Half marathon world record progression
The world record in the half marathon has been officially recognised since 1 January 2004 by the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF), the international governing body for the sport of athletics. A total of five men's world records and six women's world records have been officially ratified since that date. The IAAF officially recognised the fastest times prior to that date as a "world best" from 1 January 2003 onwards. Before that date, the IAAF did not recognise any road running world records, though the concept of a world record was recognised by other organisations, such as the Association of Road Racing Statisticians (ARRS).
The women's record is 1:04:31, set by Ababel Yeshaneh on 21 February 2020, at the Ras Al Khaimah Half Marathon in the United Arab Emirates. The previous record of 1:04:51 was set by Joyciline Jepkosgei of Kenya on 22 October 2017, in Valencia, Spain. On 8 September 2019, Brigid Kosgei ran a time of 64:28 minutes at the 2019 Great North Run in Newcastle, England, 23 seconds faster than previous best, however the Great North Run is not eligible for record purposes. The IAAF has since 2011 also kept records for the fastest time run by women in women-only races (i.e. without male pacemakers). The best time for that category is held by Peres Jepchirchir, who ran 1:05:16 in Gdynia on 17 October 2020. There was some criticism of this change, as the IAAF originally intended to downgrade world records set in mixed gender races to "world best" status, but in response the organisation agreed to maintain historic marks as official.
Races close to the official half marathon distance of 21.0975 kilometres (13.1094 mi) had taken place throughout the early 20th century, and athletes had also been timed at the midpoint of full marathons, but the first half marathon races proper emerged in the 1960s. Some of that era, such as the Route du Vin Half Marathon and San Blas Half Marathon (which both took the official distance in 1966) are extant today. The earliest half marathon world record accepted by the Association of Track and Field Statisticians is that of 67:01 minutes ran by Englishman Brian Hill-Cottingham in Romford in 1960. For women, the earliest ARRS-recognised time is that of American Kathy Gibbons, who finished the distance in 83:56 on 7 March 1971 in Phoenix, Arizona. The earliest men's and women's marks recognised as world records by the IAAF are 65:44 set by Ron Hill in 1965 and 75:04 set by Marty Cooksey in 1978.
World record progression
IAAF as a world best prior to official acceptance Listed by the
IAAF as a world best (since 1 January 2003) or world record (since 1 January 2004) Ratified by the
 Recognized by the Association of Road Racing Statisticians
|1:07:01||Brian Hill-Cottingham||United Kingdom||9 April 1960||Romford||ARRS|
|1:05:44||Ron Hill||United Kingdom||19 June 1965||Freckleton||IAAF, ARRS|
|1:05:42||Pete Ravald||United Kingdom||18 June 1966||Freckleton||IAAF, ARRS|
|1:04:28||Abebe Bikila||Ethiopia||21 October 1964||Tokyo||IAAF||[Note 1][Note 2]|
|1:03:22||Derek Clayton||Australia||3 December 1967||Fukuoka Marathon||IAAF||[Note 1][Note 2]|
|1:04:45||Ron Hill||United Kingdom||21 June 1969||Freckleton||IAAF, ARRS|
|1:03:53||Derek Graham||United Kingdom||2 May 1970||Belfast||IAAF, ARRS|
|1:03:46||Juan Rafael Angel Perez||Costa Rica||8 February 1976||Coamo||IAAF, ARRS|
|1:03:46||Jose Reveyn||Belgium||27 March 1976||The Hague||IAAF|
|1:02:57||Miruts Yifter||Ethiopia||6 February 1977||Coamo||IAAF||IAAF notes unrounded time as 1:02:56.3|
