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On Sunday, in the streets of Gdynia, Poland, the World Half Marathon Championships will be taking place. Leading the men’s field of 122 athletes is 5000m and 10,000m world record holder Joshua Cheptegei of Uganda. He has the ability to break the world half-marathon record, but along the way, he could, in theory, take the 15K and 20K records. If the organisers planned well, they could get him to run to the one-hour mark and take the one-hour of distance run record, which is currently held by Mo Farah of the UK at 21.K and 330m.
How fast can he go?
Cheptegei ran new world records this year in the 5K in the time of 12:51, as well as 12:35.36 in the 5000m on the track. In the 10,000m event, he ran 26:11.00. The latter of which is equal to 1306 points on the World Athletics (IAAF) scoring tables. A 1306-point half-marathon performance would indeed bring a new world record.
Currently, the world half-marathon record is held by Geoffrey Kamworor of Kenya at 58:01, which is a 1277-point performance, great, but not nearly as great as Cheptegei’s standard.
A 1306-point performance, to match his 26:11.00 10,000m., would have him finish the race in the time of 57:21. A stunning 40 seconds faster than Kamworor’s record.
Along the way, Cheptegei could cross the 15K distance in the time of 40:10 and the 20K in 54:14. The current 15K world record is nearly a minute slower at 41:05, which Cheptegei currently owns. The 20K record is 55:21 as set by Ethiopia’s Zersenay Tadese.
How fast would he have to be moving?
Cheptegei would have to be moving awfully fast for a long time to accomplish these records.
He would have to run 4:22 per mile the whole way. That would be 2:43 per kilometre. He would have to pass through 10K in the time of 27:10 and his 5K splits would of course need to be 13:35, each.
The incentive may be in place with a $50,000USD bonus awarded to any athlete who breaks the world record.
Although the course is fairly flat, there are many turns per 5K lap. This could add precious seconds to the time.
Constantina Dita, the 2016 Beijing Olympic marathon gold medallist is the event ambassador, she owns the national record for Romania in the marathon at 2:21:30 from Chicago 2005 and she has run the half-marathon as fast as 68:10.
Watch the event here>>