The best year of all time: Both internationally and on a national level, the results of the women on the half marathon route are outstanding.
Et was the best half marathon year for women of all time: a total of three world records were run in 2020, and for the first time three female athletes stayed under 65 minutes in a calendar year. The Ethiopian Ababel Yeshaneh ran the best time of the year with her world record of 64:31 minutes in February in Ras Al Khaimah in the United Arab Emirates. Even across the top, the fastest female runners produced unique results despite the coronavirus pandemic and the associated severely limited number of high-class races.
Melat Kejeta won the silver medal at the 2020 World Half Marathon
While the Kenyan Peres Jepchirchir won the title at the Half Marathon World Championships – the only athletics world championship that took place in the pandemic year 2020 – Melat Kejeta sensationally stormed the silver medal on her first start for Germany. With 65:18 minutes she pulverized the German record and became the second fastest European of all time. In terms of width, too, the top German runners were stronger than ever before over the 21.0975 kilometers long distance.
Ababel Yeshaneh had caused the first bang of the year on the flat route in Ras Al Khaimah, where in February before the corona pandemic it was still possible to run under normal conditions. Surprisingly, she prevailed in the duel with Kenya’s exceptional runner Brigid Kosgei and undercut the previous world record by 20 seconds. While Brigid Kosgei finished second in 64:49 minutes, another athlete ran the second fastest time of the year: Yalemzerf Yehualew (Ethiopia) won the New Delhi half marathon, which took place in November as a purely elite race on a changed route due to the corona pandemic , in 64:46. In 2020, three runners remained under 65 minutes for the first time. And this trio now occupies the first three places in the list of the fastest times ever run.
Two world records in all-women races
In addition to Ababel Yeshaneh’s global best, two world records were run in all-women races in 2020. For some time now, the international athletics federation World Athletics has also been holding a world record in women’s road running competitions for races in which women run separately and without male pacemakers. It was Peres Jepchirchir twice in 2020 who undercut this mark. First the Kenyan ran 65:34 in Prague, then she improved her own best time in Gdynia in the World Cup triumph to 65:16.
How strong the international peak was in the corona pandemic year can be seen when you look at the other top times. 16 results of less than 66 minutes were run in 2020 – more than ever before. In 2019 there were eleven such times, in 2018 and 2017 there were seven each.
After 25 years, Uta Pippig’s half marathon record was overtaken
The only runner who reached such a time in 2020 and does not start for an African country 2 is Melat Kejeta. It was a sensation that the 28-year-old German runner, who comes from Ethiopia and competes for the Kassel running team, managed to improve so much in the World Cup race. At the start with a best time of 68:41 minutes, it increased to a splendid 65:18. She had also pulverized Uta Pippig’s 25-year-old record (67:58). Melat Kejeta missed the fastest time of a European – the Dutch Sifan Hassan, also from Ethiopia, with 65:15 – was missed by Melat Kejeta by just three seconds. However, since Sifan Hassan ran this European record in a mixed race, Melat Kejeta now holds the continental best time for all-women races.
World Championship bronze medal in the team classification
With her world-class time, with which she was placed sixth on the annual world best list and number one on the European 2020 best list, Melat Kejeta laid the foundation for an equally sensational bronze medal for the German team at the World Half Marathon. Laura Hottenrott (TV Wattenscheid), who climbed to 70:49 minutes and thus finished 26th, also belonged to this team, Rabea and Deborah Schöneborn (both LG North Berlin), who finished 54th and 72:35 and 72:39 respectively 55 finished, and Fabienne Königstein (MTG Mannheim / rank 87 in 77:03). It is also noteworthy that the number two and three of the German annual best list 2020 did not start at the World Cup: Miriam Dattke (LG Telis Finanz Regensburg) rose to 69:43 and Alina Reh (SSV Ulm) had 70:08 reached.
For the first time in twelve years, two German athletes ran times of less than 70 minutes within a calendar year: In 2008 Irina Mikitenko and Sabrina Mockenhaupt ran 68:51 each. The fact that four German runners stayed under 71 minutes last year and a total of six under 72:00 is unique in the history of this relatively young running track. Of the ten fastest German half marathon runners in 2020, eight achieved personal bests.
