Switzerland’s Julien Wanders has already smashed one of his European records in 2020 and he will be looking to revise another of his marks on the roads next month.
Wanders is confirmed to compete at the Ras Al Khaimah Half Marathon on 21 February. He is one of eleven athletes with lifetime bests under the one hour-mark to be recruited for this year’s race.
It was in the same race last year when Wanders set the current mark of 59:13 to break Mo Farah’s previous record of 59:32. Farah has since run faster - 59:07 in the Great North Run last September - although that mark was set on a downhill course and is not valid for record purposes.
Wanders has started his season in stellar form with a third place finish in the 10K Valencia Ibercaja in 27:13 - he also equalled his European 5km record of 13:29 en route - which sliced twelve seconds from his previous record and the Iten-based Swiss has aspirations of following suit in Ras Al Khaimah next month.
“RAK will be a perfect opportunity to test my shape and lower my PB over the half marathon before the World Championships in March,” said Wanders, referring to the World Half Marathon Championships in Gdynia, Poland on 29 March.
Wanders finished eighth at the last edition of the World Half Marathon Championships and fourth in the Ras Al Khaimah Half Marathon last year - something he will be looking to improve upon judging by his comments after last year’s race. "The only thing is I was fourth! I just missed out on the podium but otherwise I'm happy," he said.
The men’s field also includes Ethiopians Andamlak Berihu (59:10), Mosinet Geremew (59:11), Solomon Berihu (59:17) and Amdework Walegegn (59:22) and Kenya’s Benard Kimeli (59:07 PB) who finished one place ahead of Wanders in Valencia.
Julien Wanders' half marathon career
61:43 Milan (4th) 19 March 2017
60:09 Barcelona (2nd) 11 February 2018
61:03 World Half Marathon Championships, Valencia (8th) 24 March 2018
59:13 Ras Al Khaimah (4th) 8 February 2019