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7 December 2020   |   Blog   |   

New Rules and New Records as Kibiwott Kandie Smashes Half Marathon Record.

On 6th December 2020, some of the world’s best elite athletes lined up for the Valencia Marathon and Half Marathon. It was perhaps the last chance for some 2020 glory, and the races did not disappoint.


In the marathon team Kenya were dominant. Evans Chebet claimed the win in a new course record of 2:03;00 with compatriot Lauwrence Cherono just 4 seconds behind. In the women’s race Peres Jepchirchir set a world leading time of 2:17:16. Her performance puts her into 5th for women’s all time best marathon performances.

Image from Valencia Marathon 2018

Half Marathon 

However, it was in the half marathon that sparks really flew. Kibiwott Kandie of Kenya set the winning time of 57:32. Smashing the previous record, set by Geoffrey Kamworor at Copenhagen in 2019, by some 29 seconds. The entire race went at a tremendous pace, with the leaders at 13:37 for 5K and 27:25 for 10K.

Behind Kandie, Ugandan runner Kiplimo finished, 5 seconds back, in 57:37. Rhonex Kipruto came in third in 57:49, and Alexander Mutiso was the final man under 58:00, with a time of 57:59.

This stunning new record has shocked the world, smashing through the 58 minute barrier, with an average pace of just 2:44 per KM!

The previous world record of 58:01 was set by Geoffrey Kamworor of Kenya in 2019.
Fancy Footwear

When he set the record Kandie was wearing a new prototype shoe, the Adidas Adizero Adios Pros. The shoes contain 39mm foam as well as five tuned carbon-infused ‘energy’ rods that are designed to mimic the action of the metatarsals. This new world record then perhaps emphasizes the impact of technology on the latest wave of running world records.

In the last few months alone, Joshua Cheptegei and Letesenbet Gidey have claimed new records (in the men’s 10000m and women’s 5000m) wearing the new Nike ZoomX Dragonfly spikes, claimed to be the fastest running shoes in the world, while Mo Farah and Siffan Hassan have broken both the men’s and women’s 1 hr records in Nike prototype shoes.

This new record itself was set on the very day  that World Athletics allowed the use of prototype shoes in races (with the exception of World Athletics series and Olympic Games races). While many welcome the advances of technology, some are more tentative to accept change. There are athletes and coaches who fear that, unless all athletes can access the same technology at the same time, there won’t be a level playing field.

“The solution,” claimed top coach Toni Minichiello, “is to push back to the shoe companies to create and agree the rules and have to share their tech to level the playing field.”

Next year, the Valencia Half Marathon, along with the previous World Record course the Copenhagen Half, will be part of the brand new Superhalfs Series. The series consists of races in Valencia, Copenhagen, Prague, Lisbon and Cardiff. Some of the fastest and most prestigious half marathon races in the world. Test yourself against the world’s favourite race distances, on one of the best courses out there, with Sports Travel International!

Should prototype shoes be permitted in top level racing? Is it an exciting way to push boundaries, or does it give some runners an unfair advantage? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below…



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