|1:02:37||Toshihiro Matsumoto||Japan||6 February 1977||Beppu, Ōita||ARRS|
|1:02:47||Tony Simmons||United Kingdom||24 June 1978||Welwyn Garden City||IAAF|
|1:02:36||Nick Rose||United Kingdom||14 October 1979||Dayton||IAAF, ARRS|
|1:02:32||Kirk Pfeffer||United States||7 December 1979||Las Vegas||IAAF, ARRS|
|1:02:16||Stan Mavis||United States||27 January 1980||New Orleans||IAAF, ARRS|
|1:01:47||Herb Lindsay||United States||20 September 1981||Manchester, Vermont||IAAF|
|1:01:36||Michael Musyoki||Kenya||19 September 1982||Philadelphia||IAAF, ARRS|
|1:01:32||Paul Cummings||United States||25 September 1983||Dayton||IAAF, ARRS|
|1:01:14||Steve Jones||United Kingdom||11 August 1985||Birmingham||IAAF, ARRS|
|1:00:55||Mark Curp||United States||15 September 1985||Philadelphia||IAAF, ARRS|
|1:00:43||Michael Musyoki||Kenya||8 June 1986||South Shields||IAAF||[Note 1]|
|1:00:10||Matthews Temane||South Africa||25 July 1987||East London||IAAF||[Note 1]|
|1:00:46||Dionicio Cerón||Mexico||16 September 1990||Philadelphia||ARRS|
|1:00:06||Steve Moneghetti||Australia||24 January 1993||Tokyo||IAAF||[Note 1]|
|1:00:24||Benson Masya||Kenya||3 April 1993||The Hague||ARRS|
|59:47||Moses Tanui||Kenya||3 April 1993||Milan||IAAF|
|1:00:13||Paul Tergat||Kenya||15 April 1993||Milan||ARRS|
|59:56||Shem Kororia||Kenya||4 October 1997||Košice||ARRS|
|59:43||António Pinto||Portugal||15 March 1998||Lisbon||IAAF||[Note 1]|
|59:17||Paul Tergat||Kenya||4 April 1998||Milan||IAAF, ARRS|
|59:06||Paul Tergat||Kenya||26 March 2000||Lisbon||IAAF||[Note 1]|
|59:16||Samuel Wanjiru||Kenya||11 September 2005||Rotterdam||IAAF, ARRS||ARRS notes unrounded time as 59:15.8|
|59:05||Zersenay Tadese||Eritrea||18 September 2005||South Shields||IAAF||[Note 1]|
|58:55||Haile Gebrselassie||Ethiopia||15 January 2006||Tempe||IAAF||Disputed by ARRS due to advantage of wind-shielding by a vehicle|
|59:07||Paul Malakwen Kosgei||Kenya||2 April 2006||Berlin||ARRS|
|58:53||Samuel Wanjiru||Kenya||9 February 2007||Ras al-Khaimah||IAAF, ARRS|
|58:33||Samuel Wanjiru||Kenya||17 March 2007||The Hague||IAAF, ARRS||ARRS notes time as 58:35|
|58:23||Zersenay Tadese||Eritrea||21 March 2010||Lisbon||IAAF, ARRS|
|58:18||Abraham Kiptum||Kenya||28 October 2018||Valencia||IAAF||suspended for doping (26 April 2019)|
|58:01||Geoffrey Kamworor||Kenya||15 September 2019||Copenhagen||IAAF |
|1:23:56||Kathy Gibbons||United States||7 March 1971||Phoenix, Arizona||ARRS|
|1:23:11||Chantal Langlacé||France||8 September 1974||Aÿ-Champagne||ARRS|
|1:22:05||Silvana Cruciata||Italy||3 April 1977||Milan||ARRS|
|1:19:45||Marja Wokke||Netherlands||8 January 1978||Egmond aan Zee||ARRS|
|1:18:44||Silvana Cruciata||Italy||16 April 1978||Milan||ARRS|
|1:18:30||Jean Abare||United States||4 July 1978||Coronado, California||ARRS|
|1:15:04||Marty Cooksey||United States||26 August 1978||San Diego||IAAF||[Note 1]|
|1:17:48||Daniele Justin||Belgium||12 November 1978||Nazaré, Portugal||ARRS|
|1:15:58||Miki Gorman||United States||19 November 1978||Pasadena||IAAF, ARRS|
|1:15:01||Ellison Goodall||United States||10 March 1979||Winston-Salem||IAAF, ARRS|
|1:14:50||Kathy Mintie||United States||25 August 1979||San Diego||IAAF||[Note 1]|
|1:14:04||Patti Catalano||United States||23 September 1979||Manchester, Vermont||IAAF, ARRS||ARRS notes time as 1:14:03|
|1:13:59||Marja Wokke||Netherlands||29 March 1980||The Hague||IAAF, ARRS|
|1:13:26||Joan Benoit||United States||18 January 1981||New Orleans||IAAF, ARRS|
|1:11:16||Joan Benoit||United States||7 March 1981||San Diego||IAAF, ARRS|
|1:09:57||Grete Waitz||Norway||15 May 1982||Gothenburg||IAAF, ARRS|
|1:09:14||Joan Benoit||United States||18 September 1983||Philadelphia||IAAF, ARRS||ARRS notes time as 1:09:10|
