Yorkshireman runs 27:44 to match Farah’s official UK mark but the fastest run by a Briton remains Nick Rose’s controversial 27:34 from 1984

Emile Cairess enjoyed the run of his life at the 10km Valencia Ibercaja on Sunday (Jan 9) as he clocked 27:44 to equal Mo Farah’s British record which was set in London in 2010.

A fraction quicker and the 24-year-old Leeds City runner would have become the outright official holder of the record. He would not be “the fastest”, though, as Nick Rose sits atop of UK Athletics’ official all-time ranking lists on the Power of 10 website with 27:34 set on a point-to-point course in New Orleans in 1984.

Such is the confusion over the leading 10km marks on the British rankings, Rose once described it as “muddy waters” in an interview with AW.

Still, this was a terrific run by Cairess, who last year ran a relatively unnoticed 27:53.19 for 10,000m on the track just 3-4 seconds behind Marc Scott and Mo Farah in the Olympic trials in Birmingham.

Running on the super-fast Valencia course this weekend but in slightly windy conditions, he took half a minute off his PB to finish fifth in a race won by Daniel Simiu Ebenyo in 26:58 – a time that places the Kenyan No.7 on the world all-time list.

Runner-up was Chimdessa Debele Gudeta of Ethiopia in 27:10 followed by Jacob Krop of Kenya in 27:23 and Boniface Kibiwott of Kenya with the same time as Cairess of 27:44.

The second European home behind Cairess was Carlos Mayo of Spain in 28:11 with Switzerland’s Julien Wanders, who set the European record of 27:13 in this race in 2020, back in 11th in 28:14, just ahead of Britain’s Mahamed Mahamed in 28:16 for 12th place.

Elsewhere, Jonny Mellor ran 28:32, Adam Clarke 28:36 and Phil Sesemann 28:58.

In the women’s race Norah Jeruto of Kenya won in 30:35, just ahead of the European cross-country champion Karoline Grøvdal of Norway, who ran 30:38 to miss her goal of breaking Paula Radcliffe’s European record of 30:21.

Gladys Chepkurui of Kenya was third in 30:48 with Britain’s Beth Kidger 11th in 32:53 and Steph Davis close behind in 32:58.

There was anticipation that the world records (Rhonex Kipruto’s 26:24 and Joyciline Jepkosgei’s 29:43) would fall but they survived, as did Farah’s UK record, although he now has to share it with Cairess.

Cairess had not raced on the roads since finishing runner-up to Jack Rowe in the Great South Run over 10 miles in October. His latest run in Valencia puts him in good company, though, as Farah ran his 27:44 shortly before claiming a European 5000m and 10,000m double in Barcelona.

Like Farah back in 2010, Cairess is coached by Alan Storey. The Leeds-based athlete also went to the same school – Bradford Grammar – as Alistair and Jonny Brownlee.

Steadily improving in recent years, Cairess pipped Patrick Dever in a memorably close race to win the British Universities and Colleges cross-country crown in 2019 and later that year he took bronze in the 10,000m at the European Under-23 Championships in Sweden in a race won by Jimmy Gressier of France.

Farah’s record-breaking run in the summer of 2010 came at the Bupa London 10,000 on what AW described at the time as a “dry, grey, still day – perfect for distance running”.

Farah had just come down from altitude and he enjoyed a race-long duel with training partner Micah Kogo before the Briton employed what would soon become his trademark strong finish to claim the win.

His mark was proclaimed a British record at the time but the all-time UK rankings are not so straightforward due to Rose’s time from New Orleans 26 years earlier being 10 seconds quicker.

Rose’s performance came at the Crescent City Classic, which was won by Mark Nenow in 27:23. The American winner’s mark was judged a world record at the time by the IAAF (World Athletics) but the United States never ratified Nenow’s mark because it was set on a point to point course, leading to the possibility of performances being wind-assisted.

For the same reason UKA and the Association of Road Racing Statisticians (ARRS) did not recognise Rose’s mark as the British record.

In an interview with AW a few years ago, Rose said: “If record courses have to start and finish within a certain distance, then my run in New Orleans does not qualify for record purposes. All one could say is that it is the fastest run over the 10km distance!”

Ironically the Crescent City Classic took place on April Fool’s Day in 1984 too.

In addition – and to add to the confusion – there is one British athlete who has run faster than Rose, Cairess and Farah. Jon Brown clocked 27:20 on a downhill course in Pittsburgh in 1995 but said: “It shouldn’t be considered any kind of best due to its substantial drop. I could do three minutes flat if I jumped out of a plane at 10,000ft!”

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