Chris Solinsky Sets 10,000m AR, 26:59.6! by Larry Eder

Chris Solinsky, USA Champs 2009, 5,000m, photo by

Palo Alto, California: Running a masterful race, Chris Solinsky, a graduate of the University of Wisconin, and now a member of the elite Nike/KImbia team, broke the American record at 10,000 meters Saturday evening at the Payton Jordan Invitational. His time of 26:56.96, broke the former American record of Meb Keflezighi (27:13.98), set in 2001, in the very same race, the Kim McDonald Invitational 10,000 meters. Solinsky, an NCAA Champion while at UW-Madison, and a professional athlete for the past three years, is part of the Nike Oregon Project. At the Oregon Project, Solinsky is coached by his former college coach, Jerry Schumacher.

Solinsky ran negative splits, meaning he ran the first 5k in 13:34.3 and the second in 13:24.6! His last 800 meters was run in 1;56  and his last 400 meters in 55! Most importantly, Chris Solinsky is now the first non-African to break 27 minutes for 10,000 meters! The race rewrote
the American Best performances list. Consider that thirteen of the twenty-four finishers set personal bests, and that two national records (1rst, Solinsky, AR, , 5th, Bairu, Canadian),
Also note that Galen Rupp did break the former American record, finishing in fourth in 27:10.4, he was just behind Chris Solinsky! 

Chris Solinsky has been one of America's elite distance runners since his
junior year in college at the University of Wisconsin. Taking fourth in
the 2008 Olympic Trials and making his first World Champs team in 2009,
Solinsky has been near the top of the U.S. distance runner food chain for the past
several years.

The race was largely known as an American record attempt. RBR emailed
coach Alberto Salazar on Thursday, to double check where the actual
record attempt would be held-Eugne or Palo Alto. Mr. Salazar texted back
that the race would be in Palo Alto. The goal was to break 27:13.98, the
current AR, set by Meb Keflezighi in the same race at Palo Alto, in
2001. In 2010, the person, who many thought would set the record
was Galen Rupp. Chris Solinsky was making his debut at 10,000 meters.


Salazar, the former AR at the marathon, has championed a renaissance of
American distance runners for over a decade. His Oregon Distance Project,
sponsored by Nike, has been about moving U.S. distance runner back into
a world class world. Salazar has coached Galen Rupp since he was in high
school. In bringing in former UW coach, Jerry Schumacher, and several of
Jerry's top athletes, the program seemed to take off. Among the athletes
were Matt Tegenkamp, Chris Solinsky, Tim Nelson, Evan Jager, Simon Bairu,
among others. Salazar had already brought in Kara Goucher, Amy Begley,
Adam Goucher, Dathan Ritzenhein. Shalane Flanagan also joined the group
last Fall.

The training program is quite holistic. Nothing is left unexamined. From
warm ups, to cooldowns, to core training, to water therapy, to massage,
the Oregon Project athletes leave no part of training undone. Add this to
the confidence of Alberto Salazar and the unbridled positivism of Jerry
Schumacher, it is no wonder that the Oregon Project athletes have done

I am reminded of Dathan Ritzenhein's 5,000m AR, last September, where
Dathan started out last, and worked his way into third place, breaking
Bob Kennedy's AR from 1996!

Solinsky started off 2010 with a 3:55 mile at the oversized Washington
indoor track. At the USA Indoor, in Albuquerque, Galen Rupp held off
Chris Solinsky in a very tactical 3,000 meters at altitude. In the end,
Galen took second and went to Doha, Qatar for the World Indoors, and
Chris Solinsky did not.

It is pretty obvious that Mr. Solinsky did not squander the time he had
from not running in the World Indoors or Cross Country this year. Chris
had told several interviewers that he had spent the fall fixing up his
new home (he was recently married), and doing long runs. This past fall
was good to Chris, as he took the time to get used to long runs, and
learn how to run them faster as he got fitter! Solinsky was ready for
this race, but how ready. We are told that his coach, Jerry Schumacher,
knew that Chris was ready for a good 10,000 meter, considering 27:20 as
the achievable goal.

