Peres Jepchirchir Sets Women-Only Half-Marathon WR

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Just hours after Sifan Hassan of the Netherlands broke the world one-hour record on the track in Brussels, Peres Jepchirchir of Kenya broke the women-only world record for the half-marathon in Letná Park in Prague in the elite-only Prague 21.1 KM.  The petite athlete from Kapsabet clocked 1:05:34, smashing the ratified World Athletics record of 1:06:11 set by Netsanet Gudeta at the World Athletics Half-Marathon Championships in Valencia in March, 2018.

"I am so happy, happy," she said in her brief post-race television interview.  "I'm proud."

A field of seven women set out at sunrise on the specially-designed 16.5-lap course which had long straightaways and tight, teardrop turns at each end. Led by Kenyan pacemakers Brenda Jepleting and Lilian Jepkorir Chebii, the pace was aggressive from the start. Jepchirchir, dressed in black and white adidas kit, pushed up close to the pacers early on, anxious to run fast.

The 5-kilometer checkpoint was reached in about 15:23, well inside of world record schedule. The pace was already too hot for the pacemaker Chebii, and she fell well back. Jepleting led the all-Kenyan field of Jepchirchir, Edith Chelimo, Dorcas Jepchumba Kimeli, Vibian Chepkirui, and Sheila Chepkirui.

With a live drum ensemble accompanying the recorded music, Peres was feeling frisky. Just 20 minutes into the race, she left the field and forged ahead on her own. Her lead stretched to 10 meters in under a minute, and by the time she hit 10-K in a blistering 30:32 she was all alone.

"She must feel comfortable to take it on this early, to do it on her own," commented Dutchman Michel Boeting during the television broadcast.

Her long braids bobbing behind her, Jepchirchir was running each of the 1280-meter laps well under four minutes, a pace of about 3:03 per kilometer. She might have been running too fast.

"Let me tell you, that's fast," said Boeting.

Going into six laps (7680m) to go, Jepchirchir completed the previous circuit in 4:06, the slowest of the race. Her form wasn't as clean, her stride not as bouncy, as before. However, that was the pace she could hold, and it was good enough to bring her to the finish with the record.

"Yes, I am satisfied," she said. "Maybe I was thinking I was going to run 64:50."

The men's race played out similarly, but since it started later it was much hotter. Despite the heat, Kibiwott Kandie broke away from the field after 10-K, then ran alone to the finish in 58:37, making him the fifth-fastest man in history.

"Yes, I am satisfied with the time for today," he said in his post-race television interview. He added: "It was up to me to run alone."

Philemon Kiplimo Kimaiyo finished second and was the only other man to break the one-hour mark (59:56). Third place went to Benson Kipruto in 1:00:06.

Salwa Eid Naser Avoids Whereabouts Ban Due To Apartment Snafu

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The whereabouts case brought by the Athletics Integrity Unit (AIU) against 400m world champion Salwa Eid Naser of Bahrain has been dropped by the World Athletics Disciplinary Tribunal after a filing failure was backdated and a missed test reversed, allowing the sprinter to avoid three whereabouts failures within a 12-month period.

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Jepchirchir & Kiplimo Take World Half Titles In Fast Races

Jacob Kiplimo

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All Eyes On Cheptegei At Saturday's World Half Marathon Championships

Joshua Cheptegei

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Three Big Questions Ahead Of The OSU Invitational

Ryan Raff

In a year in which the NCAA indoor, outdoor and cross country championships have been canceled due to COVID-19, it’s safe to say that a mid-October invitational cross country meet has never been more anticipated than Saturday’s OSU Invitational in Stillwater, Oklahoma. 

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Which Of The 2020 World Records Is Best?

Joshua Cheptegei, Mondo Duplantis

For a year in which both the world indoor championships and the Olympic Games were postponed, 2020 has seen its fair share of world records. (Of course, one could argue that those events being postponed aided in world record achievement, particularly in the cases of Joshua Cheptegei and Letesenbet Gidey.) A season with so much history has begged a question: which among these world records is the best? 

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Michigan Pro Ekiden And Half Marathon Born Out Of Necessity

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Joshua Cheptegei Topples Bekele Again With 26:11 10,000m WR

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For the second time in less than two months, 24-year-old Ugandan Joshua Cheptegei has taken a world record from Kenenisa Bekele. After breaking Bekele’s 5,000m record on August 14 in Monaco in 12:35.37, Cheptegei on Wednesday ran 26:11.00 in Valencia, Spain, to dismantle the 26:17.53 Bekele ran in 2005.

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Letesenbet Gidey Crushes Women's 5,000m WR In 14:06.62

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22-year-old Letesenbet Gidey smashed fellow Ethiopian Tirunesh Dibaba’s 5,000m world record on Wednesday night in Valencia, Spain, by running 14:06.62. Gidey, running in the NN Valencia World Record Day, took down Dibaba’s 14:11.15 mark which had stood since 2008.

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How to Watch: 2020 NN Valencia World Record Day

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The 2020 NN Valencia World Record Day starts on Oct 7, 2020 LIVE on FloTrack

Kitata Prevails As Kipchoge Falters, Kosgei Dominates In London

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(c) 2020 Race Results Weekly, all rights reserved

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