Isiah Koech Runs 12:53 Indoors As Galen Rupp Comes Up Short In American Record Attempt

17-Year-Old Smashes World Junior Indoor 5,000 Record

February 11, 2011

At the PSD Bank Meeting on Friday evening in Düsseldorf, Germany, 17-year-old Kenyan Isiah Koech ran the fourth fastest indoor 5,000 in history as he ran 12:53.29 to win, defeating former world champion and two-time Olympic 5,000 medallist Eliud Kipchoge along the way, as Kipchoge ran 12:55.72 for second. In the process, Koech and Kipchoge became just the third and fourth men in history to break 13:00 indoors. Koech took the lead from Kipchoge with just more than 400 meters remaining and never relinquished it. He pulled away over the final 100 to get what in the end was a convincing win as each of the last four laps got progressively faster (32.29, 32.20, 30.69 and 28.11 - last 800 of 2:02.29, last 400 of 58.80).

Additionally, in running 12:53.29, Koech, who according to the IAAF just turned 17 in December (they list his birth date as December 19, 19923), just missed breaking Kipchoge's world junior record of 12:52.61, which was set in Oslo in June of 2003. However, the time obliterated the former world junior indoor record of 13:32.90 held formerly by Ismael Kirui. Pretty damn impressive for a guy who, if his age is being correctly reported, would be a high school junior if he were an American.

All-Time World Indoor At 5,000m
1. Kenenisa Bekele 12:49.60
2 Haile Gebrselassie 12:50.38
3. Daniel Komen 12:51.48
4. Isiah Koech 12:53.29
5. Eliud Kipchoge 12:55.72

Who is Isiah Koech, you ask? Last year, he was the fourth placer at the World Junior Cross-Country Championships. In track, he won the world youth title in the 3,000 with a 7:51.51.

The fourth place finisher in Friday's race was 24-year-old American Galen Rupp, who came up short in his goal of reclaiming the American indoor record that he once held. Bernard Lagat holds the US indoor 5,000 record at 13:11.50. Rupp's indoor PR is 13:14.21 (but he held the AR at 13:18.12). Internet reports indicate that on Friday Rupp stayed with the leaders on basically 13:00 pace for roughly 7 minutes, or close to 2,800 meters, before he struggled over the final 2,200. In the end, Rupp finished fourth in 13:21.83. Despite the fact that Rupp ended up close to a full lap down of the leaders, his time of 13:21.83 is still the 5th-fastest time ever run by an American indoors.

All-Time US Performances At 5,000 Indoors
1. Bernard Lagat - 13:11.50
2. Galen Rupp - 13:14.21
3. Galen Rupp - 13:18.12
4. Dough Padilla - 13:20.55
5. Galen Rupp - 13:21.83

Rupp's unofficial 2k split of 5:13 meant he was on 13:02 pace. Considering the leaders had a 3,000 split of 7:43.52 and that Rupp lost contact with them at roughly the seven-minute mark, one can estimate roughly how much Rupp faded over the final 2k. If Rupp's 3k split was 7:50 at 3,000, it would mean he was still on 13:03 pace at 3,000, and that he ran his final 2k in 5:31, which is roughly 13:47 pace. Looking at a worst-case scenario, Rupp at the slowest would have been 7:55 at 3k, which is still American record pace (13:11 pace) and that he mean he ran his final 2,000 at 13:35 pace.

The third place finisher was Paul Kipsiele Koech, the 2004 Olympic bronze medallist in the steeple and the 2008 world indoor silver medallist at 3k. Kipsiele Koech ran 13:15.63. Rupp did pick a decent scalp, as the 6th placer in 13:34.32 was Kenya's Sammy Mutahi, who was the world indoor bronze medallist last year at 3,000.

Full Results For 5,000
1 KOECH, Isiah Kiplangat KEN WL,MR 12:53.29
2 KIPCHOGE, Eliud KEN 12:55.72
3 KOECH, Paul Kipsiele KEN 13:15.64
4 RUPP, Galen USA 13:21.83
5 GETAHUN, Birhan ETH 13:30.35
6 MUTAHI, Sammy KEN 13:34.32
7 MEUCCI, Daniele ITA 13:50.26
8 WALLERSTEIN, Johan SWE 14:22.19
CHERUIYOT, Jonas KEN aufg.
LAGAT, Haron KEN aufg.
RONO, Vincent KEN aufg.

Intermediate Splits:
1,000m - Lagat, Haron (KEN) - 2:37.01
2,000m - Rono, Vincent (KEN) - 5:11.88
3,000m - Rono, Vincent (KEN) - 7:43.52
4,000m - Kipchoge, Eliud (KEN) - 10:18.01

 Last Two Laps Of Isiah Koech's 12:53 Indoor 5,000

Tell a friend about this article
(Dont worry we won't email your friend(s) again. We send them a 1 time email)
Enter their email address(es), separated by a comma.
Enter your name:

Don't Worry: We
Back to Main Front Page
Questions, comments or suggestions?Please email the staff at

More: *Results *Photos *Athletics Weekly Recap Of Entire Meet

Runner's World &
Running Times

Combined Only $22

a Year
Save $87

Running & Track and Field Posters

Search the Web



Running Shoe Savings: Nike Lunar Glide 20% Off
Super popular shoe from Nike featuring Flywire and Lunar Foam

Back To Top