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Race news The Ras al Khaimah Half Marathon

21 February 2020, 10am

1:04:31 in RAK Half Marathon; Kosgei also beats old record

Yeshaneh smashes women’s half marathon record

The Ras al Khaimah Half Marathon
Fri 21 February 2020

Record 2 c

In a surprise result Ethiopia’s Ababel Yeshaneh Birhane set a new women’s world record of 1:04:31 at the Ras al Khaimah Half Marathon (UAE) on 21 February. She finished 100m ahead of Kenya’s Brigid Kosgei (1:04:49) who was also inside the old record.

The previous record of 1:04:51 was set by Joyciline Jepkosgei in Valencia in October 2017. Last September Kosgei recorded 1:04:28 in the Great North Run in Great Britain but the course did not conform to world record criteria (descent of > 1m/km, straight-line separation of start & finish >50% of race distance).

Pre-race favourite Kosgei was set a pace of 3:03/km (projecting a finish time of 1:04:21) by compatriot Geoffrey Pyego. She kept close to the schedule, passing 5km in 15:07, 10km in 30:18 and 15km in 45:41. Coming from just behind her Yeshaneh forged her lead by covering 15–20km 18 seconds faster than Kosgei (15:31 to 15:49). Both ran the last 1097.5m in the same time.

Yeshaneh said “I did not imagine this result, improving my best by more than a minute.”

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