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Pantelis T. Nikolaidis, Stefania Di Gangi and Beat Knechtle

The relationship between age and elite marathon race times is well investigated, but little is known for half-marathon running. This study investigated the relationship between half-marathon race times and age in 1-year intervals by using the world single age records in half-marathon running and the sex difference in performance from 5 to 91 years in men and 5 to 93 years in women. We found a fourth-order polynomial relationship between age and race time for both women and men. Women achieve their best half-marathon race time earlier in life than men, 23.89 years compared with 28.13 years, but when using a nonlinear regression analysis, the age of the fastest race time does not differ between men and women, with 26.62 years in women and 26.80 years in men. Moreover, the sex difference in half-marathon running performance increased with advancing age.