Kenyan runner Peres Jepchirchir, 23, has a new world record to her name today. The distance runner ran Thursday evening at the 2017 RAK Half-Marathon to run 65:06. That time is a world record in the women’s half-marathon set in Ras Al-Khaimah in the United Arab Emirates.
Her race finish was also the second time in the past year where collapsed just and she crossed the line. That dramatic close to the race shows just how much this Kenyan runner puts into her performances. And with a new world record now, it looks like it was worth it as the 23-year-old just banked an extra US $113,000 that she didn’t have yesterday. Nearly $100,000 of that prize was offered for setting the world record.
Jepchirchir battled on the race course with Mary Keitany to eventually defeat the household name in distance running. The two runners were competitive for most of the course until Jepchirchir was able to drop Keitany after 20K.
It was soon after that point that spectators would have noticed that her form started to show signs of struggle. Her torso began to sway a little and her face clearly showed signs of pain. Just after she clocked the 65:06 finishing time, she dropped and had to be whisked away.
The record previously stood at 65:09 and was set by Florence Kiplagat in 2015. Winning race at this distance is a familiar feeling for this young star though: she was also the 2016 World Half-Marathon champion.
It’s likely that the name Jepchirchir rings a bell for runners on Canadian soil. Canadians would recognize Jepchirchir’s name as she has a connection to the country’s running scene–she was the winner of last year’s Ottawa 10K. Last May, the Kenyan runner got a lot of attention in the country’s capital as her race finish was quite a dramatic one. Just as she crossed the finish line, she collapsed and fell to the ground.
See the video of Jepchirchir’s famous Ottawa run below.
To understand how deep of a field this race was, Keitany finished second running 65:13. Third place went to Joyciline Jepkosgei who ran 66:08. The champion of the Rio Olympic marathon, Jemima Sumgong placed fourth in 66:43 and Tirunesh Dibaba placed fifth in 66:50.