A half marathon is a road race measuring 13.1094 miles or 21.0975km. It is exactly half the distance of a full race.
Half marathons are held simultaneously with a full marathon or a 5K race, which uses almost the same race course.
The half marathon is of a distance long enough to feel challenged. However, it is not so long that its training can exhaust you.
How it all started
Recreational running steadily grew in the 1950s. Therefore, race organizers wanted to offer a substitute to the standard marathon distance. They came out with a distance which was precisely half to that of a regular marathon. So this is how the half marathon was born.
This race is not a part of the Olympics or the World Championships. This event gained its popularity in the form of championships in 1992 named the IAAF World Half Marathon Championships.
The shorter distance started gaining popularity with time. Now, it is one of the most famous road events of all time.
Moses Tanui of Kenya was the 1991 10,000m World Champion. He set the record as the first man to complete in an hour. His finishing clocked at 59:47 in 1993 in Milan.
Another Notable addition to this list is Grete Waitz, a Norwegian runner. She set the record for being the first woman to complete the race in less than 70 minutes. She set this record in 1982 in Gothenburg, clocking in at 1:09:57.
Nobody can outmatch Kenyan athletes in this event. However, Ethiopian athletes are no less. European and North American athletes also are strong contenders when it comes to challenging the best in the world.
Few Notable Icons
He was out-kicked off the track on many occasions at numerous major championships. Ultimately, he found his calling in the half marathon. He emerged victorious at the 2006 IAAF World Road Running Championships. He then triumphed three more world half-marathon titles consecutively. He set a world record of completing a race in 58:23 in 2010. Unfortunately, later the same year, he was defeated. Two years later, he made a groundbreaking entry at the IAAF World Half Marathon Championships by securing a fifth gold medal.A
She is a Kenyan-born Dutch runner. She has mastered and excelled over 13.1 miles. She emerged victorious at the 2006 IAAF World Road Running Championships. After this, she won at the 2007 edition and set a world record of 1:06:25. Then, she also transcended at the 2008 IAAF World Half Marathon Championships.I
The Broloppet was the half marathon with the most extensive participation ever(79,719 finishers). It was organized with the Oresund Bridge inauguration in 2000.