Kenya’s 26-year-old world marathon champion Ruth Chepngetich shaved 29 seconds from the world record as she emerged winner in the N Kolay Istanbul Half Marathon — an Elite Label road race — timing a mind-boggling 1:04:02 on Sunday. In the men’s category, world-record holder Kibiwott Kandie topped the race with a course record of 59:35, after challenging early leader Benard Ngeno with about 12 minutes remaining. Chepngetich, winner of the event in 2017 and 2019, broke away from Ethiopia’s Yalemzerf Yehualaw in the final stages to win by 38 seconds. Hellen Obiri, the two-time world 5,000m champion, was third in 1:04:51. Another record of sorts was created as this was the first time three women finished inside 65 minutes in a half marathon.
This was Chepngetich’s third win in the Turkish city and her third improvement on the course record. She won the 2017 edition in 1:06:19 seconds, came back strongly in 2019 to win in 1:05:30 and, despite all the disruptions due to the pandemic in 2020, she returned to win in a world record time.
In the men’s section, it was expected that Kenya’s Kandie would get a tough competition from compatriot Geoffrey Kamworor, and the two didn’t disappoint, with only three seconds separating the winner and the second-place finisher.
Results: Women: 1. Ruth Chepngetich (Ken) 1:04:02; 2. Yalemzerf Yehualaw (Eth) 1:04:40; 3. Hellen Obiri (Ken) 1:04:51.
Men: 1. Kibiwott Kandie (Ken) 59:35; 2. Geoffrey Kamworor (Ken) 59:38; 3. Roncer Kipkorir (Ken) 59:46.