The NN Running Team announced on Thursday morning that freshly-minted 5,000m world record-holder Joshua Cheptegei will be shooting for another world best, this time in the 10,000m. The run will take place in Spain at Valencia’s Turia Stadium on October 7, which the team has dubbed NN Valencia World Record Day. The current world record is owned by Kenenisa Bekele, and his time of 26:17.53 has remained untouched and unchallenged for 15 years. At just 24 years old, if Cheptegei can beat Bekele’s time, he will add to his world records in the 5K, 5,000m and 15K.
Cheptegei ran the 5K road world record of 12:51 in Monaco in February. He was back in Monaco six months later to run another 5K, this time on the track, where he set the 5,000m record with a time of 12:35.36 (beating another of Bekele’s longstanding records). He struck gold twice in the same location, and he’s looking to do that again with his run in Valencia.
In December 2019, Cheptegei beat the nine-year-old 10K road world record by six seconds when he ran 26:38 on the streets of Valencia. His time was lowered (once again in Valencia) just a month later by Kenya’s Rhonex Kipruto, who ran 26:24. Cheptegei will return to the Spanish city 10 months after running what was at the time the fastest road 10K in history, and as he did with his 5K-5,000m double in Monaco, he will look to replicate his world record performance on the track.
— NN Running Team (@NNRunningTeam) September 3, 2020
NN Valencia World Record Day
Cheptegei is the reigning 10,000m world champion, and with last couple of seasons that he has had, it shouldn’t be a surprise that he and the NN Running Team believe he can break Bekele’s mark. Still, he will have to run a massive PB (his best time is 26:48.36) to even come close to the record. The NN Valencia World Record Day has hints of the Breaking2 and INEOS 1:59 challenges that Cheptegei’s NN teammate Eliud Kipchoge ran. Like those two runs, this is a one-time event, and everything is dedicated to Cheptegei beating the record. The only difference is that, unlike Kipchoge’s amazing 1:59:40 marathon result, Cheptegei’s time will be certifiable as an official record. According to a World Athletics report, there will be a team of world-class pacers on-site in Valencia to help Cheptegei run under 26:17.53.
“I am very excited to be given the opportunity to target the 10,000m world record,” Cheptegei told WA. “As my performance in Monaco showed, I am in outstanding form, so I would like to make the most of my current shape by attacking the 10,000m world record.” Ten days after his run in Valencia, Cheptegei will race his half-marathon debut at the World Athletics Half Marathon Championships in Gdynia, Poland.