Jacob Kiplimo fastest half marathon

Not only did Jacob Kiplimo (Uganda) take first place at the Lisbon Half Marathon on 21 November 2021, he also took 1 second off the world record time.

21-year-old Kiplimo ran the fastest half marathon (male) ever, completing the 13.1 miles (21 km) in just 57 minutes 31 seconds.

The current half marathon world champion started to pull away from the pack after just three kilometres, completing the first five kilometres in 13:40.

Kiplimo had built up an even bigger lead by the time he hit the 10 km mark. Clocking in at 27:05, he was a whole minute ahead of the pack and on pace to break Kibiwott Kandie’s (Kenya) world record.

Kiplimo had his sights set on finishing in under 57 minutes after breezing through 15 km in 40:27, the fastest time ever recorded over the distance.

Although his pace dipped slightly towards the end, Jacob still finished the race strongly and set a new world record with his superhuman display of speed and endurance.

"With one kilometre to go, I knew that I was going to break the world record," Kiplimo told World Athletics

"When I was on the final straight and saw the clock, I gave it all I had and told myself I had to sprint fast to reach the finish line."

Jacob Kiplimo

Kiplimo grew up on Mount Elgon near the Ugandan-Kenyan border, at an altitude of around 1,900 metres. Every day he ran five kilometres to get to school and five more to get back home. 

He first started racing as a mountain runner, but soon discovered that he was equally adept at track running.

At just 15 years old, Kiplimo competed in the 5,000 metre event at the 2016 Rio Olympics, becoming Uganda’s youngest ever Olympian.

He earned his first Guinness World Records title in 2017, becoming the youngest person to score points at an IAAF Diamond League athletics meeting, aged 16 years 172 days. Jacob finished seventh in the 3,000 metre race in Doha, Qatar.

Kiplimo’s new world record builds on an amazing 2021, after he claimed bronze in the 10,000 metres at the Tokyo Olympics and fifth place in the 5,000 metre race.

Enter the Guinness World Records Hall of Fame to read about fellow long-distance athlete and record holder Eliud Kipchoge.