Molly Huddle Runs 14:42.64 to Lower Her 5000m American Record as Genzebe Dibaba Gets World Leader in Monaco

July 18, 2014

Time to update the American record book. American Molly Huddle ran 14:42.64 to finish 6th in the Diamond League 5000m in Monaco and better her previous American record of 14:44.76 in a race where Genzebe Dibaba returned to the victory stand with a world-leading 14:28.88.

It was a big day for PRs all around in Monaco and that held in the 5000m. American Shannon Rowbury had nearly a 12-second pr, running 14:48.68 for 8th, joining the sub 15:00 club one week after she joined the sub-4:00 club in Paris. Former NCAA 10k, 5k, and XC champ Betsy Saina had the biggest PR of all going from 15:12.05 to 14:39.49 in 4th.

Dibaba Wins Dibaba Wins

The Race (video highlights at bottom)

This one was perfectly paced for an American record attempt with the first two kilometers in 2:56.2 and 2:56.3 (14:41 pace). By two kilometers the only casualty was American Jordan Hasay, who was overmatched coming in with a PR 16 seconds slower than anyone else in the field.

Three 69-second laps then broke things up up front as 3k was reached in a slightly quicker 8:46.37 and there were five in the lead pack with Sally Kipyego trying to bridge the gap to the leaders. Molly Huddle was right behind Kipyego with Rowbury right on her heels. The fourth American in the race, Kim Conley, would start to fade and finish last in 15:37.

Molly Huddle Crosses Finish in Background for AR Molly Huddle Crosses Finish in Background for AR

With 2 laps to go it was Almaz Ayana of Ethiopia, the bronze medalist at Worlds last year, in the lead, with Dibaba right on her heels and Viola Kibiwot of Kenya there as well. There was a slight gap to Kipyego, Saina, and Diamond League leader Mercy Cherono and then a bigger gap to the two Americans, Huddle and Rowbury, in 7th and 8th.

A 67.49 penultimate lap by Ayana did nothing to break up the top 3; it only put distance between them and the chasers. At the bell, Ayana continued to lead onto the backstretch and Kibiwott was out of it as it was a two-person race between Ayana and Dibaba. Ayana led around the final turn but Dibaba was right with her. Coming off the final turn there was not a tremendous burst from Dibaba, but she had enough to come by Ayana to get the win with a 64.14 leader-to-leader final lap.

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Behind her Kibiwott would hold on for a season’s best, Saina had the huge, huge pr and then Huddle was racing the clock on the final lap. She dipped under the previous record with 2 seconds to spare and put her hands on her knees in exhaustion.

QT: Huddle, Tremendous in 2014, Gets the AR
If you set an American record, obviously you are running well. Molly Huddle is starting to have a tremendous 2014. Since her American record in 2010, she had only dipped under 15:00 once before this year and that was last year. This year, she has PR’d at 10,000m on the track (30:47), then went under 15:00 for 5k in Rome, won the US Mini 10k on the roads in Central Parkin 31:37, won the USA champs, won a mile in Dublin last week, and now lowered her American record to 14:42.64.

Huddle was all smiles after the race as shown by this tweet from her agent =Ray Flynn.

She also said that the pacing was perfect telling Flotrack (embedded on right), “Fortunately for me it was that perfect pace … I just tried to get into a comfortable spot and pay attention to my splits. And I knew there would be a gut check with 5-laps to go, then again with 2-laps to go and then again with 1-lap to go. I just pushed…”

QT #2: Dibaba Returns to Winning Ways
Genzebe Dibaba has only lost twice outdoors this year (6th in Doha and 2nd in Lausanne), but she was so good indoors, we know she’s not running her best. Even though this was a world-leading Diamond League win this was not her “A” game. Dibaba’s other Diamond League win this year was versus Ayana in the 5000m in Rome where she had a more impressive final lap 61.5 (but  a slower overall time 14:34.99).

QT#3: Let’s not overlook Shannon Rowbury and Betsy Saina
After the winner, Molly Huddle will get the most attention because she lowered her American record. However, it was Betsy Saina (nearly 32-second pr) and Shannon Rowbury (nearly 12 seconds) who had the biggest PRs today.

Saina was the NCAA XC, 10,000m and indoor 5000m champ at Iowa State, but if you told us she’d be beating Molly Huddle this year, we wouldn’t have believed it. The top Kenyan runners when they get out of school have to rise to a completely different level or barely get by, and Saina is showing she wants to go to that completely different level. A tremendous PR for her today.

Shannon Rowbury (video with post-race comments on right) has had a fabulous 2014 under new coach Alberto Salazar. Last week she ran 3:59.49 to join the sub 4:00 club and this week she joins the sub 15:00 club. Now she needs to go after a sub 2:00. Two weeks ago Rowbury had PRs of 2:00.47, 4:00.33, and 15:00.51, for 800, 1500, and 1500. She’s fixed two of those.

Discuss this race in our forum: Thank you Molly Huddle: 14:42 AR
*Betsy Saina Drops Her PR from 15:12.05 to 14:39.49 

Athlete Birth Result
Genzebe DIBABA ETH 91 14:28.88
Almaz AYANA ETH 91 14:29.19
Viola Jelagat KIBIWOT KEN 83 14:33.73
Sally KIPYEGO KEN 85 14:37.18
Betsy SAINA KEN 88 14:39.49
Molly HUDDLE USA 84 14:42.64
Mercy CHERONO KEN 91 14:44.56
Shannon ROWBURY USA 84 14:48.68
Janet KISA KEN 92 14:59.93
Sifan HASSAN NED 93 15:08.05
Mimi BELETE BRN 88 15:11.60
Clemence CALVIN FRA 90 15:12.83
Kim CONLEY USA 86 15:37.09
Dolores CHECA ESP 82 DNF

Video highlights of race:

It's Official It’s Official


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