September 9, 2017
Kenya’s Joyciline Jepkosgei made history for the second time this year in Prague as this evening she became the first woman to break 30:00 for 10 kilometers on the road by running a scintillating 29:43 to win the 2017 Birell Prague Grand Prix 10K. En route, she passed 5k in 14:33 which is faster than the recognized world best for 5k on the roads of 14:46.
In April in Prague, Jepkosgei became the first woman to break 65:00 for a half marathon when she ran 64:52 at the Sportisimo Prague Half Marathon.
Considering Jepkosgei ran 30:04 for her 10k split in that race (the previous world record), a sub-30 seemed very feasible today and Jepkosgei wasted no time attacking it, dropping the field early. The only question would be whether Jepkosgei, who was accompanied by a male pacer, would be able to hold on after passing 5k in a ridiculous 14:33. And though Jepkosgei did indeed slow over the second half of the race, she still managed to slice over 20 seconds off the previous record. Behind her, runner-up Fancy Chemutai of Bahrain just missed the old world record, clocking 30:06.
While the women’s race was all about time, the men’s race boasted a fast time and an exciting battle to the finish as Kenyan Benard Kimeli outkicked countryman Mathew Kimeli (no relation) in the homestretch to win in a course record of 27:10. Those two and a third Kenyan, Rhonex Kipruto, separated from the pack during the second half of the race after five men passed 5k in 13:32.
Just before entering the finish straight, Benard Kimeli made a move, dropping Kipruto, and though Mathew Kimeli responded, hanging tough for most of the final straight, it was Benard who prevailed, even after stumbling (but not falling) with under 50 meters to go.
Talk about the race on our fan forum / messageboard: Official 2017 Birell 10k Discussion Thread – Women’s Sub-30 WR attempt.
Editor’s note: The article was first published saying her time was 29:42 but it’s been recorded as 29:43. In addition, the winning men’s time is 27:10; initially, we had said it was 27:09.
Results (courtesy Kip Evans)