Julien Wanders after breaking Mo Farah’s European half-marathon record. Photo credit NN Running Team

© Copyright – 2019 – Athletics Illustrated

On February 8th, 26-year-old Swiss athlete Julien Wanders shattered the European half-marathon record, by running a 59:13 in Ras Al Khaimah, UAE. The previous European record was held by British athlete Mo Farah at 59:32 from Lisbon, Portugal in March of 2015.

Wanders has had his eye on this record for a while and has been preparing over the past months at altitude in Kenya specifically for this race.

“We don’t set any limits,” said Wanders when asked about his training set-up in Kenya. “I have a great group around me, they push me further. The mentality of the team is very nice.”

Wanders’ hard work is starting to pay off. Having also run a European (27:25) record in the 10K in 2018.

This half-marathon performance improves his half-marathon personal best of 60:09, which he ran in Barcelona last year.

The victory, however, went to Stephen Kiprop who crossed the finish line in the time of 58:42 with a new personal best for the 19-year-old Kenyan athlete.

Wanders finished fourth overall, behind two Ethiopians Abadi Hadis and Fikadu Haftu who finished in 58:44 and 59:08 respectively.

The top three women were Senbere Teferi, Netsanet Gudeta and Zeineba Yimer. They finished three-in-a-row in 21, 22 and 23rd position with finish times of 65:45, 65:45 and 65:46.

Wanders next race will be the Hercules 5K road race in Monaco on February 17.