The CPH Half will see a line-up of extremely high class. Both the men’s and the women’s field include the 2016 world champions, however they are in anything but an easy task on September 15th.
Having won a total of four world half marathon titles since 2014, Geoffrey Kamworor and Peres Jepchirchir seem by far the two brightest stars at this year’s CPH Half.
Kamworor has won the latest three editions of the IAAF World Half Marathon Championships – the first of those in 2014 in Copenhagen, which became his breakthrough.
Kamworor would go on the claim the titles again in 2016 and 2018, as well as winning the World Cross Country Championships twice in between and, not to mention, winning the 2017 New York City Marathon.
Jepchirchir not only won the Worl Half Marathon title in Cardiff back in 2016. She also broke the world record the following year clocking 1:05.06 in Ras Al Khaimai.
These international honors naturally put the spotlight on the two Kenyans. However, it is not an easy task the two of them are facing, as they go up against extremely strong fields on September 15th.
“It really is fantastic that Kamworor now returns to Copenhagen where it all began. Since 2014 he has been dominating the half marathon distance, and now he will be facing a start field comprising 12 runners with a personal best below the magic one-hour. It clearly tells you that it is anything but granted that he will win here,” so Jakob Larsen, CEO at Danish Athletics, puts it.
Regaining the World Record
Looking at the women’s race, there are high expectations towards Peres Jepchirchir.
Due to an injury, the former world record holder has been put of the game for a longer period. Now, finally, she is ready to regain the world record. A record, which during her absence has been lowered by 15 seconds.
“She is an incredible runner, but she really needs to be in her best shape in order to claim the victory at the CPH Half. The line-up includes among others Tabitha Wambui, who earlier this year won the worlds biggest half marathon, GöteborgsVarvet in Sweden. Not to mention Brillian Kipkoech of Kenya, who has progressed remarkably this season and now very likely is on the verge of a major international break-through on the half marathon distance,” so Jakob Larsen says.
With the expected African dominance in mind, we shall not be witnessing an overall Danish victory. However, the domestic runners do have lots to fight for, as for the fifth consecutive time, the National Half Marathon Championships are hosted by the CPH Half.
Anna Holm is the favorite among the women, while the defending champion in the men’s race, Thijs Nijhuis, will be up against Abdi Ulad, who finished 13th at the 2017 World Marathon Championships in London. To Nijhuis, the title means a lot.
“To win the national title really is something big, since all long-distance runners participate at the half marathon. I hope I can defend my title, but Abdi is a strong opponent. I did beat ham earlier this year at the Nordic 10km Championships, but I still haven’t defeated him on the half marathon distance. I am really looking forward to challenging him in the streets of Copenhagen where the atmosphere is always something special,” Thijs Nijhuis says.