018 Lugano Half Marathon, 1:08:41
  • Winner of 2018 Guadalajara Half Marathon, 1:10:00
  • Winner of 2018 Adana Half Marathon, 1:08:42
  • Winner of 2017 Minneapolis Half Marathon, 1:14:16
  • Winner of 2017 Waterloo Half Marathon, 1:09:45
  • Winner of 2017 San Diego Half Marathon, 1:11:02
  • Winner of 2016 Quanzhou Half Marathon, 1:09:42
  • 2nd in 2019 Roma-Ostia Half Marathon, 1:07:13
  • 3rd in 2018 Istanbul Half Marathon, 1:07:55
  • 4th in 2017 Shanghai Half Marathon, 1:10:48
  • 5th in 2018 Valencia Half Marathon, 1:07:07

Dickson won the prestigious Tokyo Marathon in 2018 and finished on podiums in Tokyo and Chicago on multiple occasions. Sunday, May 30 will see his Prague debut, in the extraordinary career that is spanning over 11 years, which is virtually unheard of at the absolute top-level of marathon sport.

Dickson comes from a large family of the Nandi tribe in rural Kenya and he was introduced to athletics at an early age, being especially inspired by watching the late Samuel Wanjiru running well in the Chicago Marathon. Winning the same race some years later Dickson treasures as a special achievement.

Meaning of his second name Kiptolo – born at the time when cows were giving birth, while his surname Chumba has a meaning of “white people”.

Dickson is happily married and is father of three; he enjoys a simple life and when not in full marathon training, he is farming and supporting Manchester City FC, as a huge football fan.

Selection of notable performances
  • Winner of 2018 Tokyo Marathon, 2:05:30
  • Winner of 2015 Chicago Marathon, 2:09:25
  • Winner of 2014 Tokyo Marathon, 2:05:42
  • Winner of 2012 Eindhoven Marathon, 2:05:46
  • Winner of 2011 Rome Marathon, 2:08:45
  • 2nd in 2016 Chicago Marathon, 2:11:26
  • 2nd in 2017 Toronto Marathon, 2:09:11
  • 2nd in 2012 Xiamen Marathon, 2:08:21
  • 2nd in 2010 Carpi Marathon, 2:09:20
  • 2nd in 2010 Madrid Marathon, 2:11:54 (debut)
  • 3rd in 2019 Tokyo Marathon, 2:08:44
  • 3rd in 2017 Tokyo Marathon, 2:06:25
  • 3rd in 2016 Tokyo Marathon, 2:07:34
  • 3rd in 2015 Tokyo Marathon, 2:06:34
  • 3rd in 2014 Chicago Marathon, 2:04:32
  • 7th in 2019 Chicago Marathon, 2:09:11
  • 7th in 2013 Boston Marathon, 2:14:08
  • 7th in 2011 Frankfurt Marathon, 2:07:23
  • 8th in 2013 Amsterdam Marathon, 2:10:15

Purity is a super-talent – From World Under-18 title in 2009; to World Cross Country Under-20 silver in 2010, to 2:20 marathon performance in Valencia in 2019. She was the winner in Paris, second in Prague, third in Nagoya and fourth in Chicago in the last couple of years. Consistent and persistent, chasing glory.

Purity grew up in a full house, with six brothers and three sisters and she started to run at an early age, in primary school, as her talent got discovered early on.

She is married and a mother of two daughters – Brilliant (7) and Sara (3) and is Manchester United FC fan.

Meaning of her second name, Cherotich – born in the evening, at the time when cows are returning home from grazing fields.