The annual leaderboards 2020
64:31 Ababel Yeshaneh ETH Ras Al Khaimah / UAE 21.2.
64:46 Yalemzerf Yehualew ETH Neu-Delhi 29.11.
64:49 Brigid Kosgei KEN Ras Al Khaimah / UAE 21.2.
65:06 Ruth Chepngetich KEN Neu-Delhi 29.11.
65:16 Peres Jepchirchir KEN Gdynia / POL 17.10.
65:18 Melat Kejeta GER Gdynia / POL 17.10.
65:18 Genzebe Dibaba ETH Valencia 6.12.
65:19 Yehualew (2) Gdynia / POL 17.10.
65:21 Yeshaneh (2) Neu-Delhi 29.11.
65:34 Rosemary Wanjiru KEN Ras Al Khaimah / UAE 21.2.
65:34 Jepchirchir (2) Prague 5.9.
65:39 Zeineba Yimer ETH Gdynia / POL 17.10.
65:39 Sheila Kiprotich KEN Valencia 6.12.
65:41 Yeshaneh (3) Gdynia / POL 17.10.
65:51 Senbere Teferi ETH Valencia 6.12.
65:58 Joyciline Jepkosgei KEN Gdynia / POL 17.10.
65:18 * Melat Kejeta Laufteam Kassel Gdynia / POL 17.10.
69:43 * Miriam Dattke LG Telis Finanz Regensburg Dresden 8.11.
70:08 Alina Reh SSV Ulm Barcelona 16.2.
70:49 * Laura Hottenrott TV Wattenscheid Gdynia / POL 17.10.
71:37 * Debora Schöneborn LG North Berlin Barcelona 16.2.
71:40 * Rabea Schöneborn LG North Berlin Barcelona 16.2.
72:23 * Katharina Steinruck LG Eintracht Frankfurt Frankfurt 13.9.
72:32 * Domenika Mayer LG Telis Finanz Regensburg Barcelona 16.2.
73:26 * Thea Heim LG Telis Finanz Regensburg Barcelona 16.2.
74:03 Fabienne Königstein MTG Mannheim Naples 23.2.
* = personal best time
The fastest times ever run
64:31 Ababel Yeshaneh ETH Ras Al Khaimah / UAE 2020
64:46 Yalemzerf Yehualew ETH Neu-Delhi 2020
64:49 Brigid Kosgei KEN Ras Al Khaimah / UAE 2020
64:51 Joyciline Jepkosgei KEN Valencia 2017
64:52 Jepkosgei (2) Prague 2017
64:52 Fancy Chemutai KEN Ras Al Khaimah / UAE 2018
64:55 Mary Keitany KEN Ras Al Khaimah / UAE 2018
65:04 Joan Melly KEN Prague 2018
65:06 Peres Jepchirchir KEN Ras Al Khaimah / UAE 2017
65:06 Ruth Chepngetich KEN Neu-Delhi 2020
65:07 Caroline Kipkirui KEN Ras Al Khaimah / UAE 2018
65:09 Florence Kiplagat KEN Barcelona 2015
The fastest Germans of all time
65:18 Melat Kejeta (Laufteam Kassel) Gdynia / POL 2020
67:58 Uta Pippig (SCC Berlin) Kyoto / JPN 1995
68:45 Sabrina Mockenhaupt (Cologne Marathon Association) Berlin 2009
68:51 Irina Mikitenko (TV Wattenscheid) Paderborn 2008
69:15 Katrin Dörre-Heinig (SC DHfK Leipzig) Grevenmacher / LUX 1998
69:29 Alina Reh (SSV Ulm) Cologne 2018
69:35 Luminita Zaituc (LG Braunschweig) Grevenmacher / LUX 2004
69:36 Melanie Kraus (Bayer Leverkusen) Grevenmacher/LUX 1999
69:43 Miriam Dattke (LG Telis Finanz Regensburg) Dresden 2020
70:09 Claudia Lokar (TV Wattenscheid) Paderborn 1996