On Sunday morning in Valencia, Kenya’s Kibiwott Kandie smashed the half-marathon world record, becoming the first person ever to break 58 minutes. Kandie ran 57:32, breaking Geoffrey Kamworor’s previous record, which he set in 2019, by 29 seconds.
The top five men remained in a tight pack through 19K, all on world record pace. Around 20K, Kandie and eventual second-place finisher (and current world champion) Jacob Kiplimo broke away, trading leads until Kandie took the race and the world record. The top four men all ran under the previous world best, with third place Rhonex Kipruto finishing in 57:49 and fourth place Alexander Mutiso in 57:59. To make matters even more impressive, it was Kipruto’s half-marathon debut (making it the fastest debut in history).
Leaders continue to FLY in Valencia. Come through 15k in 41:10. The world best for that distance is 41:05 by Joshua Cheptegei. pic.twitter.com/8EMzLdlNwI
— Jonathan Gault (@jgault13) December 6, 2020
Kandie’s run was redemption after the disappointment of the world championships earlier this year. At the half-marathon championships, after kilometres of strong running, Kandie lost the race to Kiplimo who took the title. Today, Kandie becomes the first person to run four sub-59 half-marathons in one year and owns his first world record.
In the women’s race, Genzebe Dibaba won the event in her debut over the distance. She ran a 1:05:18 to become the 12th-fastest woman to ever cover 21.1K. After running most of the race solo, with only her pacers accompanying her, she comfortably took the win. Second place went to Sheila Chepkurui in 1:05:39 and third place to Senbere Teferi in 1:05:51.
According to the tracker, Sisson in 67:26 — one second off of Huddle's record? They showed so little of the women's race.
— Sarah Lorge Butler (@slorgebutler) December 6, 2020
American Emily Sisson had a heartbreaking day, missing the U.S. half-marathon record by one second. She finished fifth in 1:07:26. Molly Huddle’s record set in 2018 continues to stand at 1:07:25. Sisson now owns the second and third fastest half-marathon times in U.S. history, but just missed the record on Sunday.
How to follow the marathon
Both the men’s and women’s marathons are currently underway. Full results from that event are coming shortly.
You can follow along live here.