Mo Farah Breaks Steve Cram’s British 1,500 Record – Asbel Kirop Runs 3:27.72 in Monaco

Farah, The Olympic 10,000 Champion, Is Now The 6th Fastest 1500 Guy Ever – Kiprop Is #4

July 19, 2013

Monaco – Wow, what a race.

The 2013 Herculis Monaco 1500 more than lived up to the hype as Kenya’s Asbel Kiprop, the 2008 Olympic champion, breathtakingly ran 3:27.72 to become the fourth fastest man ever. Perhaps more stunning was the name and time of the second place finisher.

2012 10,000 and 5000 Olympic champion Mo Farah, who was dropping down to the 1500 tonight to work on his speed, was second in 3:28.81, meaning yes he did break Steve Cram‘s British record of 3:29.67, which was set 28 years and 2 days ago just down the road in Nice, France (Nice is about 20km from here). Coming into the night, Farah’s personal best was just 3:33.98, which he set here in 2009.

Asbel Kipro and Mo Farah running super fast in Monaco Asbel Kipro and Mo Farah running super fast in Monaco

Also breaking 3:30 tonight for the first time was Kenya’s 20-year old Caleb Ndiku. The 2010 World Junior champ became the 24th man in history under the hallowed 3:30 barrier when he ran 3:29.50 for third. The Kenyan selectors now may have a dilemma as while Ndiku was fourth at the Kenyan Trials, but he wasn’t placed on the four man Kenyan Moscow World Championship team. The selectors opted instead for the fifth placer at the Kenyan Trials in Bethwell Birgen. Birgen raced here tonight as well and he ran a personal best of 3:30.77 for fourth, but might the Kenyans re-think their selection now that Ndiku has beaten Birgen two straight times?

There were three Americans in the race. 2011 and 2013 US champion Matthew Centrowitz, who dropped out of a race for the first time in his career in his last outing in Paris, showed that he’s healthy as he ran the second fastest time of his career tonight (3:33.58, pb is is 3:31.96) to place eighth. 5-time US 800 meter champ Nick Symmonds stepped up in distance and ran a new personal best of 3:34.55 ( 3:36.04 previ ous pb) to place tenth.

2012 Olympic silver medallist Leo Manzano, who came into this race after having run the second fastest race of his life in Paris, was dead last in 3:44.50.

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All of the Americans were almost after thought even for US fans watching on television as this race went out incredibly fast.

The Race

Results From 2013 Herculis Monaco 1500

Intermediate times:

400m: Rotich, Andrew Kiptoo (KEN): 52.95

800m: Rotich, Andrew Kiptoo (KEN): 1:50.40

1200m: Kiprop, Asbel (KEN): 2:45.91

The race was fast from the start and from the very opening steps both the world’s best miler over the last few years, Asbel Kiprop, and the world’s best distance runner of the last few years, Mo Farah, showed they meant business. Just 300 meters in, the field had splintered into two groups.

There were the two rabbits up front then Kiprop and Ndiku, then a gap to a chase pack of three that included Farah and then another gap to everyone else.

The 400 was reached in 52.95 for the lead rabbit with Kiprop’s time in third roughly being 53.5 and something like 55 flat for Farah who was in seventh. That second plus gap between Farah and Kiprop would remain until the finish.

Only one rabbit remained when 800 meters was reached in an astonish 1:50.40 for the lead rabbit with Kiprop directly behind him in about 1:50.6-7. Farah was now in fourth in about 1:51 high.

Kiprop had run 53.5 and then 57. Would the pace continue to slow as it so often does on the third lap?

No it would not. Kiprop showed he meant business on the homestretch when he passed the rabbit. At the bell (2:32.33 for Kiprop), it was clear Kiprop was going for something very special.

1200 was reached in 2:45.91 for Kiprop. He’d gone 53.5 – 57.0 – 55.3. What did he have left in the tank?

In the end, he ran his last 300 in an official 41.19 to finish off a 55.39 last lap, although he did tire a bit in the last 200 as we’d estimate he went 27.1, 28.3 for this two 200s on the last lap as he reached 1300 in roughly 2:59.4.

