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Jepchirchir breaks women-only world record at World Athletics Half Marathon Championships Gdynia 2020

In an arena where endurance is king, speed also proved a precious commodity. In the end, Peres Jepchirchir needed both to reign supreme in the women’s race at the World Athletics Half Marathon Championships Gdynia 2020 on Saturday (17), powering to gold in 1:05:16, a world record* in a women-only race.

She led home Germany's Melat Yisak Kejeta, who smashed the European women-only record to take silver in 1:05:18, with Ethiopia’s Yalemzerf Yehualaw a close third in 1:05:19.

In a race blighted by falls, where three of the leading contenders saw their chances scuppered through unfortunate incidents, the race boiled down to a clash between those able to stay on their feet through the four laps around the streets of Gdynia.

On what was a cold, breezy morning alongside the Baltic Sea, the pace was scorching from the outset. Kenya’s Joyciline Jepkosgei was one of the chief aggressors, leading a pack of 13 through the first 5km in 15:20. Midway through the second lap the first casualties began to show from that group and it was whittled to eight, with Turkey’s Yasemin Can another keen to push things along.

Ethiopia’s Netsanet Gudeta’s race almost came to an abrupt stop as the leaders took a 90-degree turn on to the seafront, the defending champion taking a fall and losing several seconds to the leaders. It was a gap she would never close, the Ethiopian slipping farther behind during the third lap.

Can led a group of seven through 10km in 30:47, but on the third lap Jepchirchir made her first strong move, the women-only half marathon world record holder injecting a surge and putting many of those behind in visible distress.

At this point a trio of Ethiopians – Ababel Yeshaneh, Zeineba Yimer and Yehualaw – were coasting quietly in their slipstream along with Germany’s Kejeta, and as they turned away from the beach to head out on their final lap Yehualaw made her first move towards the front.

However, Jepkosgei soon seized the advantage again as they ran uphill, with a pack of seven reaching 15km in 46:24. The entire spectre of the race changed with 54 minutes on the clock. Yeshaneh surged to the front but soon began to drift towards the kerb due to the camber of the road, her legs tangling with Jepkosgei and both athletes hitting the deck.

Both were left some 30 metres in arrears by the time they were up and running, with Yehualaw, Can and Kejeta suddenly left alone out front, Yimer and Can also falling off pace as the leaders powered downhill towards the coast for the final time.

Yehualaw and Jepchirchir ran side by side, with Kejeta hanging tough in their slipstream, and as they turned for home with less than a kilometre to run the three ran side by side towards the finish.

Jepchirchir bided her time and took advantage as Yehualaw hesitated entering the finishing straight, the Kenyan 27-year-old digging in and surging clear to a memorable victory. Kejeta took more than three minutes off her personal best in second and the 28-year-old, who previously represented Ethiopia, was ecstatic with her runner-up spot.

"It's unbelievable," said Jepchirchir. "My goal was to win this race. I did not expect that I would beat the world record, but I realised that it could happen when we passed 20km. It was a little bit windy, but the course was good for me."

Back in third, Yehualaw led Ethiopia to gold in the team event to back up the title they won at the last edition two years ago, with Yimer’s 1:05:39 in fourth and Yeshaneh’s 1:05:41 in fifth giving them the quickest cumulative time with 3:16:39, smashing the championship record. Kenya took team silver with 3:18:10 while Germany took bronze with 3:28:42.

In a race of unprecedented depth, the first six women finished inside 66 minutes and the top nine finished inside 67 minutes.

(10/17/2020) Views: 68 ⚡AMP
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ONICO Gdynia Half Marathon

ONICO Gdynia Half Marathon

The date for Gdynia Half Marathon Mass start was moved from March to October 17,2020. This year's race will only be for Elite runners. The first race 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...

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One week after selling out its 20,000 entries for the mass race at the World Athletics Half Marathon Championships Gdynia 2020, the local organizing committee has made an additional 5000 places available

The event, which will take place on 29 March 2020, has already become the best-selling half marathon ever in Poland and now has a chance to become the biggest mass participation road running event in the country.

“We are delighted to see all the excitement around the World Athletics Half Marathon Championships Gdynia 2020,” said Marek Łucyk, Deputy Mayor of Gdynia.

“Having consulted all the engaged parties and having made sure we will be able to accommodate a higher number of runners, we are pleased to announce that additional entries are now on sale. The city of Gdynia is looking forward to this great celebration of running on 29 March.”

The World Athletics Half Marathon Championships Gdynia 2020 is a unique opportunity to line up alongside the world’s best road runners, competing on the same day and on the same course with them.

The race in Gdynia features a spectacular finish on the beach as well as the uniquely crafted finishers' medal with a drop of amber and a compass inside.

Among the 20,000 registered mass race participants, there are runners from 61 different countries. Entries can be purchased via slotmarket.pl. The entry fee is now 180 PLN (ca. 42 EUR) and will increase from 1 December 2019.

(11/26/2019) Views: 630 ⚡AMP
by World Athletics
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ONICO Gdynia Half Marathon

ONICO Gdynia Half Marathon

The date for Gdynia Half Marathon Mass start was moved from March to October 17,2020. This year's race will only be for Elite runners. The first race 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...

more...
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Organizers of the World Athletics Half Marathon Championships Gdynia 2020 have presented the official medals that will be handed out to finishers of the mass race

Half Marathon Championships Gdynia 2020 registration for the mass race opened in May and 10,000 runners have already signed up.

The finisher medal is thick, precisely designed and crafted in a compass shape. The front of the medal shows the recently revealed event logo with a drop of amber – treasure of the Baltic Sea region – sunk in the face of each finisher medal. On the reverse, there is a contour of Poland with some space in which to engrave a name and race result.

But the best feature of the medal is on the inside. Once opened, a working compass mechanism is revealed – a nod to Gdynia as ‘the city of dreams and sea’ and Poland’s window to the world.

“More than 10,000 runners from nearly 50 countries have already registered and our goal is to make them leave Gdynia with the best possible experience and memories,” said Wojciech Szczurek, Mayor of Gdynia. “I do hope our finisher medal will be proudly hung in many running trophy collections all over the world.”

Together with the finisher medal presentation, the local organising committee also launched the official event website: worldathleticshalfmarathon.com/gdynia2020/

Registration for the event has been open since 1 May on SlotMarket.pl. The current entry fee is 170 PLN and includes a bib, a timing chip, insurance, medical care, official t-shirt and a finisher medal. The starting kit can be supplemented with add-ons, including accommodation, finisher photos, cancellation insurance and medal engraving that can be ordered directly while signing up for the race.

(10/11/2019) Views: 676 ⚡AMP
by IAAF
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ONICO Gdynia Half Marathon

ONICO Gdynia Half Marathon

The date for Gdynia Half Marathon Mass start was moved from March to October 17,2020. This year's race will only be for Elite runners. The first race 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...

more...
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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) Views: 969 ⚡AMP
by IAAF
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ONICO Gdynia Half Marathon

ONICO Gdynia Half Marathon

The date for Gdynia Half Marathon Mass start was moved from March to October 17,2020. This year's race will only be for Elite runners. The first race 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...

more...
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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) Views: 965 ⚡AMP
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ONICO Gdynia Half Marathon

ONICO Gdynia Half Marathon

The date for Gdynia Half Marathon Mass start was moved from March to October 17,2020. This year's race will only be for Elite runners. The first race 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...

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) Views: 1,050 ⚡AMP
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