Sinead Diver of Ireland finished third early Sunday morning at the Marugame half-marathon in Japan in 1:08:55. Her new personal best is also is the new women’s over 40 age group world record, which she previously held at 1:09:20. Before Diver, American marathon record holder Deena Kastor held the record at 1:09:37.
This isn’t the first time we’ve heard of Diver. The 41-year-old ran a blazing 2:25 marathon in October of 2018. Diver doesn’t only race on the roads, she’s tackled distances from the 1,500m through the marathon with impressive personal bests in the 5,000m and 10K especially, in 15:23 and 31:50. She also represented Australia at the 2018 IAAF World Half-Marathon Championships.
Rachel Cliff finished fifth at the half-marathon in Japan in 1:10:28, just 20 seconds off her own Canadian record of 1:10:08. Cliff set the record at the 2018 Houston half-marathon, breaking Lanni Marchant’s old mark of 1:10:47.
Cliff has carried her momentum from 2018 into 2019. On top of the Canadian half-marathon record set last year, the runner also ran only 53 seconds off of the national marathon record in her distance debut in Berlin. Betsy Saina of Kenya won in 1:07:49, and second place went to Ayuko Suzuki of Japan in 1:07:55.
In the men’s race, Abdi Nageeye of the Netherlands won in 1:00:24, second place went to Simon Kariuki of Kenya in 1:00:43 and third place to Jack Rayner of Australia in 1:01:36.