World Half Weekend
World Athletics Half Marathon Championships, the only World championship event this year, will take place this Saturday in Gdynia, Poland.
Kenya has named a strong team for the event, although defending Champion Geoffrey Kamworor opted out as he’s still recovering from being hit by a motorbike.
Peres Jepchirchir and Kandie Kibiwott will lead team Kenya. Peres is promising a showdown. Kenyan men have won it 13 times while the women 7 times, but this year though they will have to fight it out with Joshua Cheptegei of Uganda and Sifan Hassan of the Netherlands.
Jepchichir and Kandie at Prague Half. Credit: RunCzech
Here are the full teams:
Women: Peres Jepchirchir, Joyciline Jepkosgei, Dorcas Jepchumba Kimeli, Brillian Jepkorir Kipkoech, Rosemary Wanjiru
Men: Leonard Barsoton, Morris Munene Gachaga, Kibiwott Kandie, Benard Kimeli, and Bernard Kipkorir Ngeno
Much like the London Marathon, there will be no mass participation race and the course has changed to a looped course of four laps approximately 5.5km each. The race will be LIVE on SuperSport 228 from 12.00 EAT for Sub Saharan Africa. Elsewhere, it looks like World Athletics YouTube might be the best bet.
Peres World Record Ratified
When Peres Jepchirchir lines up Saturday, she will be the official owner of the women-only half marathon world record after World Athletics ratified her 1:05:34 world record.
She set the record on 5 September, 2020 in Prague. Peres who broke away from the rest of the lead pack reached and 10km in 30:32. Even though her pace slowed in the last kilometres, she held on to win the race in 1:05:34, finishing well inside the previous women-only world record of 1:06:11 set by Ethiopia’s Netsanet Gudeta.
Two World Records In 50 minute
Joshua Cheptegei with his time. Photo Credit: NN Running Team
Speaking of world records, two big records went down last Wednesday at the Valencia World Record Day, and event set up for two exceptional athletes to make their marks.
Joshua Cheptegei broke the 10,000m world record. Paced by Kenyan youngster Nicholas Kimeli, Cheptegei crossed the line in 24:11.02, taking more than 6 seconds off Kenenisa Bekele’s 15 year old record.
Ethiopia's Letesenbet Gidey broke the 5000m world record held by Tirunesh Dibaba. Well-paced by Beatrice Chepkoech, Gidey clocked 14 minutes, 6.62 seconds.
After his run, Cheptegei said, “I wanted to show the sports lovers of the world that the track is exciting. I wanted to lift the expectations of the Valencia World Record Day and I am pleased to have fulfilled my dream.”
And yeah, of course world records are always going to be exciting. They’re pushing the boundary of what’s humanly possible. But when we think about what’s exciting about the sport of track, watching athletes running practically solo, with lights guiding their pace… That’s not it.
For example, how great would the 5000m women’s race have been if Genzebe Dibaba, Hellen Obiri, Agnes Tirop were invited to the World Record Day party?
Kenya’s Naomi Chebet and Cynthia Kosgei finished in second and third positions at the Sofia Marathon in Bulgaria on Sunday. Chebet’s time was 2:28:41 while Cynthia’s was 2:32:10. Best performing male was Duncan Koech for fourth place with 2:17:09.
The marathon was won by Viktoriya Khapilina and Youssef Sbaai in course records of 2:27:57 and 2:13:03 respectively. With 2,000 people taking part, this was one of the biggest races since the pandemic started, so had a much more talented start list and received much more attention than it has in the past.
Athletes Can Take a Knee During Olympics
Under Olympic rule 50, athletes are not allowed to protest or demonstrate at the Olympic Games. The last time an athlete made a political protest at the games was Ethiopian Feyisa Lelisa at 2016 Rio Olympic when he crossed his arms at the finish line, he won silver. He escaped the IOC sanction.
Now World Athletics President Seb Coe says he will support athletes who want to take a knee in support of Black Lives Matter movement during the Tokyo Olympic Games.
It’s good to see World Athletics changing course. Up next: apologies and recompense to athletes who are still paying for their protests.
Sifan Hassan Smashes European rRecord
1500m and 10,000m world champion Sifan Hassan smashed the 10,000m European Record at the FBK After Summer Competition in Hengelo, Netherlands when she clocked 29:36.67. Her time makes her the fourth fastest woman in history in 10,000m.
2021 Tokyo Marathon Moved to October
Even though the Sofia Marathon happened, the big races in the first half of 2021 are already getting pushed to later in the year. Tokyo Marathon will take place on 17 October, not in March. That means five big marathons will all be held in a 6 week window between the end of September and start of November. Here is the 2021 tentative World Marathon Majors schedule:
April 19: Boston
August 7/8: Tokyo Olympic Marathons
September 26: Berlin
October 3: London
October 10: Chicago
October 17: Tokyo
November 7: New York City
From Us At Enda
New Lapatets! New Lapatets! New Lapatets! New Lapatets!
The first new colorway of Lapatet - Bendera Black - is now online. Bendera means “flag” in Swahili, as we took inspiration for this plain black and white shoe from Kenya’s flag. On the flag black is for the Kenyan people and white is for peace.
You can order your pair of Bendera Black Lapatets right now:
As a reminder, these new colors of Lapatets we are launching have an upper that is 15% lighter than before, making them more comfortable and breathable. There’s also 2mm more cushioning underfoot, making them even better for your daily runs.
All the new colors are strictly limited edition. So if you see a color you want, make sure to act fast before they’re gone.
From the Enda Community