Emmanuel Bor Upsets Paul Chelimo, Runs #2 US All-Time 13:05.60 at FireFly Recovery 5,000m in Virginia Beach

By Jonathan Gault
March 4, 2021

Emmanuel Bor of the US Army World Class Athlete Program gave Galen Rupp‘s American indoor 5,000-meter a serious scare by clocking 13:05.60 to win the FireFly Recovery 5,000m in Virginia Beach on Thursday evening. Billed as an attempt by Paul Chelimo on Rupp’s 13:01.26 AR from 2014, it was Bor who stole the show, convincingly beating Chelimo (second in 13:12.51 in his first ever indoor 5,000 as a pro) and moving to #2 on the all-time US list.

After excellent pacing work from Benard Keter (4:09.89 at 1600) and Willy Fink (7:47.94 at 3000), both of whom were aided by the Light Speed Pacing system set up on the infield, Bor continued on American record and sub 13:00 pace on his own. With 1400m to go he was on 12:58.5 pace, and he was still under AR pace with 800 meters to go, needing to split 2:05.09 or faster to break the record (2:05.00 per 800 was American Record pace). But the effort ultimately proved too much for him, with Bor’s penultimate three laps his slowest of the race — 32.47-32.79-32.25 — until he managed to pick it up slightly for a 31.95 last lap. Chelimo, who had been dropped at 3k, kicked it in with a 29.02 lap to finish second with Fink taking third in 13:34.00 after completing his pacing duties.

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“It’s actually an honor to be second-fastest American,” Bor said. “I thought I would get it. The 3k was a little bit fast. I think if I had gone around 7:51, maybe at the end I would have just pulled through. But I’ll keep trying. Next time, I know I can get it. It’s just a matter of when.”

The event, which took place in the brand new Virginia Beach Sports Center, was broadcast live, for free, on LetsRun.com. If you missed it, below you can watch a full replay, or replays of the individual races, or just the post-race interviews with Bor, Chelimo, and coach Scott Simmons.

The men’s race was preceded by a two-woman 5,000m in which Ednah Kurgat defeated Elvin Kibet, 15:26.54 to 15:58.24.

Men’s results (*full splits)

Full replay (Women’s race is at beginning).

Men’s Race (We have it set to start at 32:07 when the men’s race starts):

Emmanuel Bor Interview:

Paul Chelimo Interview:

Willie Fink Interview:

Scott Simmons Interview:


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