Both the men’s 10,000m and women’s 5000m marks fall on a night of incredible endurance action
Joshua Cheptegei and Letesenbet Gidey both ensured that the one-off NN Valencia World Record Day event lived up to its name by smashing the global 10,000m and 5000m marks respectively on Wednesday (October 7).
First up was the women’s 5000m and Ethiopia’s world 10,000m silver medallist Gidey was among those to take to the track. Just 14 minutes and six seconds later she stormed over the finish line, taking more than four-and-a-half seconds from the world record of 14:11.15 which had been set by her compatriot Tirunesh Dibaba in 2008.
Her official time was confirmed as an incredible 14:06.62.
But the record-breaking didn’t end there as Cheptegei lined up for the men’s 10,000m just a few minutes later.
After his 12:51 road 5km in February and his 12:35.36 5000m on the track in August, the Ugandan world champion achieved his third world record of the year as he ran a remarkable 26:11.00 to improve on the mark set by Kenenisa Bekele in 2005 by more than six-and-a-half seconds. Cheptegei also ran 26:38 in Valencia last December to break the world road 10km record.
Both Gidey and Cheptegei were supported by pacemakers and Wavelight technology in Valencia and were wearing Nike Dragonfly spikes, with Spain’s Esther Guerrero leading Gidey through 1000m in 2:51.10 before Kenya’s world steeplechase record-holder Beatrice Chepkoech took her through 2000m in 5:42.73 and 3000m in 8:31.85.
Gidey’s time for 4000m was 11:19.17 and she picked up the pace even further to cross clear ahead of the lights in 14:06.62.
“This is a long-time dream,” she said. “It is very big for me.”
Cheptegei’s race was also perfectly paced and Australia’s Matthew Ramsden led through 3000m in 7:52.79 before Kenya’s Nicolas Kimeli took over pacemaking duties and went through 5000m in 13:07.73.
From there Cheptegei was running alone and he went through 8000m in 20:59.48 before clocking a 60-second last lap to achieve his time of 26:11.00 to improve on Bekele’s 26:17.53 which had been the longest standing men’s 10,000m world record.
“It is a great moment for me to have broken the world record,” said Cheptegei, who also holds the world 15km road record.
“I wanted to show the sports lovers of the world that the track is exciting.
“I wanted to lift the expectations of the Valencia World Record Day and I am pleased to have fulfilled my dream.”
Fans around the world had been able to watch the action live via a stream hosted by NN Running Team.
Cheptegei now turns his attention to the World Athletics Half Marathon Championships taking place in Gdynia, Poland, on October 17.
Following the races in Valencia, AW results editor Steve Smythe analysed the history of men’s 10,000m and women’s 5000m world record performances and AW subscribers can read both articles in the AW Clubhouse here.