- Kenyan runner Beatrice Chepkoech broke the 5K world record at the Monaco Run on Sunday, February 14.
- Her time, pending ratification, bested the previous record of 14:48, set by Caroline Kipkirui in a mixed-gender race, and the women’s-only record of 14:44, set by Sifan Hassan.
- Joshua Cheptegei, who set the 5K world record (12:51) in Monaco last year, won the men’s race in 13:13.
Beatrice Chepkoech now owns two world records. On Sunday, the Kenyan distance runner, who set the world record in the steeplechase in 2018, broke the women’s world record in the 5K at the Monaco Run by completing the road race in 14:43.
Pending ratification, the victory improves on the previous 14:48 record set by Caroline Kipkirui in a mixed gender race and the women’s-only record of 14:44, set by Sifan Hassan in 2019.
“I’m so happy because I didn’t expect it,” Chepkoech told World Athletics on Sunday. “It was cold and there was a lot of wind, but I tried to follow my pacemaker and everything was perfect.”
While battling less than ideal weather conditions along the coastline of the French Riviera, Chepkoech, 29, managed to establish an early lead with the help of her pacer, Luuk Maas. The live broadcast was unable to pick her up until she reached the finish line, but according to World Athletics, she formed a six-second lead 500 meters into the race. By the time she hit the first kilometer in 2:57, she was 15 seconds ahead of her next competitor, Meraf Bahta.
After running 2:59 for the second kilometer and 3:01 for the third, Chepkoech and Maas decided to accelerate once the winds became more manageable. “My pacemaker told me ‘we can do it, let’s push it,’” Chepkoech told World Athletics.
For the final kilometer, Chepkoech blazed through the finish with a 2:47 split to secure the world record. She averaged 4:44-mile pace on the roads, which came close to her 14:39 5,000-meter personal best on the track.
Behind Chepkoech, Bahta finished second in 15:46, and Alice Finot closed for third in 15:52.
For the men’s race, Joshua Cheptegei was unable to improve on last year’s historic performance, when he broke the 5K world record in Monaco, but he did secure another victory. The two-time world champion from Uganda finished the men’s race in 13:13.
“The wind was incredibly difficult,” Cheptegei told World Athletics. To defend his title, the 24-year-old led the field from the start and ultimately ran away from his competitors over the final kilometer, closing in a 2:32 split.
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