|1:08:34||Joan Benoit||United States||16 September 1984||Philadelphia||IAAF, ARRS|
|1:06:40||Ingrid Kristiansen||Norway||5 April 1987||Sandnes||IAAF, ARRS||[Note 1]|
|1:08:32||Ingrid Kristiansen||Norway||19 March 1989||New Bedford||IAAF|
|1:07:59||Elana Meyer||South Africa||18 May 1991||East London||IAAF|
|1:07:59||Uta Pippig||Germany||20 March 1994||Kyoto||IAAF|
|1:07:58||Uta Pippig||Germany||19 March 1995||Kyoto||IAAF|
|1:07:36||Elana Meyer||South Africa||9 March 1997||Kyoto||IAAF|
|1:07:29||Elana Meyer||South Africa||8 March 1998||Kyoto||IAAF|
|1:06:44||Elana Meyer||South Africa||15 January 1999||Tokyo||IAAF|
|1:05:44||Susan Chepkemei||Kenya||1 April 2001||Lisbon||IAAF||[Note 1]|
|1:05:40||Paula Radcliffe||United Kingdom||21 September 2003||South Shields||IAAF||IAAF notes unrounded time as 1:05:39.6 [Note 1]|
|1:06:25 (women only)||Lornah Kiplagat||Netherlands||14 October 2007||World RR Champs, Udine||IAAF, ARRS||First world record recognized by the International Association of Athletics Federations. Mark also recognized as official world record.|
|1:05:50 (mixed gender)||Mary Keitany||Kenya||18 February 2011||Ras al-Khaimah||IAAF|
|1:05:12 (mixed gender)||Florence Kiplagat||Kenya||16 February 2014||Barcelona||IAAF|
|1:05:09 (mixed gender)||Florence Kiplagat||Kenya||15 February 2015||Barcelona||IAAF|
|1:05:06 (mixed gender)||Peres Jepchirchir||Kenya||10 February 2017||Ras al-Khaimah||IAAF|
|1:04:52 (mixed gender)||Joyciline Jepkosgei||Kenya||1 April 2017||Prague||IAAF|
|1:04:51 (mixed gender)||Joyciline Jepkosgei||Kenya||22 October 2017||Valencia||IAAF|
|1:06:11 (women only)||Netsanet Gudeta||Ethiopia||24 March 2018||World HM Champs, Valencia||IAAF|
|1:04:31 (mixed gender)||Ababel Yeshaneh||Ethiopia||21 February 2020||Ras al-Khaimah||IAAF|
|1:05:34 (women only)||Peres Jepchirchir||Kenya||5 September 2020||Prague||World Athletics|
|1:05:16 (women only)||Peres Jepchirchir||Kenya||17 October 2020||Gdynia||World Athletics|
- IAAF Statistics Book – IAAF World Championships Beijing 2015. IAAF (2015), pp. 684-5, 805-6. Retrieved on 19 February 2017
- World Best Progressions- Road. Association of Road Racing Statisticians. Retrieved on 19 February 2017.
- Valiente, Emeterio (28 October 2018). "FLASH: Kiptum breaks world half marathon record in Valencia with 58:18". IAAF. Retrieved 28 October 2018.
- "Brigid Kosgei run fastest half-marathon ever by a woman". Athletics Weekly. Retrieved 8 September 2019.
- Paula Radcliffe keeps her marathon world record in IAAF about-turn . The Guardian (10 November 2011). Retrieved on 19 February 2017.
- Route du Vin Half Marathon. ARRS. Retrieved on 19 February 2017.
- San Blas Half Marathon. ARRS. Retrieved on 19 February 2017.
- Doing Things By Half. SPIKES Magazine (29 March 2016). Retrieved on 19 February 2017.
- Robinson, Roger (28 July 2010). Footsteps: Historic half Marathon. Runner's World. Retrieved on 19 February 2017.
- IAAF (10 May 2010). "World Records Ratified". Monte Carlo. Retrieved 26 June 2011.
- IAAF (6 December 2018). "World record ratified". Retrieved 8 December 2018.
- Jon Mulkeen (15 September 2019). "Kamworor breaks world half marathon record in Copenhagen with 58:01". IAAF. Retrieved 27 September 2019.
- "Keitany smashes half marathon world record in Ras Al Khaimah". IAAF. 18 February 2011. Retrieved 3 May 2015.
- "Jepchirchir smashes women-only half marathon world record in Prague". World Athletics. 5 September 2020. Retrieved 11 September 2020.
- "Peres Jepchirchir breaks women's half-marathon world record". BBC. 17 October 2020. Retrieved 17 October 2020.