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Profile of Abraham Kiptum

Abraham Kiptum - Half Marathon World Record Valencia

When making his international racing debut, Abraham Kiptum jumped right into the deep end and took on the marathon, lining up in Rabat in April 2015. He finished third in a highly respectable 2:11:36.

Abraham Kiptum – Born: 1989 – Kenya

Having started off with a 26.2-mile race, it came as little surprise when Kiptum took so well to racing half the distance. His first race at the distance was a 1:01:52 victory in Madrid in April 2016. Five months later he reduced his PB to 59:36 when finishing sixth in a high-quality race in Copenhagen.

In the months that followed, Kiptum notched up three victories on the competitive Kenyan cross-country circuit, winning in Ndalat, Eldoret and Mosoriot. He returned to the roads in February 2017 and successfully defended his Lagos Marathon title, clocking 2:15:23.

His best marathon performance to date came in October 2017 when he placed third in Amsterdam in a lifetime best of 2:05:26. He finished just 17 seconds behind Lawrence Cherono, who broke the course record with 2:05:09.

Following a 2:06:29 triumph at the Daegu Marathon in April earlier this year, Kiptum dropped back down in distance. Despite colliding with the motorbike that was carrying the cameraman in the latter stages of the Kabarak Half Marathon in July, Kiptum got back up on his feet and went on to win in 1:03:02.

The Copenhagen Half Marathon two months later was thankfully less eventful and Kiptum finished second in a PB of 59:09, just three seconds behind winner Daniel Kipchumba. The close finish proved to be the perfect motivation for Kiptum’s next race.

Few had anticipated that the world record would be broken at the Medio Maratón de Valencia Trinidad Alfonso, but after passing through the first 10 kilometres in 28:02, Kiptum felt good and so upped the pace. By 15 kilometres he was on course to finish well inside 59 minutes but his momentum carried him beyond that target and all the way to a 58:18 victory, breaking Zersenay Tadese’s 58:23 from 2010 – the longest-standing world half marathon record to date.

Abraham Kiptum’s progression

Half marathon
1:01:52, 1st, Madrid, 24 April 2016
1:01:26, 1st, Casablanca, 15 May 2016
59:36, 6th, Copenhagen, 18 September 2016
59:09, 2nd, Copenhagen, 16 September 2018
58:18, 1st, Valencia, 28 October 2018

Marathon
2:11:36, 3rd, Rabat, 19 April 2015
2:05:26, 3rd, Amsterdam, 15 October 2017

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