Half marathon world record progression

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Abraham Kiptum, the holder of the men's half marathon world record.

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,[1] though the concept of a world record was recognised by other organisations, such as the Association of Road Racing Statisticians (ARRS).[2]

The men's half-marathon world record is 58.01 minutes, by Kenyan Geoffrey Kamworor on 15 September 2019 at the Copenhagen Half Marathon.[3]

The women's record is 1:04:51, set by Joyciline Jepkosgei of Kenya on October 22, 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.[4] 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 Kenyan-born Dutchwoman Lornah Kiplagat, who ran 66:25 minutes at the 2007 IAAF World Road Running Championships in Udine on 14 October.[5][6] 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.[7]

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.[8][9] 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.[10][11] 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.[2] 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.[1]

World record progression[edit]

  Listed by the IAAF as a world best prior to official acceptance[1]
  Ratified by the IAAF as a world best (since January 1, 2003) or world record (since January 1, 2004)[1]
  Recognized by the Association of Road Racing Statisticians[2]


Time Name Nationality Date Event/Place Source Notes
1:07:01 Brian Hill-Cottingham  United Kingdom April 9, 1960 Romford ARRS[2]
1:05:44 Ron Hill  United Kingdom June 19, 1965 Freckleton IAAF,[1] ARRS[2]
1:05:42 Pete Ravald  United Kingdom June 18, 1966 Freckleton IAAF,[1] ARRS[2]
1:04:28 Abebe Bikila  Ethiopia October 21, 1964 Tokyo IAAF[1] [Note 1][Note 2]
1:03:22 Derek Clayton  Australia December 3, 1967 Fukuoka Marathon IAAF[1] [Note 1][Note 2]
1:04:45 Ron Hill  United Kingdom June 21, 1969 Freckleton IAAF,[1] ARRS[2]
1:03:53 Derek Graham  United Kingdom May 2, 1970 Belfast IAAF,[1] ARRS[2]
1:03:46 Juan Rafael Angel Perez  Costa Rica February 8, 1976 Coamo IAAF,[1] ARRS[2]
1:03:46 Jose Reveyn  Belgium March 27, 1976 The Hague IAAF[1]
1:02:57 Miruts Yifter  Ethiopia February 6, 1977 Coamo IAAF[1] IAAF notes unrounded time as 1:02:56.3
1:02:37 Toshihiro Matsumoto  Japan February 6, 1977 Beppu, Ōita ARRS[2]
1:02:47 Tony Simmons  United Kingdom June 24, 1978 Welwyn Garden City IAAF[1]
1:02:36 Nick Rose  United Kingdom October 14, 1979 Dayton IAAF,[1] ARRS[2]
1:02:32 Kirk Pfeffer  United States December 7, 1979 Las Vegas IAAF,[1] ARRS[2]
1:02:16 Stan Mavis  United States January 27, 1980 New Orleans IAAF,[1] ARRS[2]
1:01:47 Herb Lindsay  United States September 20, 1981 Manchester, Vermont IAAF[1]
1:01:36 Michael Musyoki  Kenya September 19, 1982 Philadelphia IAAF,[1] ARRS[2]
1:01:32 Paul Cummings  United States September 25, 1983 Dayton IAAF,[1] ARRS[2]
1:01:14 Steve Jones  United Kingdom August 11, 1985 Birmingham IAAF,[1] ARRS[2]
1:00:55 Mark Curp  United States September 15, 1985 Philadelphia IAAF,[1] ARRS[2]
1:00:43 Michael Musyoki  Kenya June 8, 1986 South Shields IAAF[1] [Note 1]
1:00:10 Matthews Temane  South Africa July 25, 1987 East London IAAF[1] [Note 1]
1:00:46 Dionicio Cerón  Mexico September 16, 1990 Philadelphia ARRS[2]
1:00:06 Steve Moneghetti  Australia January 24, 1993 Tokyo IAAF[1] [Note 1]
1:00:24 Benson Masya  Kenya April 3, 1993 The Hague ARRS[2]
59:47 Moses Tanui  Kenya April 3, 1993 Milan IAAF[1]
1:00:13 Paul Tergat  Kenya April 15, 1993 Milan ARRS[2]
59:56 Shem Kororia  Kenya October 4, 1997 Košice ARRS[2]
59:43 António Pinto  Portugal March 15, 1998 Lisbon IAAF[1] [Note 1]
59:17 Paul Tergat  Kenya April 4, 1998 Milan IAAF,[1] ARRS[2]
59:06 Paul Tergat  Kenya March 26, 2000 Lisbon IAAF[1] [Note 1]
59:16 Samuel Wanjiru  Kenya September 11, 2005 Rotterdam IAAF,[1] ARRS[2] ARRS notes unrounded time as 59:15.8
59:05 Zersenay Tadese  Eritrea September 18, 2005 South Shields IAAF[1] [Note 1]
58:55 Haile Gebrselassie  Ethiopia January 15, 2006 Tempe IAAF[1] Disputed by ARRS due to advantage of wind-shielding by a vehicle[2]
59:07 Paul Malakwen Kosgei  Kenya April 2, 2006 Berlin ARRS[2]
58:53 Samuel Wanjiru  Kenya February 9, 2007 Ras al-Khaimah IAAF,[1] ARRS[2]
58:33 Samuel Wanjiru  Kenya March 17, 2007 The Hague IAAF,[1] ARRS[2] ARRS notes time as 58:35
58:23 Zersenay Tadese  Eritrea March 21, 2010 Lisbon IAAF,[12] ARRS[2]
58:18 Abraham Kiptum  Kenya October 28, 2018 Valencia IAAF[3], IAAF[13] suspended for doping (26th April 2019)
58:01 Geoffrey Kamworor  Kenya September 15, 2019 Copenhagen