The pace was pretty consistent. The first seven laps in 65 per second laps,
hitting 13/4 at 7:35. Rupp, Chelanga,Solinsky and Bairu hit the 5,000m
in 13:34.3. Sixteen laps were hit in 18:28, 20 laps were hit in 22:50,
and the record was going to be broken. Solinsky had stayed out of
trouble. It was down to Solinsky, Galen Rupp, Simon Bairu, Samuel
Chelenga and Daniel Salel of Kenya.

With four laps to go, Galen Rupp, Chris Solinsky and Samuel Chelanga
were dodging lapped runners for the next lap. With two
laps to go, Chris Solinsky took off, building a strong lead. With a lap
to go, Chris Solinsky charged, not stopping until he hit the finish
line in 26:59.6, breaking the American record by fourteen seconds!
Solinsky's splits for 5k were 13;34/13;24! Solinsky's last 800
meters was run in 1:56!

In second, Daniel Salel of Kenya, who ran 27:07.85, third was Sam
Chelanga, in 27:08.39, and fourth was Galen Rupp, 27:10.74, who also
broke the former AR of Meb Keflezighi. The race had been virtually
given to Galen Rupp before the race, but Chris Solinsky showed, that,
once again, there is a generation of American distance runners who
can challenge the world's best!

Congrats to Simon Bairu,another UW Badger, who broke the Canadian
for 10,000 meters with his 27:23.63.

After the race, RBR spoke to the agent of Chris Solinsky. Tom Ratcliffe,
manager of Kimbia, told RBR that while Chris was expected to run
well, the American record was, well, a surprise. " Jerry Schumacher
(Chris's coach), thought Chris could run 27:20, but was not thinking
about the American record."

It is moments like this that we are reminded of the quote from the late
Payton Jordan, who would remind many of us, in coaching clinics, that
"Track & Field is the only sport, everything else is merely a game."
Chris Solinsky was one of several great athletes in this stirring race,
and tonight, something clicked. His training, his past races, his new
marriage, his previous battles against Galen Rupp, all of these things
played a factor into his successful racing strategy.

Chris Solinsky showed the world, and himself that he is a U.S. distance
runner to be reckoned with--not only will Chris wake up on Sunday as the
American record holder, but also the fastest man in the world for 2010
over 10,000 meters! - Contractor License
Payton Jordan Cardinal Invitational - 5/1/2010
Stanford University --Stanford, California
Last Completed Event

Event 21 Men 10000 Meter Run Kim McDonald
Name Year School Finals
1 Chris Solinsky Nike/Kimbia 26:59.60, AR
2 Daniel Salel Kenya 27:07.85
3 Sam Chelanga Liberty 27:08.39, CollR
4 Galen Rupp Nike 27:10.74
5 Simon Bairu Nike/Kimbia 27:23.63 Can Rec
6 Chris Thompson Otc 27:29.61 UK#2
7 Tim Nelson Nike/Kimbia 27:31.56
8 Robert Curtis Melbourne Tr 27:33.38
9 Kensuke Takezawa S&B 27:55.02
10 Carlos Romero Mexico 27:57.52
11 Takeshi Makabe Kanebo 27:57.53
12 Scott Bauhs Adidas 28:03.99
13 Brent Vaughn Nike/Kimbia 28:05.33
14 Boaz Cheboiywo Kimbia 28:06.60
15 Brett Gotcher Adidas 28:09.21
16 Chris Barnicle New Mexico 28:10.59
17 Andy Vernon Adidas 28:11.43
18 Shawn Forrest Melbourne Tr 28:12.48
19 Jason Hartmann Nike/Kimbia 28:25.99
20 Patrick Smyth Nike 28:33.14
21 David Jankowski Zap Fitness 28:34.27
22 Sean Quigley Puma/Kimbia 28:37.85
23 Brian Medigovich Unattached 28:40.54
24 Josh Moen Team Usa Mn/Strands 28:43.27
-- Simon Ndarangu Kenya DNF
-- Mathew Kisorio Kenya DNF
-- Anthony Famiglietti Saucony DNF
-- Alistair Cragg adidas DNF
-- Mark Kenneally Unattached DNF

Track & Field News twittered that the KM 10,000 meters rewrote
U.S. men's 10,000m record! #fb

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