Double Olympic, world and European track champion becomes first Briton to go sub-60:00 for 13.1 miles
Mo Farah clocked 59:32 to win the EDP Lisbon Half Marathon on Sunday, becoming the first British athlete to break an hour for the distance as he also took 20 seconds off the European record.
Having settled himself within the leading pack, the 31-year-old, who turns 32 on Monday, let Kenyans Micah Kogo and Stephen Kibet create a bit of a gap but he worked his way back with a couple of kilometres to go.
Farah and Kogo began to pull away before the Briton proved his finishing strength to beat his rival over the final 100 metres, crossing the line just one second ahead. Kibet ran 59:58 in third.
Farah’s win maintains his record of top-two finishes in each of the six half marathons he has contested. Since his winning debut at the New York City Half in 2011 he has gone on to also secure victories at the New Orleans Rock’n’Roll Half in 2013 and the Bupa Great North Run in 2014 where he ran the quickest ever time by a British athlete with 60:00 on the overall downhill course. His British best for a loop course had been 60:59.
Farah’s 59:32 beats Fabian Roncero’s almost 14-year-old European record of 59:52.
The mark continues a record-breaking year for Farah who broke a world best on his last competitive outing, clocking 8:03.40 to better the two mile indoor mark at the Sainsbury’s Indoor Grand Prix in Birmingham last month.
Kenya’s Rose Chelimo won the women’s race, clocking 68:22 to finish almost a minute clear ahead of Portugal’s Sara Moreira with 69:18. Kenya’s Olympic marathon silver medallist Priscah Jeptoo was third in 69:21.
Joining Farah in claiming victory in Lisbon were his fellow British athletes David Weir and Shelly Woods who won the wheelchair races.
Over at the Vitality Reading Half Marathon and Lily Partridge transferred her success from the country to the road, the English National and Inter-Counties cross country champion clocking 70:32 to take more than four minutes off her PB.