At this moment Kibiwott Kandie is the fastest half marathon runner in the field with 58:38. He has a sharp progression from 59:31 through 58:58 to 58:38. His best 10km is 27:56 what is bizarrely slower than his HM pace. His best 15km is 42:59.
Comparing this to Joshua Cheptegei, who actually has no half marathon to his CV yet, has 26:38 10K and a 41:05 15Km time. That 1:18 of difference escalates to nearly two minutes in the 15km distance, what Cheptegei completed on a near exact WR half pace of 2:44/km.
While Kiplimo is a tad bit slower, has still has 27:26 10000m and 27:31 10k on his resumé. He is admittedly a bit young and his time will come later on as it shows how strong he was in Aarhus and his 5k speed of 12:48. However the game in between Kiplimo and Cheptegei is magnetic. When they are together, they are unstoppable.
The thing about Kibiwott Kandie is that nothing in his 5K / 10K even 15K races show anything about his HM capacity. Maybe he is really a HM / marathon breed. Very high % of slow twitch fibre type runner. If he wanted to win, he needs a course with loads of straights, little variation and no disturbance. If he gets into the game of the Ugandans, playing around with pace and doing real headbashing, well they are very strong at that.
There is also one thing to consider. The 2:44/km half marathon pace, what is the equivalent of the 28:01 Kamworor WR. That might feel easy for Cheptegei at the beginning of the race as he just broke that WR 10000m on a 2:37.09/km pace. If he went out for a couple of KMs on 2:43/km or so, that would smoke already anybody, but what if he started at 2:40/km ? I mean, he ran 10000m at 2:37/km, so running just a couple of kilometers 3 seconds slower, will not be a big deal for him.
There will be no pace lights, though most likely pace makers will be present for a while. That will ease the effects of the weather as the 8°C – 10°C temps with wind gusts and rain would be not so pleasant !
Good luck to all. If nothing horrendous happens, my bet is on the Ugandans. I am not sure about he physiological limits of Cheptegei, but he has a great deal of fast twitch fibres. I mean of course, still super dominant in slow fibres, but comparing other pure athletes, he has not only great ratio, but well trained of both group.