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Joshua Cheptegei to open season in return to Monaco on Sunday

Cheptegei set two world records in Monaco in 2020, so get ready for yet another big run as he starts his build to the Tokyo Olympics

Photo by: Instagram/joshuacheptegei

A lot has changed since this time last year, but one thing that has remained the same is the fact that Uganda’s Joshua Cheptegei is a dominant force in the world of running. In 2020, he set three world records in just four races, two of which were in Monaco. He is set to return to Monaco on Sunday to race a 5K, opening his season the same way he did in 2020. Every race Cheptegei entered last year was a thriller, so you won’t want to miss his run on Sunday. 

Why should you watch? 

Cheptegei won last year’s Monaco 5K, absolutely crushing the rest of the field and running to a world record of 12:51. He smashed the 5K world record while also bettering his own PB by a whopping 33 seconds. His win in Monaco came just a few weeks before the season was put on hold due to COVID-19, but when Cheptegei made his comeback in August, he was in similar form. 

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His second race of the season was also at a 5K in Monaco, although this time he was racing on the track. He ran to the 5,000m world record, posting an incredible time of 12:35.36. Two months later, Cheptegei broke his third record of the year at a 10,000m race in Valencia, Spain, where he hammered out a remarkable 26:11.00 result. Finally, just 10 days after his run in Spain, Cheptegei raced the World Half-Marathon Championships in Poland, and while he didn’t win, he still finished in a blazing-fast time of 59:21 to finish fourth in his debut at the distance. 

Cheptegei is one of the most exciting runners to watch right now, and he’ll likely wow the running world once again on Sunday. Even if he can’t break his own 5K world record (because, let’s be honest, that 12:51 will be extremely tough to beat), he’s apt to run an amazing race. 

Cheptegei isn’t the only reason you should watch the Monaco 5K. In the women’s race, Kenya’s Beatrice Chepkoech is the biggest name in the field, and she could have a big performance, too. Chepkoech is the 3,000m steeplechase world record holder (a title she earned in Monaco in 2018), and she’s coming off a successful 2020 season. 

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Her current 5K road PB of 16:25 may not be anything special, but she ran that seven years ago and hasn’t raced the event since. She is a much stronger athlete now, and she will be looking to lower that significantly on Sunday.

How can you watch? 

Luckily, watching this race is going to be easy. All you have to do is head over to the NN Running Team YouTube page to find a live stream. The action is set to start at 3:45 a.m. ET, and while this is certainly an early start to your Sunday morning (or late finish to your Saturday night), it’ll definitely be worth it. Plus, Monday is a holiday, so you can catch up on your sleep then. 

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