Half marathon: numbers that will amaze you

Hugo Cappelaere 23. February 2022

If the 10-km run is one of the most popular running distances and the marathon is the most legendary, what about the half marathon?

Even though it isn’t an Olympic distance, it has always enjoyed a certain degree of popularity among runners worldwide. It seems to be the perfect compromise between long and short distances.

But do you know everything about the half marathon?

The distance attracts all kinds of records. From the most serious to the most original.


This is the time it took Jacob Kiplimo to run the 21.1 km in Lisbon in 2021. It’s the world record and the fastest time that has ever been run.

He allegedly could have been even faster since he was under 57 minutes at the 15-kilometre mark. His split time at 10 km was 27:25 minutes. Simply stratospheric! A speed of 22 km/h and an average of 2min43sec/km.

Many amateurs can maybe only run 100 to 200 metres at these speeds...


This women’s world record was achieved by Letesenbet Gibey when she ran the marathon in Valencia at the end of 2021. Only 5 minutes behind the men's record.


In Switzerland, Julien Wanders holds the best performance of 59min13sec, which is also the best European time. He is venturing to run the full distance this year. We wish him every success!

Numbers you perhaps didn’t know

While the international athletes make us dream, the more anonymous athletes are no less amazing.


This ice-cold record was set by the Spanish runner Karim El Hayani. He ran around a Canadian lake barefoot in snow, breaking the half-marathon world record with a time of 1:36:00.


Another Canadian, Calum Neff, made history when he ran behind a pushchair and set the half-marathon world record in 1:11:27 hours. This involved pushing a weight of 21 kg.

His daughter, Holland, however, was seemingly unimpressed.


Cynthia Arnold, a mother of three from Montana (USA), achieved the time of 1:29:08 hours while pushing her three children – a load of at least 81 kg.

It appears that parenthood doesn’t necessarily reduce performance.


The American Benjamin Pachev ran the half marathon in Utah, USA, in 1:06:33. But why is this a record? He ran this distance in Crocs. Definitely the cheapest shoe in the field.

I can't wait to see the carbon Crocs!

And what's your next challenge for the half marathon?