The World Athletics Half Marathon Championships are just a couple of weeks away, and race organizers in Gdynia, Poland, have provided one last challenge ahead of the free virtual mass participation race. The Fast 10k with Paula Radcliffe is the final test of fitness for participants who plan to run the half-marathon, and they can do it (virtually) alongside one of the best marathoners in history, after whom the challenge is named.
Radcliffe is an Olympian, a British and European record-holder many times over and the former women’s marathon world record-holder. Her marathon best was only recently beaten by Brigid Kosgei, who lowered Radcliffe’s longstanding record of 2:15:25 at the Chicago Marathon in 2019. In a promotional video for the Gdynia event and her virtual challenge, Radcliffe says the “World Half Marathon Championships have a very special place in my heart. It was my first world title. I won three World Half Marathon Championships and all of them were extremely special to me.” She won the world half-marathon titles in 2000, 2001 and 2003, the same year she set her marathon world record.
This is the last of the virtual “warmup events” that have been organized for competitors by the Gdynia 2020 team. There was also a one-mile run with World Athletics head Seb Coe and a 5K with British Olympian Eilish McColgan, among other events. It’s easy to participate. Simply head to the event website, download the Gdynia 2020 tracking app and head off on your 10K challenge in preparation for your virtual half-marathon.
The mass participation race was cancelled and changed to a virtual format for 2020 due to COVID-19, but the elite race is still set to go ahead. The race has a number of big names ready to run, and it should be an exciting one to watch. Newly-minted 5,000m world record-holder Joshua Cheptegei will be debuting at the distance in Gdynia, and he will be lining up alongside a strong Canadian team that’s made up of Trevor Hofbauer, Justin Kent, Phil Parrot-Migas, Benjamin Preisner and Thomas Toth. The lone woman heading to Poland to represent Canada is former national half and full marathon record-holder Rachel Cliff.
For anyone interested in participating in either the The Fast 10k with Paula Radcliffe challenge or the virtual half-marathon, it’s not too late to sign up. Click here to find out more.