Welcome to day 18 of Witness the Wonder, our daily preview of the World Champs coming to Budapest, Hungary! 


For the next 27 days, RunBlogRun will be posting a story a day on the buildup to the World Athletics Outdoor Championships, to be held in Budapest, Hungary, from August 19-August 27, 2023.

On April 23, 2023, Sifan Hassan enthralled the marathon world with her come-from-way-behind win in her debut marathon!

What impressed the fans, and the media, including myself, was her absolute honesty: the marathon scared her to death.

Sifan Hassan, TCS London Marathon
London, England, United Kingdom
April 23, 2023, photo by Kevin Morris

Tim Rowberry, a member of her support team, did an IG post where Sifan was puking prior to the race. She was so nervous.

In the marathon, Sifan stopped two times to stretch and was ten seconds behind at the half marathon, then 28 seconds behind at the 25k, and she finally caught up around 38k, waited til 40k, and blasted by with 100 meters to go. When asked why she waited so long to kick, she noted that she wanted to ensure she knew where he was!

Here was our most popular tweet about Sifan Hassan (over 50,000 impressions and counting):

“This morning I was telling myself, ‘I’m so stupid. Why am I playing this kind of game? Why the hell am I thinking that I want to run marathon.’ … I never cry. I cried this morning.

Sifan Hassan before her marathon debut.pic.twitter.com/WTVdywIIlr

— RunBlogRun (@RunBlogRun) April 23, 2023

Sifan Hassan has the world records at the mile run and the hour run.

She won gold medals in the 10,000m and 5,000m in Tokyo, and a bronze in the 1,500 meters, something unheard of prior to Sifan. In fact, in the heats of the 1,500m, Sifan tripped, got up, sprinted the last 300m in 43 seconds, and moved on!

Sifan Hassan, photo by global communications

In the Worlds last summer, Sifan was still exhausted from Tokyo and came oh so close to the medals.

What will she do in Budapest?

I believe the 10,000m, but  I also think she could be considering the 10,000m, 5,000m, and marathon, duplicating the runs by Emil Zatopek in 1952, when he took gold in all three, and Lasse Viren in 1976, when he took gold in 10,000m, 5,000m and sixth in the marathon.

Can she do it?

Of course!

Sifan Hassan, qualifying in London 2017 heats, photo by Mike Deering / The Shoe Addicts

But will she do it?

One thing is for certain: Sifan Hassan is one of the most exciting athletes in European Athletics and global athletics, and her presence in Budapest will be especially exciting!

To read all of our earlier stories in Witness the Wonder, numbers 1-17:

1. Witness the Wonder, World Outdoor Athletics Championships Budapest 2023, Day 1; Welcome to the World Champs! https://runblogrun.com/2023/04/witness-the-wonder-world-outdoor-athletics-championships-budapest-2023-day-1-welcome-to-the-world-champs.html

2. Witness the Wonder, World Outdoor Athletics Championships Budapest 2023, Day 2, Meeting the Stars of Hungarian Athletics! https://www.runblogrun.com/2023/04/witness-the-wonder-world-outdoor-athletics-championships-budapest-2023-day-2-meeting-the-stars-of-hungarian-athletics.html

3. Witness the Wonder, World Outdoor Athletics Championships Budapest 2023, Day 3, Why you should go to Budapest! https://www.runblogrun.com/2023/04/witness-the-wonder-world-outdoor-athletics-championships-budapest-2023-day-3.html

4. Witness the Wonder, World Outdoor Athletics Championships Budapest 2023, Day 4, Mondo Duplantis & Nafi Thiam are Europe’s finest; how will they do in Budapest? https://www.runblogrun.com/2023/04/witness-the-wonder-world-outdoor-athletics-championships-budapest-2023-day-3-mondo-duplantis-nafi-thiam-are-europes-finest-how-will-they-do-in-budapest.html

5. Witness the Wonder, World Championships Budapest 2023, Day 5, Just What Will Faith Kipyegon Do in Budapest? https://www.runblogrun.com/2023/04/witness-the-wonder-world-championships-budapest-2023-day-5-just-what-will-faith-kipyegon-do-in-budapest.html

6. Witness the Wonder, World Athletics Championships Budapest 2023, Day 6, Mutaz Essa Barshim. Will he take a 4th straight title in Budapest? https://www.runblogrun.com/2023/04/witness-the-wonder-world-athletics-championships-budapest-2023-mutaz-essa-barshim-will-he-take-a-4th-straight-title-in-budapest.html

