Kenya’s Kibiwott Kandie ran one of the most incredible races in history on Sunday morning at the Valencia Half-Marathon. He smashed fellow Kenyan Geoffrey Kamworor‘s half-marathon world record of 58:01, running 57:32 to take the win and lead three other men to sub-58-minute results. There is a lot to unpack from this run, and while there will certainly be more stats to come, here are a few of the most mind-boggling numbers Kandie and his competitors produced on Sunday.
INSANITY IN VALENCIA.
Kenya's Kibiwott Kandie runs 57:32 to destroy Geoffrey Kamworor's 58:01 half marathon world record as the TOP FOUR MEN all run under the previous WR.
Jacob Kiplimo 57:37 in 2nd, Rhonex Kipruto 57:49 in 3rd (debut), Alexander Mutiso 57:59 in 4th. pic.twitter.com/srZKYLpDVr
— Jonathan Gault (@jgault13) December 6, 2020
Four men under 58
When Kamworor ran his 58:01 in Copenhagen last year, it looked like he put the half-marathon world record out of reach for a while. Amazingly, four men beat his time on Sunday, and they became the first runners to break 58 minutes in the event.
Before his race in Valencia, Kandie owned the fifth-best time in history with a personal best of 58:38, which he ran in Prague in September. He improved that time by more than a minute on Sunday to shatter his PB and the world record. Second place went to world half-marathon champion Jacob Kiplimo of Uganda, who finished just behind Kandie in 57:37 to beat his previous best time of 58:49. For Kenyan 10K world record holder Rhonex Kipruto, Valencia was his debut half-marathon. He finished in third place, running the fastest debut in history with a 57:49. Finally, not far behind Kipruto was fourth-place finisher Alexander Mutiso, also Kenyan, who beat his PB by more than a minute as he finished just under 58 minutes in 57:59.
Kenya's Kibiwott Kandie smashes the half marathon world record in 57:32.
Top four finishers all under the previous record. Outstanding.
— World Athletics (@WorldAthletics) December 6, 2020
Three remarkable splits
The lead group consisted of five men until about 19K. Kiplimo led the group through 5K in 13:36 (the other four men officially passed through a second later in 13:37). This matches the Canadian 5K record. The leaders passed through 10K in 27:24, which is almost a full minute faster than any Canadian has ever run (Paul McCloy owns the national record of 28:17). This is also a top-25 result all-time in the world rankings, and only one European man has ever run faster (Switzerland’s Julien Wanders owns the European record of 27:13). At 15K, the group posted a 41:10 split. This time is just five seconds slower than Joshua Cheptegei‘s 15K world record of 41:05, and the leaders still managed to hold onto their blistering pace for another 6K.
Three races, one second apart
Valencia marked the third meeting between Kandie and Kiplimo. In 2019, they raced a 15K in Brazil, where Kandie surged past Kiplimo at the line to take the win by one second. At the world championships in October, Kiplimo won by five seconds over Kandie, which was the same margin of victory for Kandie on Sunday. In their three races together, the two men have run 57K, and a total of just one second separates their cumulative times. Kandie is 24 years old and Kiplimo is just 20, meaning the running world could be treated to many more years of this already thrilling rivalry.
Amazing event #ValenciaMarathon, amazing Kenyan athletes 🇰🇪🇰🇪🤸♂️
Congratulations kibiwott kandie for breaking world half marathon record Held by Geoffrey kamworor by 29 sec.
Congratulations we are proud of you 😊🏅🥰 pic.twitter.com/0O7pRt4JGi
— Serem Haron (Kipngetich) 🇰🇪 (@SeremKHaron1) December 6, 2020
Four half-marathons, four sub-59 runs
Fewer than 30 men have ever run a sub-59 half-marathon, but in each of Kandie’s races this year, he has done just that. He opened the season with a 58:58 at the RAK Half in the United Arab Emirates, ran a 58:38 in Prague in September, posted a 58:54 in Poland at the worlds and finally became the first man to run under 58 minutes on Sunday in Valencia. Kandie now has more sub-59-minute results than anyone else in history, and he ran them all in less than a year.