Kenya’s Florence Kiplagat sliced 38 seconds off the previous half marathon world record to finish first at the Mitja Marató de Barcelona on Sunday (16 February). Kiplagat’s time of 1:05:12 saw her dominate the race from start to finish, and manage an impressive fourth place overall.
She passed 10k in 31:08, more than a minute faster than her official personal best for the distance in a 10km race, but 23 seconds off Mary Keitany's world record pace 3 years ago. Kiplagat, however, set a ferocious tempo for the remainder of the race, completing 15k in 46:35 and passing 20k in 1:01:56 (which stands as a world record).
Her winning time was more than a minute faster than her previous PB of 1:06:38, set in 2012 at the Rome-Ostia race. Kiplagat commented: “This is a not a day I will forget, I’m so happy! The circuit was very fast and I really want to thank my pace makers, Marc Roig and Stanley Siroro, they did a great job. I felt so well from the beginning and the weather was perfect, so I had the feeling that this could be a special day.”
It turned out to be a thoroughly successful day for Kenyan running as Eliud Kipchoge managed to defend his title to win the men’s race in 1:00:52. The former 5000m world champion finished ahead Laban Mutai and Peter Emase, who took second and third place respectively.