One race was a blowout while the other was decided at the finish line at the Oct. 6 World Half Marathon Championships in Kavarna, Bulgaria.
Zersenay Tadese of Eritrea pulled away from the field just more than 5 kilometers into the men's race and was never challenged seriously, winning in 1:00:19. On the women's side, Meseret Hailu out-ran fellow Ethiopian Feyse Tadese to win by one second, in 1:08:55.
Zersenay Tadese was two seconds behind the leading pack at the 5K mark of the men's race, but he led by seven seconds after 10 kilometers on the way to his third World Half Marathon title, to go with a pair of World Road Running championships, one at 20K and the other at the full half marathon distance.
Hailu, just 22, finished more than two minutes under her personal best. She ran a bit behind the leaders for much of the race until the two Ethiopians pulled away in the final kilometer, with Tadese narrowly ahead. Hailu passed Tadese in the final few meters.