Scots runner Callum Hawkins smashes Mo Farah record

Record-breaker: Callum Hawkins. Picture: Jane Barlow
Record-breaker: Callum Hawkins. Picture: Jane Barlow
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Scottish runner Callum Hawkins has smashed a half-marathon record previously set by Sir Mo Farah.

Hawkins, from Elderslie in Renfrewshire, finished second behind Olympic marathon silver medallist Feyisa Lilesa in the United Airlines New York half-marathon on March 19 in a time of 60 minutes and eight seconds - the fastest ever half-marathon run by a British athlete on US soil - beating Farah’s previous record of 60 minutes and 23 seconds from the same race in 2011.

Speaking to Athletics Weekly, Hawkins - who sits second on the British half-marathon all-time list behind Farah - said he had been looking for a ‘competitive race’ rather than targeting a set time.

Hawkins added: “It was such an exciting race, but overall it was just really tough.

“I was throwing everything I could just to get rid of Feyisa [Lilesa], but he was just too strong in the end.”

Hawkins’ success comes just weeks after he set a new Scottish half-marathon record in Japan, winning the Kagawa Marugame Half-Marathon in 60 minutes and four seconds, beating the previous record set by Allister Hutton in 1987 of 62 minutes and 28 seconds.

In October 2016, Hawkins became the first Scot to win the Great Scottish Run, and initially set a new Scottish half-marathon record with a time of 60 minutes and 24 seconds.

Hawkins – who broke his 5k, 10k and ten-mile personal bests during the race - finished ahead of Uganda’s Moses Kipsiro in 60.54 and Joel Kimutai of Kenya in 61.34.

However, after concerns were raised by some competitors, an investigation was carried out and the course was found to be short by 150 metres, and the result was later invalidated.

Hawkins’ result in New York comes barely two months after he was pipped at the finishing line in the Great Edinburgh International Cross-Country competition at Holyrood Park.

The Kilbarchan AC runner was narrowly beaten by the US runner Leonard Korir in the January race - but he did finish 45 seconds ahead of Farah, who later described 24-year-old Hawkins as a ‘great athlete’, adding: “He has shown that he is a great fighter, like Laura Muir. He just has something about him.”

Farah continued: “There is a great future and, at the same time, it takes a little bit of pressure off me. We can rely on the others for medals, it’s not just’ go for Mo’.”

Hawkins is currently undergoing altitude training in Boulder, Colorado as he prepares for the IAAF World Championships in London.