COPENHAGEN, DENMARK, September 15—Under cloudy skies, and despite one intense bout of rainfall, Geoffrey Kamworor smashed the half-marathon World Record with a stunning 58:01 performance that took 17 seconds off the mark set by fellow Kenyan Abraham Kiptum in Valencia last October.
The first 5K passed in 13:53, with the 3-time world half marathon champ tucked into a large lead pack. He moved to the fore then, and led the group through 10K in 27:34, a 13:41 segment. Then next increment came in a jaw-dropping 13:31, leaving behind the other racers and blistering the pace, even as the brief-but-heavy storm hit. His time at 15K—41:05—is the fastest ever recorded in an event that’s no longer on the official WR list. The old best was 41:13 by Leonard Komon in ’10.
The pace understandably slipped with a 13:55 for the next 5K, bringing Kamworor to the 20K in another world best, 55:00 (old mark 55:18 by Kiptum). He reached the finish in 58:01. The runner-up was Benard Ngeno in 59:16, a PR by 6 seconds, as a half-dozen men in total broke the 60-minute mark. (Continued below)
Said the winner, whose old PR was a 58:54 dating all the way back to ’13, “It wasn’t my plan to pull away after 10K, but it was the right time to do it. And the wind turned out to be not a problem. It is very emotional for me to set this record. And doing it in Copenhagen, where I won my first world title, adds something to it.”
Kamworor, 26, trains with marathon recordholder Eliud Kipchoge, who said, “I must say that it is a huge congratulation to Kamworor. I am so proud to see him run and set the World Record. It was down to great planning, preparations, teammates, coaching and management. That is the recipe for World Record breaking.”
Ethiopia’s Birhane Dibaba took the women’s race in 65:57, a PR by almost 2 minutes, leaving a trio of Kenyan competitors behind after the 15K. Evaline Chirchir was runner-up in a lifetime best 66:22.
COPENHAGEN HALF-MARATHON RESULTS
Copenhagen, Denmark, September 15—
1. Geoffrey Kamworor (Ken) 58:01 WR (old WR 58:18 Abraham Kiptum [Ken] ’18) (13:53, 13:41 [27:34], 13:31 [41:05], 13:55 [55:00], 3:01) (41:05 @ 15K—WB; old 41:13 Leonard Komon [Ken] ’10) (55:00 @ 20K–WB; old 55:18 Kiptum ’18);
2. Benard Ngeno (Ken) 59:16 PR; 3. Berehanu Wendim (Eth) 59:22 PR; 4. Edwin Kiprop Kiptoo (Ken) 59:27; 5. Amos Kurgat (Ken) 59:37 PR; 6. Philemon Kiplimo (Ken) 59:57 PR; 7. Shadrack Koech (Ken) 60:12 PR 8. Kinde Atanaw (Eth) 60:13 PR; 9. Sondre Nordstad Moen (Nor) 60:20; 10. Alfred Barkach (Ken) 60:22 PR.
1. Birhane Dibaba (Eth) 65:57 PR; 2. Evaline Chirchir (Ken) 66:22 PR; 3. Dorcas Jepchirchir Tuitoek 68:38; 4. Kebede Megertu Alemu (Eth) 66:43; 5. Brillian Jepkorir Kipkoech (Ken) 67:12.