Time Name Nationality Date Event/Place Source Notes
1:23:56 Kathy Gibbons  United States March 7, 1971 Phoenix, Arizona ARRS[2]
1:23:11 Chantal Langlacé  France September 8, 1974 Aÿ-Champagne ARRS[2]
1:22:05 Silvana Cruciata  Italy April 3, 1977 Milan ARRS[2]
1:19:45 Marja Wokke  Netherlands January 8, 1978 Egmond aan Zee ARRS[2]
1:18:44 Silvana Cruciata  Italy April 16, 1978 Milan ARRS[2]
1:18:30 Jean Abare  United States July 4, 1978 Coronado, California ARRS[2]
1:15:04 Marty Cooksey  United States August 26, 1978 San Diego IAAF[1] [Note 1]
1:17:48 Daniele Justin  Belgium November 12, 1978 Nazaré, Portugal ARRS[2]
1:15:58 Miki Gorman  United States November 19, 1978 Pasadena IAAF,[1] ARRS[2]
1:15:01 Ellison Goodall  United States March 10, 1979 Winston-Salem IAAF,[1] ARRS[2]
1:14:50 Kathy Mintie  United States August 25, 1979 San Diego IAAF[1] [Note 1]
1:14:04 Patti Catalano  United States September 23, 1979 Manchester, Vermont IAAF,[1] ARRS[2] ARRS notes time as 1:14:03
1:13:59 Marja Wokke  Netherlands March 29, 1980 The Hague IAAF,[1] ARRS[2]
1:13:26 Joan Benoit  United States January 18, 1981 New Orleans IAAF,[1] ARRS[2]
1:11:16 Joan Benoit  United States March 7, 1981 San Diego IAAF,[1] ARRS[2]
1:09:57 Grete Waitz  Norway May 15, 1982 Gothenburg IAAF,[1] ARRS[2]
1:09:14 Joan Benoit  United States September 18, 1983 Philadelphia IAAF,[1] ARRS[2] ARRS notes time as 1:09:10
1:08:34 Joan Benoit  United States September 16, 1984 Philadelphia IAAF,[1] ARRS[2]
1:06:40 Ingrid Kristiansen  Norway April 5, 1987 Sandnes IAAF,[1] ARRS[2] [Note 1]
1:08:32 Ingrid Kristiansen  Norway March 19, 1989 New Bedford IAAF[1]
1:07:59 Elana Meyer  South Africa May 18, 1991 East London IAAF[1]
1:07:59 Uta Pippig  Germany March 20, 1994 Kyoto IAAF[1]
1:07:58 Uta Pippig  Germany March 19, 1995 Kyoto IAAF[1]
1:07:36 Elana Meyer  South Africa March 9, 1997 Kyoto IAAF[1]
1:07:29 Elana Meyer  South Africa March 8, 1998 Kyoto IAAF[1]
1:06:44 Elana Meyer  South Africa January 15, 1999 Tokyo IAAF[1]
1:05:44 Susan Chepkemei  Kenya April 1, 2001 Lisbon IAAF[1] [Note 1]
1:05:40 Paula Radcliffe  United Kingdom September 21, 2003 South Shields IAAF[1] IAAF notes unrounded time as 1:05:39.6 [Note 1]
1:06:25 (women only) Lornah Kiplagat  Netherlands October 14, 2007 World RR Champs, Udine IAAF,[1] ARRS[2] 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 February 18, 2011 Ras al-Khaimah IAAF[14]
1:05:12 (mixed gender) Florence Kiplagat  Kenya February 16, 2014 Barcelona IAAF[1]
1:05:09 (mixed gender) Florence Kiplagat  Kenya February 15, 2015 Barcelona IAAF[1]
1:05:06 (mixed gender) Peres Jepchirchir  Kenya February 10, 2017 Ras al-Khaimah IAAF[1]
1:04:52 (mixed gender) Joyciline Jepkosgei  Kenya April 1, 2017 Prague IAAF[1]
1:04:51 (mixed gender) Joyciline Jepkosgei  Kenya October 22, 2017 Valencia IAAF[1]
1:06:11 (women only)[Note 3] Netsanet Gudeta  Ethiopia March 24, 2018 World HM Champs, Valencia IAAF[1]


