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Sondre Nordstad Moen of Norway easily won the Gdynia Half Marathon

Sondre Nordstad Moen of Norway and Genet Gashie of Ethiopia turned in dominant victories at the Gdynia Half Marathon, an IAAF Bronze Label road race, on Sunday March 17. 

After running alone for much of the race, Moen  clocked 1:01:18 more than a minute clear of his closest competitor while Gashie took the women’s race in 1:12:05, 37 seconds ahead of compatriot Shegae Maeregu who clocked 1:12:42.

The race served as a test event for next year’s IAAF World Half Marathon Championships which will be hosted by this Baltic Sea coast city of 250,000 on March 29 ,2020. Runners competed on a new course whose finish is situated on the city’s main municipal beach, the same course that will be used for next year’s championships.

Despite the presence of some strong names -- most notably two-time winner Hilary Kimaiyo of Kenya -- the competition quickly evolved into a one-man show with Moen upping the pace when the pacemaker began to struggle after 7 kilometres. He reached the 10 kilometre mark in 29:14 but didn’t look back. Behind him, the only race that was developing was the battle waged for second between Ethiopian Shumet Akalnew and Pole Krystian Zalewski.

When Moen finished a long climb between kilometres 9 and 12, he still appeared fresh and ready to maintain that tempo. He was already more than a minute ahead at 15 km (44:00) and used the downhill section to further cushion his lead in the race’s waning stages. He clocked 58:13 at the 20 km checkpoint and sprinted along the seaside boulevards in Gdynia en route to his 1:01:18 race record, a solid peformance given the windy conditions.

“I had to run alone since the pacemaker struggled,” Moen said. “It was hard to keep the pace on the uphill section but the last six kilometres were very strong for me although the wind was not making it easy.

Surprisingly, Zalewski finished second clocking 1:02:36 in his half marathon debut. Akalnew completed the podium in 1:02:54. Kimaiyo finished a distant sevent in 1:05:28.

In the women’s race, Christine Oigo was looking to repeat her victory from last year. She initially formed part of the leading group of three, together with the Ethiopians Gashie and Maeregu, who covered the first five kilometres in 17:06.

But it was Gashie who then took command, passing ten kilometres in 34:11, four seconds ahead of Maeregu. She continued to pad her advantage to the finish line, her 1:12:04 run a race record as well.

Maeregu held on to finish second in 1:12:42. Poland’s Anna Gosk passed Oigo by the 15th kilometre and held on to claim the final podium spot, clocking 1:13.07.

(03/17/2019) ⚡AMP
by IAAF
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ONICO Gdynia Half Marathon

ONICO Gdynia Half Marathon

Gdynia Half Marathon debuted in 2016, becoming one of the biggest half marathons in Poland in the first year. The race offers a unique opportunity to launch the spring season in Gdynia - "the city made of dreams and the sea".The beautiful and touristic city of Gdynia, the highest organizational standards as well as the attractive run course make...

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Norway's Sondre Nordstad Moen headlines the Gdynia Half Marathon this weekend

After setting a European record of 2:05:48 in the Fukuoka Marathon in December 2017, Moen missed the majority of the 2018 campaign due to a combination of illness and injury but the 28-year-old is working his way back to form and fitness. 

Moen returned to competition with a second-place finish in the 5km Herculis in 13:37 and next on the agenda is the Gdynia Half Marathon on Sunday, a five-star certified road race by European Athletics Running for All.

“I am just happy to have made it back from my injuries - especially the tendon tear in the groin - and be in condition to run a honest half marathon again considering that I have only three months of running since my DNF at the European Championships last year,” said Moen, who stepped off the road just after the halfway point in Berlin last August.

“My training is not yet at the highest level, but my race in Monaco over 5km showed that I am on the right direction. On Sunday I expect strong competition and a fast race from the start,” he said. 

Moen ran his half marathon lifetime best of 59:48 in Valencia in the build-up to the Fukuoka Marathon - a time which makes him the fourth fastest European of all-time. Moen isn’t quite in the shape to break the one hour-mark at this early juncture of his comeback but he is aiming for a time around the 62 minute-mark.

“If the weather conditions cooperate on race day, I would be happy to run my second fastest time ever,” said Moen, whose second fastest time stands at 62:19. 

(03/16/2019) ⚡AMP
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ONICO Gdynia Half Marathon

ONICO Gdynia Half Marathon

Gdynia Half Marathon debuted in 2016, becoming one of the biggest half marathons in Poland in the first year. The race offers a unique opportunity to launch the spring season in Gdynia - "the city made of dreams and the sea".The beautiful and touristic city of Gdynia, the highest organizational standards as well as the attractive run course make...

more...
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Poland’s Gdynia Half Marathon is already in the lime light in just three years

The third annual Gdynia Half Marathon has Hillary Maiyo and last year’s runner-up Christine Oigo on the starting line. This year’s race took on new significance after Gdynia was chosen to host the 2020 IAAF World Half Marathon Championships. A field of nearly 7000 runners will be competing. The race may not have a long history, but Maiyo has already become a repeat winner, taking victories in both 2016 and 2017, the former in a course record of 1:02:41. In recent years, the Kenyan has raced prolifically in Poland, with more than a dozen half marathon victories, including six in 2017 alone (with two of them coming on consecutive days). Poland's Marcin Chabowski will be hoping to keep pace with the leading contenders. The 2005 European U20 steeplechase champion has in recent years been Poland's top half marathon specialist. While his best of 1:02:26 dates back to 2011, he has been successful over the distance more recently with a fourth-place finish at the 2016 European Championships and wins in Poznan and Warsaw last year. (03/16/2018) ⚡AMP
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