A 15-minute 5K is considered an exceptional mark in men’s distance running that many sub-elites dream of breaking (and that would include 15 minutes and change). On Aug. 10 at the Recordløpet 5K in Drammen, Norway, 13-year-old Per August Halle Haugen did just that, stopping the clock in 15 minutes and 52 seconds to place second overall.
The achievement stands as a remarkable step forward for Halle Haugen, who, in line with expectations, seems to be flourishing as he gets older, trimming 21 seconds off his previous 5K personal best of 16:13 from 2022.
Last year, Halle Haugen ran the second-fastest time ever for a 12-year-old male for 10K, clocking a mind-blowing best of 33:18 (3:20/km).
According to Norges Friidrettsforbund (Norway’s governing body for athletics), there are no age-specific rewards or competitions for children under the age of 13, so Halle Haugen participates in local road races.
Halle Haugen is endowed with a strong genetic inclination for distance running: his grandfather, Per Halle Haugen, represented Norway in the sport 40 years ago, achieving a time of 13 minutes and 27 seconds in the 5,000m. His mother and coach, Gunhild Halle Haugen, boasts personal bests of 15:09 for 5,000m and 31:47 for 10,000m. His older brother Simen, born in 1999, ran a time of 13 minutes, 37 seconds for 5,000m last year.
Halle Haugen’s time is still 20 seconds off the U13 age-group 5K world record; nevertheless, he undoubtedly holds a promising future, sharing a trajectory similar to the achievements of his compatriot Jakob Ingebrigtsen, who is widely regarded as the most prolific Norwegian distance runner in history. Ingebrigtsen began competing on the track at age 14 and recorded a 2,000m time of 5:52.50. Halle Haugen’s best over the same distance is 6:02.