The World Half-Marathon Championships take place this Saturday in Gydnia, Poland. The event was slotted to have a Canadian contingent until Wednesday, when Athletics Canada announced that due to COVID-19 concerns, it was withdrawing the squad of six. Even without Canadians to watch, the races will still be action-packed. Here’s how and who to watch tomorrow morning.
The women’s race – 5:00 a.m. ET
The women’s race will see the two current half-marathon world record holders go up against the two former world record holders. Peres Jepchirchir and Ababel Yeshaneh, the fastest to ever cover the distance, will face Netsanet Gudeta and Joyciline Jepkosgei, who are the second-fastest to ever cover the distance. On the roads, since 2013 there have been two world records – the women-only and the outright (mixed-gender) world record. Yashaneh holds the world record at 1:04:31 and Jepchirchir holds the women-only record at 1:05:34.
Gudeta holds the championship record at 1:06:11, which she set in 2018. The full start list can be found here.
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The men’s race – 6:30 a.m. ET
In the men’s race, all eyes will be on three-time world record holder Joshua Cheptegei, who’s making his half-marathon debut. Cheptegei has had an unprecedented summer, running both the 5,000m and 10,000m world records after setting the 5K record on the roads in February. Now, the first-time half-marathoner has a shot at a world record in an event he’s never competed in before – that’s how good he is.
Other runners to watch are Jacob Kiplimo, the 19-year-old World Cross-Country silver medallist, and Kibiwott Kandie, who clocked a 58:38 in February. It’s the fastest half-marathon run in the world this year.
The men’s world record is held by Geoffrey Kamworor at 58:01.
The course is a 5K loop of the city, which finishes at the main city beach.
How to watch
CBC is streaming the event for free, with coverage starting at 5:00 a.m. ET. The link can be found here.
The event can be watched behind a paywall live on NBC Sports here.