Context of the Joshua Cheptegei 10000m world record attempt

Following his world record in Monaco in the 5000m. Joshua Cheptegei has announced that he will take part in a special event on 7th October  in Valencia in which he will attempt to break the illustrious 10000m world-record time of, 26:17.53. Set 15 years ago by arguably the greatest of all time, Kenenisa Bekele.

Joshua Cheptegei world record attempt - 10000m

In writing this article, I decided to re-watch the video of Kenenisa Bekele’s 10000m world record. Although it was only 26th August 2005, in Brussels, I was struck by the degree to which it felt like I was watching something from a different time, a different era or planet even. The grainy footage, the minimalistic shoes and the fact that nobody was wearing facemasks!

The way Bekele galloped around that track, leaving the rest of the field in his wake, was and remains a sight to behold.

Can he do it?

For Joshua Cheptegei though the magnificence of Bekele’s performance presents a wonderful opportunity. If he was to do it, it would certainly go down as one of the greatest athletic performances in history. Perhaps to rival Eliud Kipchoge’s sub-2 hour marathon.

To put it into perspective and to give you an idea of the pace that Joshua Cheptegei will need to run at. Bekele ran a seemingly inhuman average pace of 4:14/mile or 2:38/km.

It is for that reason that the 10000m world record has remained unchallenged for 15 years. Cheptegei certainly proved in Monaco, however, that he has the talent and the speed to rival anyone.

In that race, Cheptegei (according to his Strava) hit 2:30/km average pace. Completing the last mile in and around 4 minutes flat and like Bekele before him, essentially ran the race alone. Amazingly, at the end, he didn’t even look particularly tired.

That achievement aside, one thing is for sure, it will be an incredible event which just might serve up the one of the greatest track performances of all time. For me, Bekele is the GOAT, but I think Cheptegei has proved that if anyone can do it, he can.

I’m sticking my neck out and predicting that Joshua Cheptegei of the NNrunning team will beat the record in a time of 26:16.02. Let us know what you think and comment your predictions below.


Check out our article on the Ingebrigtsen’s training