Ethiopia’s defending champion Mosinet Geremew will contest the TCS World 10K Bengaluru
2017 with several ambitions in mind when he stands on the start line of one of the world’s most
prestigious annual 10km races this coming Sunday (21 May).
Firstly, he’ll be aiming for his third successive victory, an unprecedented feat as no other runner
– man or woman – has ever won in Bengaluru more than once since the race started in 2008.
Secondly, he’ll be aiming to get back to his thrilling form of 2012 when he twice went under 28
minutes for the distance, culminating in a personal best time of 27:36.
“I love this race and Bengaluru. I have run well here the past two years and there is always a
very strong field, and I like to push myself. I am now a confirmed road runner. I feel I have more
injuries when I am running on the track, and now a fast marathon is my target after making my
debut this year in China [when he finished second at the Xaimen Marathon in 2:10:20]” said
Geremew, who has some impressive credentials over shorter distances on the roads to his
Alongside him at the press conference on Thursday was the world record holder over 10km,
Leonard Komon from Kenya.
Komon struggled with injuries during 2015 and 2016 but has shown significant signs earlier this
year of the form that took him to into the record books in 2010 when he ran 26:44.
“It’s my first time in India and I am privileged to be here. My training has been going well again
now that my injuries are gone. I am ready to do my best,” commented Komon.
Like Komon, New Zealand’s Zane Robertson is racing in India for the first time.
Robertson ran his 10km best of 27:28 when winning in Berlin last October, which stood up as the
fastest time in the world in 2016, and he is aiming to be the first man from outside East Africa to
win the race.
Nevertheless, Kenya has played a big part in Robertson’s elevation to being a world class
Now 27, Robertson expanded on his intriguing back story which has meant he has trained in
Kenya regularly since he was a teenager, including in recent months.
“In high school, my brother and I didn’t fit in with all the other kids and we joined running
clubs,” joked Robertson.
“We met Kenyan runners and then asked if we could go to train there. They were extremely
welcoming, our parents thought we were a little crazy but they supported us. Initially it was
hard, we were only 17, but we are now top of the world and competing with the Africans.
“I don’t think Kenyans have a genetic advantage, it’s how you grow up. Our mother
encouraged us to eat right, a natural diet, and we ran to school, we had an active lifestyle
and ran cross country bare foot. It’s what you eat and how you train.”
In the sights of all the top men’s runners is the course record of 27:44, set by Kenya’s Geoffrey
Kamworor in 2014.
Irene Cheptai made the headlines when she won the world cross country title in March and
the diminutive Kenyan will be having her first competition since that race in Bengaluru.
With a 10km best of 31:45, from 2014, Cheptai’s own target is the women’s course record of
31:48 set by her compatriot Lucy Kabuu three years ago.
“I celebrated my gold medal with my family but now it is time to start competing again. My
aim this summer will be the 10,000m at the world championships in London,” commented the
She will be challenged by fellow Kenyan and 2012 winner Helah Kiprop. “This is actually my
sixth time in Bengaluru and I always enjoy the race even if I have not won since my first time. I
finished second last year so maybe I can win again,” said the 2015 world championships
marathon silver medallist.
Celebrating the TCS World 10K having been run for a decade in the city, this year the runners
will compete for prize money totalling USD$ 205,059.
In addition to the TCS World 10K for elite runners, there is an Open 10K, the Majja Run (6km) the
Senior Citizens’ Race and Champions with Disability Race (both 4km).
Approximately 24,000 runners will take to the roads of Bengaluru for the five different races in
what has become an annual event on the third Sunday in May and which has emerged as
Asia’s leading run over distance in the last nine years.