  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m Noted by the IAAF as set on uncertified or aided course which does not fulfill the criteria specified in IAAF Rule 260.28.b or 260.28.c.
  2. ^ a b Noted by the IAAF as set en route to longer distances.
  3. ^ Pending ratification


  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t u v w x y z aa ab ac ad ae af ag ah ai aj ak al am an ao ap aq ar as at au av aw ax ay az ba bb bc bd be bf bg bh bi bj IAAF Statistics Book – IAAF World Championships Beijing 2015. IAAF (2015), pp. 684-5, 805-6. Retrieved on 2017-02-19
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t u v w x y z aa ab ac ad ae af ag ah ai aj ak al am an ao ap aq ar as at World Best Progressions- Road. Association of Road Racing Statisticians. Retrieved on 2017-02-19.
  3. ^ a b Valiente, Emeterio (28 October 2018). "FLASH: Kiptum breaks world half marathon record in Valencia with 58:18". IAAF. Retrieved 28 October 2018.
  4. ^ "Brigid Kosgei run fastest half-marathon ever by a woman". Athletics Weekly. Retrieved 8 September 2019.
  5. ^ World Records. IAAF. Retrieved on 2017-02-19.
  6. ^ Tim Hutchings (10 February 2017). "Jepchirchir breaks world half marathon record in Ras al-Khaimah". IAAF. Retrieved 10 February 2017.
  7. ^ Paula Radcliffe keeps her marathon world record in IAAF about-turn . The Guardian (2011-11-10). Retrieved on 2017-02-19.
  8. ^ Route du Vin Half Marathon. ARRS. Retrieved on 2017-02-19.
  9. ^ San Blas Half Marathon. ARRS. Retrieved on 2017-02-19.
  10. ^ Doing Things By Half. SPIKES Magazine (2016-03-29). Retrieved on 2017-02-19.
  11. ^ Robinson, Roger (2010-07-28). Footsteps: Historic half Marathon. Runner's World. Retrieved on 2017-02-19.
  12. ^ IAAF (May 10, 2010). "World Records Ratified". Monte Carlo. Retrieved June 26, 2011.
  13. ^ IAAF (6 December 2018). "World record ratified". Retrieved 8 December 2018.
  14. ^ "Keitany smashes half marathon world record in Ras Al Khaimah". IAAF. February 18, 2011. Retrieved 2015-05-03.

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