The world record for the women’s half marathon was broken this morning at the 11th edition of the RAK Half. Peres Jepchirchir of Kenya, last year’s IAAF World Champion for the distance, breasted the finish tape in 65:06. This was 3 seconds off the time of compatriot Florence Kiplagat, who set the record in Barcelona just under two years ago.
On the way to this unexpected mark – she suffered from pneumonia for two months at the end of 2016 – the 23 year old who had placed 4th here twelve months ago, broke the world record for 20km in a mixed race, with 61:40, itself lopping a cool 14 seconds off Kiplagat’s previous time, also set in Barcelona.
Behind her, three-time RAK champion Mary Keitany smashed her own best, and very nearly the old world record, with a 65:13 clocking, while Joyciline Jepkosgei ensured a Kenyan clean sweep, crossing the newly positioned finish line in 66:08, a personal best by almost three minutes.