The first of April is the day the most mind-blowing facts or happenings are heard. Unfortunately or not, such a date also indicates that the accomplishment will likely turn out to be false.
However, from time to time, this tradition is broken and when you wake up on the next morning, the news on the IAAF website are still the same.

That is the moment you realize a milestone has just been shattered by Joyciline Jepkosgei!
Last Saturday, when the world first heard of the women’s half-marathon world record having been broken, the announcement didn’t come alone. There were 3 other records associated with the performance the emergent Kenyan, who had been tracing her path in the running competitions unnoticed until this moment.

The 15- and 20-kilometres records were not that surprising, as there aren’t many competitions of these distances and usually such records fall during these much more competitive half marathon events.
But the fourth record set en route was of the 10 kilometres road race! 30 minutes and 4 seconds was the registered split-time.

No, it’s not a typo! The woman on the way to the half marathon world record did break the 10 kilometres world record and then maintain the strength towards until the 21 km.

Jepkosgei shaved 14 seconds from the HM record – becoming the first woman to run the distance in under 65 minutes – but an even more impressive 17 seconds from the previous best mark in the 10 km, set by Paula Radcliffe back in 2003 (taking Violah Jepchumba just one second behind her).

This made a lot of thoughts flash through my mind – most of them related to the extrapolations one might draw from this result.
If she ran the distance in just over 30 minutes on the road, with neither a Mondo track nor running spikes and with the unavoidable extra metres run and moments of deceleration in the street bends, I wonder how fast she could run in the “most favourable conditions”. How much would she be able to dip under the half-hour barrier?

It is difficult to make such predictions with accuracy, but of something we can be sure: if she was running for the 10 kilometres only, she would make jaws drop near the finish line, when the clock stopped.

Of another thing I’m convict: it is unlikely that we will see this runner on the track and, therefore, know what time she would be able to clock, as sad as this idea might sound. The road race are a source of money prizes which allocates a crescent proportion of athletes and Joyciline won’t probably an exception.

As always after such a breakthrough, we shall wait for further developments…

(Photo: RunCzech)

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