7. Witness the Wonder, World Athletics Outdoor Champs Budapest 2023, Day 7, Noah Lyles wants to burn up the track in Budapest in August! https://www.runblogrun.com/2023/04/witness-the-wonder-world-athletics-outdoor-champs-budapest-2023-noah-lyles-wants-to-burn-up-the-track-in-budapest-in-august.html

8. Witness the Wonder, World Athletics Championships Budapest 2023, Day 8, all About the National Athletics Center https://www.runblogrun.com/2023/04/witness-the-wonder-world-athletics-championships-budapest-2023-day-8-all-about-the-national-athletics-center.html

9. Witness the Wonder, World Athletics Championships Budapest 2023, Day 9: Meet Anita Marton, Hungarian star shot putter with deadly last-round throws! What will she do in Budapest? https://www.runblogrun.com/2023/04/witness-the-wonder-world-athletics-championships-budapest-2023-day-9-meet-anita-marton-hungarian-star-shot-putter-who-has-deadly-last-round-throws-what-will-she-do-in-budapest.html

10. Witness the Wonder, 2023 World Athletics Outdoor Championships, Day 10: Karsten Warhold is back; what will he do in Budapest over the 400-meter hurdles? https://www.runblogrun.com/2023/04/witness-the-wonder-2023-world-athletics-outdoor-championships-day-10-karsten-warhold-is-back-what-will-he-do-in-budapest-over-the-400-meter-hurdles.html 

11. Witness the Wonder World Athletics Championships Budapest 2023, Day 11; Wayde Van Niekerk is coming to Budapest! https://www.runblogrun.com/2023/04/witness-the-wonder-world-athletics-championships-budapest-2023-day-11-wayde-van-niekerk-wr-holder-olympic-champions-two-time-world-champion-at-400-meters-has-returned-and-he-wants-to-run-a-sizz.html 

12. Witness the Wonder, World Athletics Championships Budapest 2023, Day 12, Neeraj Chopra, India’s Javelin star, will he move up to gold in Budapest? https://www.runblogrun.com/2023/04/witness-the-wonder-world-athletics-championships-budapest-2023-neeraj-chopra-indias-javelin-star-will-he-move-up-to-gold-in-budapest.html,

13. Witness the Wonder, World Athletics Championships Budapest 2023, Day 13: Ryan Crouser overcomes a rainy day at the Drake Relays! https://www.runblogrun.com/2023/04/witness-the-wonder-world-athletics-championships-budapest-2023-day-13-ryan-crouser-overcomes-a-rainy-day-at-the-drake-relays.html 

14. Witness the Wonder, World Athletics Outdoor Championships, Budapest, Day 14: Five Reasons to Go to the World Championships in Budapest! https://www.runblogrun.com/2023/05/witness-the-wonder-world-athletics-outdoor-championships-budapest-day-14-five-reasons-to-go-to-the-world-championships-in-budapest.html

15. Witness the Wonder, World Athletics Championships Budapest 2023, Day 15, Old and New Stars in Hammer could shine the first weekend of World Champs for Hungary! https://www.runblogrun.com/2023/05/witness-the-wonder-world-athletics-championships-budapest-2023-old-and-new-stars-in-hammer-could-shine-first-weekend-of-world-champs-for-hungary.html

16. Witness the Wonder, World Athletics Championships, Budapest 2023, Day 16: Five Ways to Better Enjoy the Budapest World Champs! https://www.runblogrun.com/2023/05/witness-the-wonder-world-athletics-championships-budapest-2023-day-15-five-ways-to-better-enjoy-the-budapest-world-champs.html

17. Witness the Wonder, World Athletics Championships Budapest 2023, Day 17; Ferdinand Omanyala wants to be on the 100m medal podium this summer! https://www.runblogrun.com/2023/05/witness-the-wonder-world-athletics-championships-budapest-2023-day-17-ferdinand-omanyala-wants-to-be-on-the-100m-medal-podium-this-summer.html

The World Championships in Budapest, Hungary, will be held August 19-27, 2023, and tickets are available now! Click here to learn more about ticket sales: https://tickets.wabudapest23.com/

RunBlogRun suggests a wonderful book on Hungary, The Hungarians, A Thousand Years of Victory in Defeat, by Paul Lendvai, Translated by Ann Major, Princeton University Press, www.pupress.princeton.edu.

Need tips for Visiting Budapest and the rest of Hungary? Please go here! Visit Hungary-Wellspring of Wonders! https://visithungary.com/