Moses Mosop Smashes 30k World Record And Says He Can Run 2:02 In The Marathon

June 3, 2011

As we talked about in our preview, the men's 30km world record was soft and we expected it to fall Friday night. However, the way Boston Marathon runner-up Moses Mosop destroyed the record on Friday night was a thing of beauty.

The runners started out with decent conditions. Although the sun was still out and the temperature was 68 degrees, the wind had died down to a more reasonable 8+ mph at race time. A record attempt was possible, as the field of 9 stepped to the line with the lap counter saying 75 laps to go.

The first 10k was pretty uneventful because of a masterful rabbiting job by Ketema Nigusse Tola. The leaders ran between 69-plus and 71-plus the whole first 25 laps, with a whole bunch of 70-points in a row (they needed sub-71 pace to break the 30k record). Although this was a track race, there were water stations on the track and the runners took water frequently, drinking and dousing their heads.

Moses Mosop hit the 10k in around 29:19.8 as Stephen Kibet took over the rabbiting duties. The pace continued in the same range, as 15k was reached in 43:56.2 (14:36.4 last 5k). Then Mosop took over and dropped the pace down under 70 seconds a lap. Soon the only runner with him was 2009 Worlds Marathon Champion Abel Kirui, who was supposedly targeting the 25k world record in this race, but afterwards would show us a bandaged foot and said he ran to help Moses get the record.

The pace continued to pick up and the 17th km was 2:52.1, sub-69 pace.

After 44 Laps, Moses Does The Unthinkable
Moses then did something truly astounding. On his 45th lap of racing, he ran a 63.4-second 400m to completely blow open the race (making the 18th km a fast 2:46.5) and open up an almost 5-second gap on Kirui in the span of 200 meters.

Mosop kept the pressure on - hard. He went 2:46.9 for the 19th km and then "slowed" to 2:51.2 for a hand-time split of 58:02.2 at 20k (a 14:06.0 on that 5k - the 20k time was under the previous US all-comers track record set by Bill Rodgers). Famed coach Renato Canova was at trackside on the backstretch, giving instructions and encouragement. Moses' second 10k was 28:42.4. The temperature was still about 67 degrees, with runners still going for water. But barring a total meltdown, both world records were going to be Mosop's.

The next 5k was 14:23.0 for a 25k track WR of 1:12:25.2 (old record 1:13:55). Kirui would be lapped before he reached 25k, but he held on to cross the 25k line in 1:13:52.8, barely under the old track WR.

While Kirui would slow tremendously the last 5k, Moses would not. The next km was 2:51.7, and then Mosop went 70 pace for awhile, with 2:55.2 and 2:55.0 through 28k. It was little slower than the previous few kilos, but barring a sudden injury, he was going to break the 30k track WR by well over 2 minutes. He was at 1:21:07.1 with 2k left.

Mosop got it back down to 2:52.3 for the 29th km and finished with 2:48.0 thanks to a 63.2 last lap to cross the line with a new world record of 1:26:47.4. He easily lapped the entire 30k field twice (some runners several more times) and - unlike the 25k time, which had been eclipsed on the road - this was the fastest 30k ever run by over a minute (previous fastest a 1:27:49 split in a marathon by Haile Gebrselassie).

Kirui struggled mightily the last 5km but finished 2nd in 1:30:00.1 (16:07.3 for that 5k - ouch!). Meanwhile, Mosop's last 15k was 42:51.2, last 10k was 28:45.2, last 5k was 14:22.2 and last 4 laps 4:31.2. Mosop's 30k pace averaged faster than his 25k pace (2:53.58 per km vs. 2:53.81 per km). Moses injected a little humor into the festivities when he took a couple of celebration laps sporting his "STOP MOSOP" T-shirt.

Moses And Canova Say 2:02 Is Possible

While Moses was super-impressive on the track, what he and his coach Renato Canova said off of it was nearly as impressive. They both independently said that Moses can run 2:02-something in the marathon.

After thanking the appreciative Prefontaine crowd ("I say to these people, thank you very much.") that grew throughout his race, Moses said (video below), "Then in Chicago, I want to run better than in Boston ... I want to progress now to two zero two." Yes, ladies and gentlemen - 2:02 for the marathon. In case you thought Moses was not talking clearly, his coach Renato Canova had this to say about what the 30k run meant for the marathon. Canova said, "In one year time, he can run the full marathon at 29:00 10,000m pace. That means a 2:02:30-something (for the marathon)."

Moses took one week of training off after his runner-up finish in Boston, where he ran 2:03:06 on the wind-aided (but still demanding) course. Canova said Moses was not at 100% training for this run. He said the faster marathons are now possible because the 26-minute track runners are running the marathon in their prime and with different training because of the money now in the marathon.

Results and video reactions below:


Intermediate splits:

5,000m Nigusse Tola, Ketema (ETH) 14:40.1
10,000m Nigusse Tola, Ketema (ETH) 29:19.6
15,000m Kibet, Stephen (KEN) 43:56.2
20,000m Mosop, Moses (KEN) 58:02.2
25,000m Mosop, Moses (KEN) 1:12:25.2

Moses Mosop Says He Wants A 2:02

Renato Canova Says Moses Can Run 2:02:30
And Discusses How This Is Possible

Abel Kirui Shows His Bandaged Foot After The Race

More From Moses On His (Double) Record Run

*More Pre: 2011 Prefontaine 5,000m And 10,000m: Americans Disappoint, Mo Farah Impresses, Vivian Cheruiyot Wins Again

Full Disclosure: The Prefontaine Classic has been advertising its live Distance Night in Eugene feed and pre-meet and post-meet live shows on this week.


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