World Cross Country and World 10,000m champion Joshua Cheptegei smashed the world record in the 10km, clocking 26 minutes and 38 seconds at the Valencia 10km road race on Sunday in Spain.
It’s a weekend that saw Kenyans athletes dominate at Standard Chartered Singapore and Macau Marathon in China respectively among other road races across the world.
Cheptegei, the Commonwealth 10,000m and 5,000m champion, eclipsed six seconds from the previous record of 26:44 set by Kenya's Patrick Komon in 2010 to complete a sensational 2019 hat-trick after the World Cross Country and World titles.
Pacesetter Roy Hoornweg covered the opening kilometre in 2:42 before Cheptegei moved to the front briefly demanding a quicker pace. Once Hoorweg dropped out, Stephen Kissa and Abdallah Mande took command with Cheptegei in tow, with the trio covering three kilometres in 7:57, well inside the word record schedule.
Following a 2:41 split for the fourth kilometre, Cheptegei overtook the pacemakers before the halfway point, reaching 5km in 13:23, one second shy of the world record for that distance.
Running on his own over the entire second half, a determined Cheptegei reached 6km in 16:02 and 7km in 18:42. Cheptegei forged on, reaching 8km in 21:37, when it became clear that the world record was within reach.
With 23:59 on the clock at the 9km point, Cheptegei needed to cover the final kilometre in 2:45, a close well within his capabilities.
“World cross champion and 10,000m world champion and now the world record here in Valencia. What a year it has been," the 23-year-old said. "I can’t believe it! I knew that Valencia was going to be a really fast course, one of the fastest in the world. So to get to achieve what we came here for is something really special."
In Valencia Marathon held alongside the 10km, Olympic 5,000m champion Vivian Cheruiyot was the best placed Kenyan in fourth in 2:18:52 in a race won by Ethiopian Roza Dereje Bekele in 2:18:31.
Kinde Alayew also from Ethiopia won men’s race in 2:03:51. Philemon Lokedi emerged the best Kenyan in fifth in 2:06:04.
Priscah Jepleting defended her title at the Singapore Marathon in in 2:28:52, taking more than three minutes off the course record on Saturday.
Fellow Kenyan Joshua Kipkorir also retained his title, winning the men’s race in 2:19:13.
Jepleting , the 2006 world cross-country silver medallist, beat compatriot Stella Barsosio to second in 2:30:18 while Ethiopia’s Alemnesh Guta was a distant third in 2:37:05.
Lucy Cheruiyot from Kenya won the Macau Marathon on Sunday in 2:31:17, beating compatriot Rodah Jepkorir to second in 2:31:22 as Hosea Kipkemboi settled second in men’s race in 2:12:57, losing the battle to Ethiopia’s Tefesa Abebe in 2:12:53.