Peres Jepchirchir smashed the women-only race world record in the half marathon in Prague this morning.
The 26-year-old Kenyan clocked 1:05:34 at the Prague 21.1KM, shattering the previous record of 1:06:11 set by Netsanet Gudeta of Ethiopia at the World Half Marathon Championships in 2018.
Breaking away from the small field just 20 minutes into the race, Jepchirchir set out on a ravaging pace over the 16.5-lap course in Prague’s Letna Park, passing 10 kilometres in 30:32. She slowed over the waning laps but still finished well under the previous mark.
“I thank God… I’m so excited… I’m satisfied with the result although I thought I could have run 64:50, but I thank God for what He has given me,” the pious Jepchirchir said after the race.
She noted that it was difficult running alone after she dropped the pack and pacemakers. “It was difficult to run alone. If I could have had (good) pacemakers, I could have run 64.”
This is Jepchirchir’s second world record over the distance. She clocked 1:05:06 in a mixed-race in Ras Al Khaimah in 2017, a record which stood for just under two months.
The athletes were competing on an oval course around the park, running 21.0975 kilometres, roughly 16.5 laps.
The flat course and the intense competition were designed to be an all-out assault on current world records and best times.
The target for the men was shattering the 58:30 mark, which has been done only three times in history.