The level of the elite field at the 4th annual edition of the Copenhagen Half Marathon sparks a stir. CPH Half could go on to become the race of the decades. 

(Updated on September 7)

We regret to inform that Erick Kiptanui and Netsanet Gudeta have announced that due to injuries, they will not be able to line up at the CPH Half.   


In the world of running, it is said that the 2018 edition of the CPH Half is going to be the most exciting half marathon in decades.

“An elite field boasting 15 sub-60 minutes men, three out of five of the fastest half marathon runners over the past six years, and three out of the top-five IAAF ranked road runners is proof of an extremely high level. Actually, I don’t think we have seen anything like this for many years,” says Jakob Larsen, director of the Danish Athletics Federation and member of the IAAF Road Race Commission.

Race favorites among the very top of runners

In this amazing field, the favorites are among the world’s very top runners.

In the men’s division, the odds favor the defending CPH Half champ, Abraham Cheroben, who set a 2017 world lead time in the streets of Copenhagen when breaking the tape in 58:40.

However, the elite field is historically deep, and features an incredibly strong line up, which means the competition is open.

Behind the starting line we shall also see Jorum Okombo and Alex Oliotiptip Korio, who placed second and third respectively at last year’s CPH Half clocking sub 59 times – including Cheroben’s winner time, the world’s only three sub 59 times in 2017.


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CPH Half champ confirmed ☑️ “I will return to win once again” 🔥 . #cphhalf #beatyourfastest #iaaf #nikerunning

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Due to this mind-boggling elite level, Jemal Yimer Mekonnen of Ethiopia, who boasts the world’s third-fastest half marathon time and an impressive 59 minutes dash set earlier this year, must also see himself left outside of the favourites to take the win among a field stacked with sub-hour runners.

Amazing female line-up

The female division is more competitive than ever. Nothing short of 5 runners will be lining up with a sub 68:00 minutes personal best.

With three out of the top-ten IAAF world ranked road runners in the line-up, we have a deep field led by a clear favorit, Joan Chelimo Melly.

Joan Chelimo Melly is the number 4 of all times and has announced that she will be targeting the world record in Copenhagen.

“Until now, a world record in the women’s race was not realistic. But with a dedicated Joan Melly in perhaps the best shape of her life in the line-up, we will see a really fast race. Melly has announced that she will be attacking the world record, and with a personal best of 65:04 earlier this year, she has demonstrated that she has the required level,” says Jakob Larsen.


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No. 4 of all times, Chelimo Melly, has been announced to target the world record of 64:51 at CPH Half🔥 . . #beatyourfastest #cphhalf #iaaf #nikerunning #worldrecord #running #løberliv #instarunners #runningcopenhagen #runcopenhagen #runcph #runmotivation #løb #løbdk

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American legend to race

Also confirmed in the lineup is the legendary American athlete Galen Rupp.

He is one of the most accomplished runners over the past decade, winning the Chicago Marathon last year, silver at Boston Marathon and first place at Prague Marathon. He is an Olympic 10,000 metres silver medalist and took bronze at the 2016 Rio Olympic marathon.

Galen Rupp part of amazing CPH Half elite field


Two-times world champion debutant

The field will also see a very exciting half marathon debutant.

Yomif Kejelcha (ETH) has mainly excelled over 3,000 and 5,000 metres and is a two-time world champion on 3,000 metres indoor. Coming in hot with two recent PB’s on 3,000 and 5,000 metres, Kejelcha is peaking.

If he is able to transfer his level on the tracks to the roads, he will be one to watch during the CPH Half.

See the full elite entry list here