Behind him, Farah and Ndiku were engaged in a nice battle for second (roughly 2:33.7-8 for them at the bell). On the first turn of the last lap, Ndiku moved into second but coming off the last turn, Farah came back on him and pulled away to convincingly get second.

In the process of shattering his own personal best and Cram’s British best, Farah also beat the European record of 3:28.95 that had belonged to 1992 Olympic champ Fermin Cacho since August of 1997.

Farah’s Immediate Reaction

Mo Farah, full of smiles after setting the British record Mo Farah, full of smiles after setting the British record

Interviewed by the BBC after the race, Farah admitted it felt weird to run a 1500.

“(The start)’s a big shock to the system (at the start). It’s a different feeling. It’s weird. I remember saying this is a weird feeling,” said Farah who was full of smiles.

While full of smiles, Farah wasn’t as satisfied as you might think. He showed his competitiveness when he said, “I’m definitely pleased. Training is going pretty well, (but) it would have been nicer to get close to Asbel but he’s another class.”

When asked to compare his level of fitness this year to last, he said the following, “I’m probably a lot further from where I was last year.”

“My point now is not to be afraid and step up a bit,” added Farah before explaining he meant at times there is a tendency not to push too much as if you over do it you might sort of fall off a cliff.

When asked if he then might make a run at a 5000 or 10,000 world record, Farah said the following, “I just want to keep winning medals and do well for my country.”

Post-race talking to LRC and the print media, Mo said he knew he was capable of running sub 3:30 coming in, “I knew I was capable of running 3:30 on the right day… but I didn’t know I was going to run 3:28.”

Mo’s running next year’s Virgin London Marathon, but this run made him think of dropping down in distance.  “I remember talking to (world 1500m record holder) Hicham El Guerrouj’s coach in 2005 and he said I should be a 1500m runner.”

Mo who is a father for the first time and a big star in the UK also added, “I’m excited. I’ve never been this happy in my life.” He indicated running was only a part of this.

Kiprop: “The weather, the fans, the track. everything about Monaco is good.”
Asbel Kiprop loves running in Monaco. His previous 1500m pr was set here last year. His 800m pr was set here in 2011.

Kiprop said, “The weather, the fans, the track. everything about Monaco is good.” He indicated next year he may take a shot at the world record at 1500m in Monaco. Up first for Kiprop is trying to defend his world title. Last year after his run in Monaco, Kiprop picked up a hamstring problem that hampered him in Moscow.

He’s at the top of his game now and healthy. Kiprop was impressed with Mo’s run and said he believes Mo could break the 5000m world record.

Americans An Afterthought
The American men ended up being non-factors in this one. Matt Centrowitz put dropping out in Paris behind him and ran a respectable 3:33, but that no longer turns heads. Olympic silver medalist Leo Manzano had a horrible day, which he’s done in the past. Walking through the mixed zone, Leo indicated he didn’t know what exactly had happened out there.

Nick Symmonds was the one American to PR, but the 800m star said he wanted more. “I’m a little disappointed. Based on the workouts I’ve been doing I thought I was in low 3:33 shape… A Pr’s a Pr. I’ll take it any day.”

Nick said he would have liked to run faster the first lap (Nick went out in last place just behind Leo Manzano). Nick is still focused on the 800m this year and will run an 800m next week in London before Worlds. However, down the road, he realizes his future may be in the 1500. He said, “We (coach Mark Rowland and himself) know what we need to do (to be world class in the 1500), but we can’t do it when we’re training for the 8 at Worlds.”

Video Interviews then quick takes, then race results, then more race photos and finally the race video appear below.

Mo Farah Shocks:

Asbel Kiprop PRs

Nick Symmonds PRs but Wants More

Quick Take (QT) #1: Watching Kiprop pass the rabbit with just less than 500 to go got us excited. Watching him hit 1300 in sub 3:00, made us totally awestruck. Kiprop has told us he likes to get out fast on the first lap, but we think he could run even faster in a race set up just for him where he just tried to run 55 flat each and every lap (maybe the first lap in 54.5). 55 flat the whole way is 3:26.25.

