Could the World Half Marathon and Marathon Records All Fall on Sunday in Copenhagen and Berlin?

September 14, 2018

There is a very, very slim chance the men’s and women’s half-marathon and full marathon records could all fall on Sunday at the Berlin Marathon and Copenhagen Half Marathon.

Up first is the BMW Berlin Marathon, where Eliud Kipchoge is going after the one thing he doesn’t have: Dennis Kimetto‘s 2:02:57 world record in the marathon (article on that here).  Many assumed that would be the only record being targeted in Berlin, but then Mark Wetmore, the agent of the greatest female distance track runner of all time, Tirunesh Dibaba, told she will go out on a pace that could let her challenge Paula Radcliffe’s incredible 2:15:25 world record.

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The big guns in Berlin(We have full Berlin coverage here. The race is live on NBCSN in the United States at 3 a.m. Eastern)

Double Record Attempts in Copenhagen

Then, just as Berlin finishes, the gun will go off in Copenhagen, where both world records could be in jeopardy. In Copenhagen, the women’s record is more likely to fall. The women’s record has fallen three times since the start of 2017 and currently is Joyciline Jepkosgei’s 1:04:51 (4:56 mile pace). Though world half marathon champ Netsanet Gudeta of Ethiopia has pulled out, Joan Chelimo Melly of Kenya ran 1:05:04 earlier this year in Prague and is in Copenhagen going after the record. There are four women in the field who have run under 67 minutes for the half marathon. The other big name in the field is Sifan Hassan of the Nike Oregon Project, who is one of the best 1500/5000 meter runners on the planet, and is taking her first crack at a world class half marathon.

On the men’s side, Erick Kiptanui who ran 58:42 for the half marathon in Berlin earlier this year and said he was going to target the world record, is out of Copenhagen, but defending champ Abraham Cheroben, who won last year in 58:40, is back and could possibly challenge Zersenay Tadese’s eight-year-old world record of 58:23. Jemal Yimer Meknonnen, who was 5th at Worlds at 10k last year and ran 59:00 in his first half marathon ever, is the most credentialed track runner in the field with half marathon experience. Then there is another interesting debut from an NOP runner as Yomif Kejelcha, who ran 12:46 for 5000 two weeks ago, is in the field in his half debut.

Could an “unknown” male surprise in Copenhagen?

But there are some other men in Copenhagen that show how men are quickly bursting onto the road scene all the time from Kenya. Erick Kiptanui was a decent 1500 runner until he turned to the half marathon this year. Jorum Okombo is in the field and ran 58:48 last year for the half marathon in the first year we could find any results for him. Mangata Ndiwa was a failed 5k runner who doesn’t show any international results from 2010 to 2015. This year he ran 59:07 for the half in his debut. He was beaten in his debut by fellow countryman, Daniel Kipchumba, who couldn’t hack it as a steepler (8:30 for steeple) but ran 59:06 in his half-marathon debut. Ryan Hall‘s 59:43 is the American record, for reference.

Copenhagen streaming details are here. (race is at 5:15 a.m. Eastern) *Discuss: The American record in the half is 59:43. Kenya has random guys in the half running 58 high, 59 low 

Below is a 45-minute podcast we did on Berlin and Copenhagen. Below that is a brief guide to the fields in Copenhagen. Full 2018 BMW Berlin Marathon coverage here.

45-Minute Tracktalk Podcast on Berlin and Copenhagen:

*Also available on Stitcher and YouTube

Women in Copenhagen:

Joan Chelimo Melly KEN 65.04
Missed 2015 for birth of daughter (was a 31:41 road runner before that and only 71 half) and has come back on fire. 65:04 in Prague this year (splitting 30:14), ran 66:25 last year for 2nd. Won Boston BAA 10k last year
Ruth Chepngetich KEN 66.19
13th at World half. 66:19 last year. 2:22 marathoner
Ababel Yeshaneh Brihane ETH 66.22
14:41 5k runner. 66:22 in Istanbul this year. 31:26 for 2nd in Maine
Mary Wacera Ngugi KEN 66.29
Her 66:29 was the US all comers record. Won Utica, Boston 10k, 3rd at Falmouth this year. 66:50 in Houston this year. One of Sammy Wanjiru’s wives.
Meskerem Assefa ETH 67.42
Hiwot Gebrekidan Gebremaryam ETH 68
Zeineba Yimer ETH 68.07
Asefa Alemtsehay ETH
Bekelech Gudeta Borecha ETH 68.12
Sifan Hassan NED
Ran 8:27 for 3k at the Continental Cup last weekend. What can she do here?
Belaynesh Oljira ETH 67.27

Top men in Copenhagen:

Abraham Cheroben BRN 58:40
2nd at world half, last year’s champ in 58:40. 12th at Worlds in 10,000 (no marathons) 27:11 10k at Worlds
Jemal Yimer Mekonnen ETH 59:00
African 10k champ, Cherry Blossom and Bloomsday champ, 2nd at RAK in 59:00 in his first half ever (5th at Worlds last year in 10k. 26:56 10k pr)
Jorum Lumbasi Okombo KEN 58.48
4th at RAK this year. 18th at World Half but 58:48 for 2nd last year. No results prior to last year.
Mangata Ndiwa KEN 59.07
30 years old, ran 13:05 in 2009 and then no results from 2010-2015.3rd at African 5k in 2016 and 59:07 for 2nd in Italy this year
Edwin Kiprop Kiptoo KEN 59.26 time is from 2015
Abrahm Kiptum KEN 59.36
Morris Munene Gachaga KEN 59.36
James Rungaru KEN 59.37
Amdework Walelegn Tadese ETH 59:06
Daniel Kipchumba Ken 59:06
Results show up in 2016 for him. He was steepling (8:30) and then runs 59:06 to defeats Ndiwa in only half this year
Asefa Mengstu Negewo ETh 59:54 4th in Dubai in 2:04:06 this year
Yomif Kejelcha Debut

Full 2018 BMW Berlin Marathon Coverage Here.

*Discuss: The American record in the half is 59:43. Kenya has random guys in the half running 58 high, 59 low