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Canadian Mo Ahmed and American Shelby Houlihan impress with 5,000m wins on Friday with national record times.

Lead Pack: Mo Ahmed, Cameron Levins, Kelly Wiebe from 2012 Canadian Cross Country Championships. Photo credit: Christopher Kelsall/Athletics Illustrated

Ahmed running for the Nike-sponsored Bowerman Track Club in Portland took down his own Canadian record of 12:58.16 with a stunning 12:47.20 Friday night. In 2019, he told Athletics Illustrated, “I just wanted to get into the 12s as all of my competitors had run under the 13-benchmark.”

Friday, he ran the fastest time in North American history and the 15th fastest time ever.

Ethiopian Kenenisa Bekele currently owns the world record at 12:37.35.

Bekele, Haile Gebrselassie, Daniel Komen, Selemon Barega, Hagos Gebrhiwet, Eliud Kipchoge, Yomif Kejelcha, Dejen Gebremeskel and Sileshi Sihine all from Kenya or Ethiopia are the only athletes to have run faster than Ahmed, which makes his the 10th fastest man, all-time.


The Women’s Race

Houlihan and Karissa Schweizer smashed Houlihan’s American record of 14:34.45, while three Bowerman Track Club athletes Courtney Frerichs, Colleen Quigley, and Elise Cranny were also in the race. Houlihan led the way with her 14:23.92. Schweizer finished second in the time of 14:26.34. For Schweizer, it was a considerable improvement on her own previous best which was 14:45.18.

The current world record is held by Ethiopian Tirunesh Dibaba with her performance of 14:11.15.

Houlihan is now the 10th fastest woman all-time with the 26th fastest performance, while Schweizer’s performance is the 36th fastest, according to All-time Athletics