Emane Seifu Hayile Sets 50k World Record for Women’s Only Race

Ethiopia’s Emane Seifu Hayile set a new women’s-only-race 50k world record of 3:00:30 at the 2023 Nedbank Runified 50k.

By on February 26, 2023 | Comments

Emane Seifu Hayile of Ethiopia set a new women’s-only-race 50k world record of 3:00:30 at the 2023 Nedbank Runified 50k on Sunday, February 26, in Gqeberha, South Africa.

Emane Seifu Hayile - 2023 Nedbank Runified 50k - womens only race 50k world record

Emane Seifu Hayile of Ethiopia sets a women’s-only-race 50k world record at the 2023 Nedbank Runified 50k. Photo: Richard Pearce Photography

This breaks the previous women’s-only-race 50k world record, which was set at this event in 2021 when Irvette van Zyl (South Africa) ran 3:04:24. Hayile was not clear of the U.S.’s Des Linden’s faster-recorded women’s 50k world record for a mixed race of 2:59:54, also set in 2021. Records for both women’s-only and mixed races are kept by the governing body World Athletics.

The 2023 Nedbank Runified 50k women’s race started at 5:30 a.m. local time in South Africa and completed five 10-kilometer loops over flat roads.

At the start, a group of six women packed up in the lead, eventually dwindling to four as the group passed the 25-kilometer mark in 1:30:28. This group was composed of race favorite Amelework Fikadu Bosho, Tinebeb Nebiyu Ali, and Hayile, all from Ethiopia. Namibia’s Helalia Johannes was also part of the group but would soon drop after her pacemaking duties finished.

Three runners were left leading together. Bosho dropped from the group next, leaving Hayile and Ali alone up front. With around 13k to go, and after encouragement from Ali, who was visibly working to maintain Hayile’s pace, Hayile surged to cover the final kilometers solo and cross the line in 3:00:30.

She ran a very slight negative split for the race, with her pace coming out to 5:49 minutes per mile (3:37 minutes per kilometer).

Des Linden retains the women’s mixed-race 50k world record of 2:59:54.

You can learn more in our in-depth article about the progression of the 50k world record.

2023 Nedbank Runified 50k Women’s Results

  1. Emane Seifu Hayile (Ethiopia) — 3:00:30
  2. Amelework Fikadu Bosho (Ethiopia) — 3:06:24
  3. Hanna Lindholm (Sweden) — 3:08:56

Full results.

2023 Nedbank Runified 50k Men’s Race and Results

Men’s champion, Tete Dijana of South Africa, crossed the line in 2:39:04. An incredible run, no doubt, this does not break the current still-to-be-ratified men’s 50k world record.

The current men’s 50k world record is held by CJ Albertson of the U.S., who ran 2:38:43 in October 2022. However, this record still awaits ratification. Prior to Albertson’s performance and at this event in 2022,  Stephen Mokoka of South Africa set the previous men’s 50k world record in 2:40:13. Mokoka’s record has been ratified. Learn more in our in-depth article about the progression of the 50k world record.

  1. Tete Dijana (South Africa) — 2:39:04
  2. Onalenna Willian Khonkhobe (South Africa) — 2:39:41
  3. Tonny Skink (Zimbabwe) — 2:40:04

Full results.

Meghan Hicks

Meghan Hicks is the Editor-in-Chief of iRunFar. She’s been running since she was 13 years old, and writing and editing about the sport for around 15 years. She served as iRunFar’s Managing Editor from 2013 through mid-2023, when she stepped into the role of Editor-in-Chief. Aside from iRunFar, Meghan has worked in communications and education in several of America’s national parks, was a contributing editor for Trail Runner magazine, and served as a columnist at Marathon & Beyond. She’s the co-author of Where the Road Ends: A Guide to Trail Running with Bryon Powell. She won the 2013 Marathon des Sables, finished on the podium of the Hardrock 100 Mile in 2021, and has previously set fastest known times on the Nolan’s 14 mountain running route in 2016 and 2020. Based part-time in Moab, Utah and Silverton, Colorado, Meghan also enjoys reading, biking, backpacking, and watching sunsets.