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- Ruth Chepngetich broke the women’s half marathon world record at the N Kolay Istanbul Half Marathon on Sunday, April 4.
- The 26-year-old Kenyan ran 1:04:02, beating the previous record, set by Ababel Yeshaneh in February 2020, by 29 seconds.
- This is the third time that Chepngetich has won the N Kolay Istanbul Half Marathon.
On Sunday, April 4, Ruth Chepngetich led a historic half marathon in Istanbul, Turkey.
The 26-year-old from Kenya won the N Kolay Istanbul Half Marathon in 1:04:02, breaking the previous world record of 1:04:31, set by Ababel Yeshaneh in February 2020, by 29 seconds. Chepngetich improved on her personal best by more than a minute.
Behind Chepngetich, Yalemzerf Yehualaw of Ethiopia was the runner-up in 1:04:40 and two-time 5,000-meter world champion Helen Obiri finished third in 1:04:51, the fastest 13.1 debut in history. According to World Athletics, Sunday’s race is the first time three women have run under 65 minutes in one half marathon.
Chepngetich started to pull away from the top group—which included Yehualaw and Obiri at the 15K in 45:29—with less than 10 minutes remaining in the race. She ran the fourth 5K segment on her own in 15:13 and maintained her sizable lead into the finish line. She covered the half marathon distance with an average pace of 4:53 per mile.
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“I am really happy with this amazing result,” Chepngetich told World Athletics. “The world record is something I have been dreaming about for some time, and I am so happy to do it on the streets of Istanbul.”
This is the third time that Chepngetich has won the N Kolay Istanbul Half Marathon (she also finished first in 2017 and 2019). Two years ago, five months after she won the Turkish half marathon in a then-course record, she won gold in the marathon at the 2019 IAAF World Championships in Doha, Qatar.
In November 2020, she finished second to Yehaulaw by running a then-personal best of 1:05:06 at the International Airtel Half Marathon in New Delhi, India. At the time, Yehaulaw clocked the second-fastest half marathon ever by winning the race in 1:04:46.
Kibiwott Kandie, the current men’s half marathon record holder, won the men’s race, setting a new course record with his 59:35 finish. Three-time world half marathon champion Geoffrey Kamworor finished second in 59:38.
Taylor Dutch is a sports and fitness writer living in Chicago; a former NCAA track athlete, Taylor specializes in health, wellness, and endurance sports coverage.
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