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“To the victor belong the spoils”

– New York Senator William L. Marcy, 1828.

Kenyan Kibiwott Kandie earned himself almost $170,000 US dollars Sunday when he smashed the men’s half-marathon world record. He did so by a whopping 29 seconds, at the Valencia Half Marathon. Kandie stopped the clock at 57:32. From the sublime to the ridiculous, a total of four men finished faster than the previous world record. 

In the women’s race, Ethiopian Genzebe Dibaba won her half-marathon debut in a world-class time of 65:18. Several other personal bests were also set. 

The men’s race

The field started with the clear intention of accomplishing something remarkable. The frontrunners led the field through 5K in the time of 13:37 and 10K in 27:25. The pace was 2:43 per km or leading to an approximate 57:25 finish time.

Kandie made a move at around the 18K mark to spread the pack a little. Jacob Kiplimo of Uganda stayed with Kandie. At one point Kiplimo took the lead late in the race. It was appearing that the finish would be a two-man kick. However, Kandie, not to be outdone dropped the pace to a near sprint and shook Kiplimo off.

Kiplimo finished five seconds back, in the time of 57:37. Kenyan Rhonex Kipruto finished third clocking a 57:49, and fellow Kenyan Alexander Mutiso took fourth in 57:59.

Kandie earned $45,000 for the win as well as $120,000 for breaking the 58-minute barrier.

The women’s race

Ethiopian Genzebe Dibaba, the world record holder over seven distances from 1000m to 5000m, didn’t quite get the world record in her debut half-marathon, however, did finish with the impressive time of 65:18, it is apparently the fastest debut, all-time.

The current world record is sort of held by Kenyan Brigid Kosgei at 64:28, but the course was slightly downhill and there appears to be an asterisk next to the performance. The race is the fastest for a mixed (men’s and women’s) race. The women’s only half-marathon record is held by Ethiopian Ababel Yeshaneh at 64:31 from February this year in the United Arab Emirates.

In Valencia, Kenyan Sheila Chepkirui finished in second place at 65:39, while Ethiopian Senbere Teferi took third in 65:51.

Full results can be found here>>

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