© Copyright – 2024 – Athletics Illustrated

Twenty-eight minutes and 46 seconds is how fast Kenyan Agnes Ngetich ran 10K on the road on Sunday, January 14 in Valencia, Spain. She broke the former world record held by Ethiopian Yalemzerf Yehualaw by 28 seconds from her Feb. 2022 performance in Castellón, Spain. For context, Ngetich beat Yehualaw by half a lap if it was a 10,000-metre race on the track.

What is doubly surprising about the performance is the fact that she also broke the world 5K record on the way clocking a 14:13 performance — 13-something isn’t far off into the future.

“To go under 29 minutes … I didn’t expect to do this time,” Ngetich said. “The course is awesome. I came with the goal of improving my personal best.”

In Nov. 2023 in Lille, France, Ngetich set her 10K personal best at 29:26.

For context…

Less than seven years ago Ethiopian Almaz Ayana ran to a gold medal performance during the 2016 Rio Olympic Games in the 10,000m event clocking a 29:17.45 finish time. At the time, that performance was audacious. And not just the record but how she ran the Olympic-medal-winning 25-lap competition. Ayana went to the lead early and held it, increasing the gap over the field the entire time on a hot day. Soon after, there were accusations of doping. Her response was “My doping is my training. My doping is Jesus. Otherwise. Nothing. I am crystal clear.”

Ayana’s performance happened before super shoes really took off.

The Jan. 14 performance awaits ratification. Both doping control as well as course re-measure take place after a record is set.

Three of the four fastest times in history were run in that race. Finishing second was Kenyan Emmaculate Anyango Acholi clocking a 28:57 performance. Also, Kenyan Lilian Kasait Rengeruk recorded a third-place time of 29:32, the fourth fastest in history.

Ethiopia’s Letesenbet Gidey ran 10,000m in the time of 29:01.03. Each lap of the rubber track is worth +/- one second over the road. Ngetich is the first woman to run under 29 minutes on either surface. She finished looking fresh, celebrating.

Ngetich at age 22 just ran a race with a World Athletics performance rating of 1317. Perhaps this is the new standard. In Berlin in Sept. 2023, Ethiopia’s Tigst Assefa ran a 2:11:53 marathon earning her 1318 points and the world record. In Chicago on Oct. 2023, Kenyan Kelvin Kiptum ran the marathon in 200:35. His world record is even better at 1322 points.