Mo Farah runs 60:23 in the Big Apple to break long-standing UK record
Mo Farah won the New York Half-Marathon in a UK record of 60:23, proving that his move to the USA is more than paying off.
Making his debut at the distance, Farah stuck with the lead pack from the outset and managed to avoid a mid-race collision. Just after the 10km mark – covered in 29:32 – USA’s Galen Rupp and Kenya’s Peter Kamais crashed to the ground in Central Park, but Farah luckily missed the commotion.
Rupp, Farah’s training partner, and Kamais quickly managed to recover and rejoin the leading group. At the 20km mark Farah, Rupp and ING New York Marathon winner Gebre Gebremariam had managed to edge away from Kamais and Tesfaye Girma, then the real racing started.
At first it seemed as though Rupp was trying to make a move, then Farah inched ahead. Roughly a minute from the finish line, Gebremariam attempted to make a decisive break, but his lead was only temporary as Farah – still benefitting from the speed from his recent indoor season – dug in deep and kicked hard to gain the lead, charging through the finish line.
Farah’s time of 60:23 is an improvement of 36 seconds on the previous UK record, set 25 years ago by Steve Jones. Gebremariam crossed the line two seconds later with Rupp, who was also making his half-marathon debut, finishing further behind in 60:30. Britain’s Andrew Lemoncello finished 18th in a PB of 63:00.
“We knew Gebremariam had a big finish so we worked hard but we still could not get rid of him,” said Farah, who has now recorded victories on the cross, indoors and on the roads so far this year. “I felt all right with 400m to go and just went for it.”
This is Farah’s sixth national record to date. He already holds the UK outdoor records for the 5000m (12:57.94), 5km (13:30), 10km (27:44), and indoor records for 3000m (7:34.47) and 5000m (13:10.60, also a European record).
Kenya’s Caroline Rotich won the women’s race, setting a course record of 68:52, bettering the previous mark of 69:25 set by Britain’s Mara Yamauchi last year. New York Marathon winner and fellow Kenyan Edna Kiplagat finished second in 69:00, with American Kara Goucher third in 69:03.
Britain’s Jo Pavey ran her second fastest time ever of 69:33 in sixth, finishing one second and one place behind former world cross-country champion Worknesh Kidane of Ethiopia.
On the other side of the world, Zersenay Tadese came within seven seconds of breaking his own world record in the half-marathon. The Eritrean, who is also skipping this weekend’s World Cross, ran 58:30 to win the Lisbon Half-Marathon.