RRW: Sondre Moen To Attack The European One-Hour Record On Friday

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By David Monti, @d9monti
(c) 2020 Race Results Weekly, all rights reserved

(07-Jul) — Norway’s Sondre Nordstad Moen will make another attempt at breaking the European one-hour record at a special race in Kristiansand on Friday, August 7.  The 29 year-old athlete will be targeting Dutchman Jos Hermens’s 1976 European Athletics record of 20,944 meters, the second-oldest European Athletics record on the books.  Moen came close to that mark at the Impossible Games in Oslo on June 11, where he ran 25,000 meters in a European record of 1:12:46.5.  At the one-hour mark, he had covered 20,703 meters, about half a lap short of Hermens’s record.

Sondre Nordstad Moen competing at the Impossible Games in Oslo on June 11 (photo by Eirik Førde; used with permission)

“I went close to it en route to breaking the European 25,000m record in Oslo last month,” Moen said in a statement today.  “I was 241 meters short when 60 minutes were up.  If I am honest, it’s a bit more meaningful to me than the 25,000m so I’m very motivated.”

Moen will have pacemakers for the first 10 to 12 kilometers, he said.  After that, he’ll be running on his own, just as he did at the Impossible Games.

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“Then comes the hard part,” Moen admitted.  “I know I will probably be running for about 20 to 25 minutes on my own. It will be tough but Hermens set the record without pacemakers.”

Moen was the first European to break 2:06 for the marathon when he ran 2:05:48 at the Fukuoka Marathon in 2017, before the introduction of the faster carbon-plate “super shoes” which are common now (Editor’s note: Monti made a mistake. Moen wore thew new shoes when he ran 2:05:48). He had hoped to run the Virgin Money London Marathon back in April, but has turned his attention to the track because mass-participation road races are not possible to stage now due to the pandemic (the London Marathon, rescheduled for October 4, has not been cancelled, however).

“I started looking for other targets,” he said.

Should Moen break the record, he faces the prospect of losing it less than a month later when Mo Farah will try for the world one-hour record of 21,285m set by Haile Gebrselassie in Ostrava in 2007.  Farah will make his record attempt on September 4 in Brussels.  Gebrselassie’s mark is similar to a 59:26 half-marathon, according to one popular conversion formula, so he has a very good chance of achieving it.

For now, Moen will continue altitude training in Juvasshytta a ski area about a five-hour drive from Oslo (altitude about 1800 meters/5900 feet).

“Training where I am at the moment is different to when I am at altitude in Kenya or Sestriere, but it is still very enjoyable in so many ways,” Moen said.  “When I’m out running, I can turn around and see a glacier (the Styggebreen Glacier).  However, it can get colder than you might imagine. A few days ago, the temperatures went down to minus two or three (degrees Celsius).”

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