Selection of notable performances
  • 2009 World U18 Champion (3000m)
  • 2nd in 2010 World U20 Cross Country Championships
  • 4th in 2016 Chicago Marathon, 2:24:47
  • Winner of 2017 Paris Marathon, 2:20:55
  • Winner of 2016 Lisbon Marathon, 2:25:09 (debut)
  • 2nd in 2016 Prague Marathon, 2:25:00
  • 3rd in 2020 Nagoya Marathon, 2:22:56
  • 7th in 2019 Valencia Marathon, 2:20:39
  • Winner of 2019 Trento Half Marathon, 1:08:34
  • Winner of 2016 Bogota Half Marathon, 1:11:56
  • Winner of 2015 Egmond Half Marathon, 1:11:40
  • Winner of 2015 Copenhagen Half Marathon, 1:08:29
  • Winner of 2014 Darica Half Marathon, 1:13:59
  • Winner of 2014 Lisbon Half Marathon, 1:11:02
  • Winner of 2014 Porto Half Marathon, 1:10:40

Mengistu is a new-comer when it comes to a marathon and Battle of the Teams will be a stepping stone for him and he is ready for it – 2nd in Gunsan, 3rd in Castellon and Dublin. After almost seven years on the international scene, it seems his time is coming.

Mengistu was born in Huruta, a town in central Ethiopia located in the Arsi Zone of the Oromia Region. As a youngster, he was responsible for herding cattle, while also attending a primary school, which was 5km away from home, with Mengistu covering this distance running daily to school and back.

His serious efforts in athletics started at the end of schooling, with Mengistu deciding to pursue an athletics career and not attend high school. His initial breakthrough came in 2013 when he won 10,000m at the All Ethiopia Games.

Selection of notable performances
  • 2nd in 2019 Gunsan Marathon, 2:11:35
  • 3rd in 2020 Castellon Marathon, 2:08:48
  • 3rd in 2019 Dublin Marathon, 2:12:05
  • 6th in 2016 Luxembourg Marathon, 2:25:41 (debut)
  • Winner of 2018 Krakow Half Marathon, 1:02:50
  • Winner of 2018 Wroclaw Half Marathon, 1:03:55
  • Winner of 2017 Wroclaw Half Marathon, 1:03:49
  • Winner of 2017 Remich Half Marathon, 1:02:39
  • Winner of 2017 Tarnowo Podgorne Half Marathon, 1:03:59

Worknesh started to run a bit after being inspired by a group of elder villagers who ran together, and she got more serious about exploring her talent after first successes in local races and especially in Addis Ababa.

Fifth in a family of eight children, Worknesh is the only athlete in the family. She lives the life of an athlete, devoted to training, recovery and quiet living.

Worknesh enjoys watching athletics on television and her favorite foods are engira, meat and fruits, apples especially.

Selection of notable performances
  • Winner of 2019 Mumbai Marathon, 2:25:45
  • Winner of 2017 Rabat Marathon, 2:30:04
  • 2nd in 2019 Riga Marathon, 2:27:38
  • 3rd in 2018 Barcelona Marathon, 2:28:19
  • 4th in 2017 Kosice Marathon, 2:31:27
  • 6th in 2019 Amsterdam Marathon, 2:24:42
  • 7th in 2014 Amsterdam Marathon, 2:38:07 (debut)
  • Winner of 2013 Trith-Saint-Léger Half Marathon, 1:15:35
  • Winner of 2013 Annecy Half Marathon, 1:12:44
  • Winner of 2012 Morlaix St Pol-Morlaix Half Marathon, 1:13:29
  • 5th in 2012 St. Denis Half Marathon,1:13:14

Substituted runners


Ruth loves traveling and competing – Winner of Barcelona Marathon, Gold Coast Marathon in Australia and 3rd place finisher in Toronto. Known for being a team-player, she will be an asset to Team Volkswagen.

Ruth is coming from an athletic family, with both of her parents competing locally in Kenya. She is married and the meaning of her surname, Chebitok is – born inside the house, in a bedroom.

Selection of notable performances
  • Winner of 2018 Barcelona Marathon, 2:25:49
  • Winner of 2018 Gold Coast Marathon, 2:24:49
  • 3rd in 2018 Toronto Marathon, 2:23:29
  • 6th in 2019 Toronto Waterfront Marathon, 2:24:13
  • 3rd in 2019 Goteborg Half Marathon, 1:09:06
  • 4th in 2019 Zwolle Half Marathon, 1:11:31