Jepkosgei sets new half marathon record

Joyciline Jepkosgei crosses the finish line Image courtesy of the organizers

Kenyan athlete Joyciline Jepkosgei won the Valencia Trinidad Alfonso half marathon in a world record time of 1:04:51, taking just over a second off her previous mark.

The race started at a brisk pace, with her Kenyan compatriot Ezekiel Kemboi tasked to set the tone for the race at a steady 3:05 per kilometer.

The early split times showed that the world record was indeed under threat, with the first 5km completed in 14:52.
The 23-year-old Jepkosgei continued the brisk pace over the next 5km, reaching the 10km mark at 30:09, just short of her world 10km record of 29:43, set in Prague earlier this year.

Despite continuing to run on Kemboi's shoulder, Jepkosgei's pace notably dropped in the next 5km, clocking 15km at 45:59, well down on the 45:37 she set during her 1:04:52 half marathon time in Prague.

To the delight of the crowd, she picked up the pace again over the next 5km and by the 20km mark, Jepkosgei was only five seconds off the world record pace.

A thrilling run down the home straight then allowed Jepkosgei to beat the clock and set her sixth world record of the year.

"It was my first race in Valencia, I enjoyed a lot, the weather is nice, the circuit is perfect to run fast," Jepkosgei said after the race.

"I hope to come back in March for the World Half Marathon Championships."

Bahrain's Abraham Cheroben won the men's race in 59:11.