QT #2: Steve Cram was one of the announcers on the international feed of the race. When the BBC Three crew interviewed Farah after the race, they said something about that and Farah smiled and quipped, “Yeah Crammy, Hello.”

Hello indeed.

To see a 10,000 meter man break 3:30 is truly mind-blowing. In our third quick take, we have a list of all of the sub 3:30 men in history. None of them were 10,000 guys. There were a slew of 1500/5000 guys but no 10,000/5000 guys.

Now the great Haile Gebrselassie did once win a world indoor title at 1500 and also ran his 1500 pb indoors at 3:31.76. But 3:28.81 is nearly three full seconds ahead of that.

How do you possible beat Farah in a distance race when he’s got this type of speed? We guess the answer is you don’t. If you have an idea, post it on the messageboard: After Mo’s 3:28.81, what is the ideal tactic to beat him at 5K/10K?.

QT #3: We did some research and at the age of 30 years and almost 4 months (DOB 3/23/1983) Mo Farah is the oldest person to break 3:30 for the first time.

The oldest man before Farah to break 3:30 for the first time was Seb Coe who did it at 29 years and 11 months. Kenya’s Laban Rotich did it at 29 years and 6 months.

One man in history besides Farah has gone sub 3:30 after the age of 30 – Bernard Lagat. Lagat is the oldest man to ever have gone sub 3:30 as he last did it age 31.

Below you will see a list of all the sub 3:30 performers that includes their age when they first and last broke 3:30 for 1500.

QT #4

The Age of The Sub 3:30 Performers
1 3:26.00 WR Hicham El Guerrouj MOR First time at 21, last time at 29.
2 3:26.34 NR Bernard Lagat KEN/USA First at 25, last at 31.
3 3:27.37 NR Noureddine Morceli ALG First at 22, last at 26
4 3:27.72 Asbel Kiprop KEN First at 23, he’s 24 now.
5 3:28.12 Noah Ngeny KEN First at 20, last at 21.
6 3:28.81 AR Mohamed Farah GBR Farah is 30 (did it today).
7 3:28.95 AR Fermín Cacho ESP First and last at 28.
8 3:28.98 NR Mehdi Baala FRA First and last at 25.
9 3:29.02 Daniel Kipchirchir Komen KEN First at 20, last at 21.
10 3:29.14 AR Rashid Ramzi BRN First and last at 25.
11 3:29.18 NR Vénuste Niyongabo BDI First and last at 23.
12 3:29.27 Silas Kiplagat KEN Firt at 20, last at 22.
13 3:29.29 William Chirchir KEN First and last at 22.
14 3:29.46 Saïd Aouita MAR First and last at 25.
15 3:29.46 Daniel Komen KEN First and last at 21.
16 3:29.47 Augustine Choge KEN First and last at 22.
17 3:29.50 Caleb Ndiku KEN He’s 20 (did it today)
18 3:29.51 Ali Saïdi-Sief ALG First and last at 23.
19 3:29.53 Amine Laâlou MAR First and last at 28.
20 3:29.67 NR Steve Cram GBR First and last at 24.
21 3:29.77 Sydney Maree USA 5 First and last at 28.
22 3:29.77 Sebastian Coe GBR First and last at 29.
23 3:29.77 Nixon Chepseba KEN First and last at 21.
24 3:29.91 Laban Rotich KEN First and last at 29.

More: Is Mo Farah at age 30 the oldest person to crack 3:30 ?

More Monaco 1500 Discussion From The Mboard: *Holy mother of God: Asbel Kiprop 3:27.72, Mo Farah sets British record at 3:28.81.
*Mo Farah is now in contention for GOAT.
*Farah 3:28.81 6th fastest 1500 runner of all time
*After today does anyone think Mo Farah is clean?
*Video of the Monaco KIPROP is a beast!
*3:27.7 – Anyone really think Kipo not’s juiced up?
*Steve Cram “shocked after witnessing Farah’s unbelievable run.”
*A thought about Mo & Galen’s new found speed
*How does Matthew Centrowitz feel being beaten by Mohamed Farah?
Kiprop had to dig deep for this one Kiprop had to dig deep for this one
Race Video (US Only)
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