The half marathon world record shall be put to the test this September at the Copenhagen Half Marathon. Male winners of 2015 and 2016 are ready to do the attempt.


We have the course and the setting in place for a new world record. At the starting line will be last year’s winner, James Mwangi Wangari, who has proven himself capable of chasing a new world record, after running the first 10 kilometers in a fiercely fast time of 27.15. Having focused his entire training on the Copenhagen Half Marathon this year, it’s gonna be exciting to watch him. He is gonna face competition from Bedan Karoki Muchiri, who won the race back in 2015 and earlier this year improved his personal best clocking 59.10,

says Henrik Paulsen, Sports Director in Sparta Athletics & Running, who is co-organizing the Copenhagen Half with the Danish Athletics Federation.

The world record aspirations are legitimate. In 2016, the Copenhagen Half Marathon ranked as the second fastest half marathon in the world and saw seven runners under the hour – a performance exceeded only once in history.  


Impacts by the Track & Field World Championships

With just three months leading up to the Copenhagen Half Marathon on September 17th, the field is far from set. Currently elite runners from around the world are preparing for the Track & Field World Championships in London, and much won’t be definite until they conclude on August 13th.

Obviously, when going for world record, you need world leading athletes in the line-up. Many of the best athletes will be starting in London in August, which puts both us and many of the best athletes in a waiting position until the Track & Field World Championships are concluded. However, along with James Mwangi Wangari and Bedan Karoki Muchiri we already have a field of highly talented young athletes, which most definitely includes future top athletes that might be able to chase for a world record. At this point we are confident to say that we are targeting a world record, says Sports Director Henrik Paulsen.

Should a new world record be set at the Copenhagen Half Marathon, it will have a tremendous impact not only on the Copenhagen Half Marathon but also on Copenhagen as an international running destination.

The strive for the ultimate set-up is the core narrative of this race and has been since the 2014 World Half Marathon Championships where we set out to create one of the world’s best annual half marathons and aim for the IAAF Road Race Gold Label in 2017. Although an extremely ambitious goal, we achieved it together with our many thousand participants. A world record is going to put the spotlight on Denmark making the cities of Copenhagen and Frederiksberg the hub of the running world. In the years to come, the race is not gonna be about fast times only, but also about the giant running celebration which brings together runners from all over the world. A world record will inevidently contribute to that process, says Jakob Larsen, CEO at the Danish Athletics Federation.


Facts about the Copenhagen Half Marathon 

  • The Copenhagen Half Marathon is a race for both recreational and elite runners.
  • The event is organized by Sparta Athletics & Running and the Danish Athletics Federation.
  • The current course record is held by James Mwangi Wangari of Kenya, with a time of 59:07 minutes, set in 2016.
  • The current world record was set by Zersenay Tadese of Eritrea, in a time of 58:23, in 2010 in Lisbon.
  • Event partners are Sport Event Denmark, The cities of Copenhagen and Frederiksberg and Wonderful Copenhagen.