With a stunning solo run at Sunday’s Copenhagen Half Marathon, Geoffrey Kamworor, set a new world record clocking 58:01 minutes. By doing so, the 26-year-old Kenyan bettered the previous record set by his compatriot Abraham Kiptum in Valencia last year with 17 seconds.
“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,” the three-time World Half Marathon Champion said after the race, which he – despite a line-up of world class runners – won with a surprisingly large margin of 75 seconds ahead of another Kenyan, Benard Kipkorir Ngeno.
Having won the Kenyan trials at 10000 meters just a few weeks ago, Kamworor was indeed a clear favorite ahead of the race. However, with windy conditions in Copenhagen Sunday morning not many had expected a world record. Pacemaker Shadrack Koech led a large group through the first 5K in 13:53 min., but when he dropped out at 10K, a leading pack of five runners were now ahead of world record pace splitting in 27:34 minutes. From now on it was all about Geoffrey Kamworor, who at 15K suddenly was 25 seconds ahead of the rest.
“It really wasn’t my plan to pull away after 10K, but it was the right time to do it. And the wind turned out not to be a problem,” Kamworor said after the world record, which was the first one to be set on Danish soil since 1972.
The first six finishers dipped under the one hour. Sondre Nordstad Moen had as well hoped to do it, but would have to settle with 60:20. Taking a 9th place the Norwegian became the first European male runner to finish in the top-10 in the history of the race.
Ethiopian victory in the women’s race
The women’s race saw another clear victory with Birhane Dibaba Adugna – winner of the Tokyo Marathon 2018 – crossing the finish line in 65:57 minutes, a massive improvement of the Ethiopian’s personal best. Three Kenyans followed her pace for the first 15K, but at finish the best of these, Evaline Chrichir, was 25 seconds behind with Dorcas Jepchirchir Tuitoek coming in third in 66:36.
CPH Half 2019 was only the fifth edition of the race. With 25.000 participants the race was sold out for the first time, and with today’s world record – and not to forget last year’s European record by Sifan Hassan, the race has established itself as one of the biggest and most importants half marathons in the world.
(The world record is pending)