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Thoughts on Jacob Kiplimo’s amazing half marathon world record of 57:31

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Justin Lagat focuses his efforts this week on the amazing half marathon run by Uganda’s Jacob Kiplimo! Jacob’s performance moved the WR by one second!

Kiplimo .jpegJacob Kiplimo sets new WR in HM, photo by Lisbon Half Marathon

Perhaps, whether we believe it or not, it is actually true that there is absolutely no limit to the human ability to do anything!

This past weekend, Jacob Kiplimo pushed the men’s half marathon world record further from where most had thought would remain untouchable for a while. Last year, Kibiwott Kandie of Kenya had shaved off 29 seconds from the previous world record of 58:01 run by Geoffrey Kamworor. This was one of the greatest margins that the world record for the men’s half marathon had been changed. No one would have easily imagined that such a world record would not last a year.

Before Kiplimo, Kandie, Kamworor and Kiptum, the world record had stood for over 8 years at 58:23 from March 21st, 2010 when Zerseney Tadese ran it in Lisbon, to 28th October 2018 when Abraham Kiptum improved on it by five seconds.

Kamworor lowered it further by such a great margin of 17 seconds on 19th September 2019. Given the years it had lasted at 58:23, the record at 58:01 was special and would have been expected to last even longer than Tadese’s.

However, in one of the most thrilling and historic races to remember, Kibiwott Kandie had led four runners on 6th December 2020 to run below the then-existing world record. He ran 57:32, Kiplimo followed in 57:37, Rhonex Kipruto was third in 57:49 while Alexander Mutiso interestingly missed the podium after also breaking the previous world record in 57:59!

Of late, the biggest men’s half marathon duels had often been between Kandie and Kiplimo. While Kandie had focused on moving to the marathon distance, Kiplimo seemed to have seized the opportunity to work on the few seconds that prevented him from adding the world record to the world half marathon title where he had beaten Kandie to the second position in Gdynia.

On Sunday the 21st of November, with no fanfare at all, Kiplimo ran a solo run at the Lisbon half marathon to set a new world record of 57:31 breaking Kandie’s record by one second.

It is such an amazing feat, but with the rate at which the world records are falling in the half marathon distance of late, no one can tell how long this record will last.





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