February 8, 2019
After Switzerland’s Julien Wanders made history this morning by setting a European record of 59:13 at the 2019 RAK Half Marathon, becoming the fastest non-African-born runner ever in the process, we caught up with him. LRC visitor Guillaume Laurent contacted us before the race and asked if he could work as a stringer for us and we took him up on the offer.
Here is the exclusive interview; a full transcript appears below the interview.
Laurent: What a race.
Wanders: I’m very happy with the results. I can just say that I’m very happy.
How confident were you that you could do that record (the European) coming in?
I was very confident because the training was really, really good in Iten. You never know when you go to the race, but I also what I did at 10k the last (few) races (European records of 27:32 and 27:25) gave me a lot of confidence, so I was pretty sure it was possible to break this European record.
When you passed the 20k mark, did you know that you had the record (secure)?
Yeah, I knew that I should finish, like even 3:10 [per kilometer] pace — would be enough to finish and beat the European record. I knew also from 15k — I saw that I was really on time for a good performance.
How does it feel to be a European record holder?
It’s good. Now I have the 10k (road) and the half marathon so what’s remaining is the marathon and I’ll try (my) best for sure.
What does it mean to be the fastest non-African ever on the half marathon?
This (fact) I didn’t know but it’s good, but for me I don’t really care about this. I want to be the fastest in the world, so that’s my next goal.
Is Renato Canova still going you or is it still your coach in Switzerland?
No, Renato Canova is not coaching me. I have some contact sometimes with him, but my coach is Marco Jaeger and it has always been Marco Jaeger since I was 15 years old.
What’s coming next for you?
I will run 5 kilometers on the road next week in Monaco, so that’s my next race and then after that I don’t have a plan yet. Later, another road race in maybe April or focus on track.
- MB: Julien Wanders: “I don’t care about being the fastest non-African HM runner”
- MB: Official 2019 RAK Half Marathon Discussion Thread
- MB: OFFICIAL JULIEN WANDERS 59:13 EUROPEAN RECORD THREAD!!
- MB Archives: Julian Wanders – 60:09 U23 Euro Record – Renato Canova called it.
More: LRC Julien Wanders (59:13) Shatters European Record; Stephen Kiprop (58:42) and Senbere Teferi (65:45) Win 2019 RAK Half The 2019 RAK Half was spectacular as both races featured fast times and sprint finishes. The men’s race included a European record by Julien Wanders (59:13) and the most sub-60s in a single race in history (11).