The Warsaw Half Marathon 2018 by Warsaw Running Tours

In 2020 the largest Polish half marathon - The Warsaw Half Marathon will celebrate its small jubilee — the 15th edition. Let's take a look at the history of this event. The Warsaw Half Marathon is currently 14 years old, but its history is a bit longer and is associated with the Warsaw Marathon.

At one time, both distances were parts of the same event in September. After 2004, the decision was made to disconnect the half marathon and organize it as a separate race in the spring season. That is why the history of the Warsaw Half Marathon, in the form in which it functions to this day, dates only from 2006. From today's perspective, the number of participants in the first race (1066 finishers) seems small, but then we were dealing with a very big race. Let's remember that in 2006 in Poland, a competition with such a participants.

In 2007, at the start (and also as the first woman at the finish line), stood the world record holder in 3000-meter steeplechase — Justyna Bak. Among other Polish stars we could find the names of Polish record holders in the marathon — already then reigning Mafgorzata Sobdiska and then, in 2007, still future record holder — Henryk Szost.

However, the first-class competitor turned out to be Mare Dibaba from Ethiopia running in Warsaw in 2008. Seven years later, the athlete became the world champion in the marathon and in 2016 she won the bronze medal at this distance. The victory in the Warsaw Half Marathon was one of the firsts international successes in her career. As if there were not enough of "stars" among the participants of the Warsaw Half Marathon, it is worth mentioning that in 2008 the famous coach and promoter of running (as well as run walk run method) Jeff Galloway visited the capital of Poland.


The statistics of the winners are also interesting. The most effective runner in the event's history is Michael Karonei from Kenya. He won 4 times in Warsaw (in the first four editions). Karonei is also the only athlete who won in Warsaw more than once — apart from his series, each time the female and male winners managed to place in first only once. Other representatives of Kenya, Poline Wanjiku Njeru (1:09:06) and Victor Kipchirchir (1:00:48) were the fastest in the capital city — both of them achieved the results in 2014.

The Warsaw Half Marathon is the largest Polish half marathon and the participants number record was set in 2015 during the jubilee 10th edition of the race. The finish line was crossed then by 12,957 finishers. The vast majority (9994 people) were men. The biggest number of women in the event's history (3342) finished the 13" PZU Warsaw Half Marathon. For 4 years the number of participants has been consistently over 12,000 participants.