Organisers of IAAF gold label race Copenhagen Half Marathon are targeting a new world record at their event on 17 September. They have already confirmed last year's winner James Mwangi Wangari who claimed the course record in 2016 with a time of 59:07 and 2015 winner Bedan Karoki Muchiri, who recently improved his personal best to 59.10. The pair will be chasing Eritrean Zersenay Tadese's world record of 58:23, which has stood for seven years.
Copenhagen's world record aspirations are legitimate. In 2016, their half marathon ranked as the second fastest 13.1 mile race in the world and saw seven runners under the hour - a performance exceeded only once in history. Defending champion Wangari is planning his return to Copenhagen Half as his main target this year. He has proven himself capable of chasing a new world record, after running the first 10 kilometers in a fiercely fast time of 27.15 last year.
Beyond Wangari and Muchiri will be joined by a number of other top international athletes and the elite field may yet be enhanced by entrants who sign up after August's World Championships in London.
The record attempt is the next stage in organisers' efforts to establish Copenhagen Half as one of the world's great races following hosting the 2014 World Half Marathon Championships and achieving IAAF gold label status earlier this year. The event also attracts 25,000 entrants and a international field with runners from across Europe and beyond.