Julien Wanders of Switzerland smashed Mo Farah’s European record in the half-marathon on Friday at the Ras Al Khaimah (RAK) half-marathon in the United Arab Emirates. Wanders ran 59:13, besting Farah’s previous record by 21 seconds.
The 22-year-old finished fourth overall behind Fikadu Haftu of Ethiopia in 59:08, Abadi Hadis of Ethiopia in 58:44 and Stephen Kiprop of Kenya in 58:42.
Wanders is on Nike’s NN Running Team which is currently stationed out of Iten, Kenya. Some of his teammates include Eliud Kipchoge and Kenenisa Bekele. Let’s Run reports that Wanders moved to Kenya at age 18, and clearly the move has paid off. He’s accumulated new personal bests, an 8th place finish that the world half-marathon championships, and now a European record.
In the women’s race saw an extremely tight finish. Seneberi Teferi won the event in 1:05:45 in her debut half-marathon. Netsanet Gudeta, the reigning world half-marathon champion, was second in 1:05:45 and third place went to Zeinbar Yimer in 1:05:46. The top three women are all from Ethiopia.
The RAK half-marathon is known for its very fast and flat course. Like in 2019, the 2018 event propelled several world class road racers to fast clockings, seeing two course records, an almost-world record, and several other stunning finishing times.