Tadese Blazes Second-Fastest Half Marathon Ever

  • By Duncan Larkin
  • Published Mar. 21, 2011
  • Updated Mar. 21, 2011 at 12:03 PM UTC

Zerseney Tadese nearly broke his own world record in Portugal. Photo: IAAF

Headwinds and weak pacing hampered the record attempt.

With all the focus on the IAAF World Cross-Country Championships and the New York City Half Marathon, a major milestone in Portugal may have been overlooked this weekend. Eritrean half marathon world record holder Zersenay Tadese ran the second-fastest half marathon of all time, clocking 58:30 at the Lisbon Half Marathon.

Even more impressive is that Tadese ran three-quarters of the race on his own. Afterwards, he expressed frustration with the race’s pacemakers.

“The rabbits weren’t so good as we needed,” Tadese said. “At the 5K mark I was alone and faced the other 16 kilometres only against the clock.”

Tadese reached the 10K mark in 27:42–three seconds behind record pace.

At that point, Tadese recalled that his coach told him to increase his tempo, but he struggled in the final three kilometers with a headwind. Still, the Eritrean champion is optimistic about his chances breaking the record on the same course. “If the organisers want me I will be here to try again,” he said.

For More: IAAF

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Duncan Larkin

Duncan Larkin

Duncan Larkin is the news editor at and a freelance journalist who’s been covering the sport of running for over five years. He’s run 2:32 in the marathon and won the Himalayan 100-Mile Stage Race in 2007. His first running book, RUN SIMPLE, was released last July.

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