In the way that championship distance races are run these days, the first half goes by slow and the second half finishes with a blazing last kilometer. In such situations, spirited athletes, keying off the crowds, or, just perhaps having the day of their lives, challenge and sometimes surprise. This happened in the 10,000 meters.
Joyce Chepkirui winning in Prague, photo by PhotoRun.net
On paper, this was to be Florence Kiplagat’s race. Perhaps, Joyce Chepkirui did not get the script.
Florence Kiplagat, BMW Berlin 2011, photo by PhotoRun.net
The race went off pretty slowly, as Claudette Mukandanga led through the 1000 meters in 3:17.43. The first pack consisted of Joyce Chepkirui, Florence Kiplagat, Emily Chebet, Sonia Samuels and Toroitich Chebet, the final two woman from Uganda and the first three women from Kenya.
Beth Potter of Scotland and Kate Avery of England lead the chase pack, that would drop back, and then, when the pace got slow, moved back up front. It was a bit of a yin and yang kind of race.
In the second kilometer, Florence Kiplagat slowed the pace to 3:22, hitting the second kilometer in 6:39.52. Joyce Chepkirui took over the pacing chores through the three kilometer mark, hitting that in 9:51.20 (3:13, fastest kilometer of the race so far).
Florence Kiplagat took over once again, slowing it down once again to three minutes, twenty second pace. Joyce Chepkirui lead through 5 kilometers hit in 16:32.26, as the top nine competitors were together.
Florence Kiplagat decided to test the field a bit, running the fastest kilometer of the race, with a quick change upfront. The pack dropped to seven, with Beth Potter hanging close, and Kate Avery behind her, as Kiplagat dropped the pace to 3:12 for the sixth kilometer, passed in 19:44.48.
This is where Beth Potter, the Scottish runner, got brave. Potter moved back into the lead pack and went to the front and kept the pace on mid-thirty two minute pace, hitting the seventh kilometer in 23:00.48 (a 3:16 kilometer).
Emily Chebet, who had been sitting there for a while, picked up the pace, as the field hit the 8000 meters in 26:09.77.
And this is where it starts to get interest. Florence Kiplagat takes over the chores and begins to drop the pace to 3:05 for the eighth to ninth kilometer.
Quickly, Florence Kiplagat, Joyce Chepkirui and Emily Chebet break off as Beth Potter is off the back about ten meters, with Kate Avery behind her by ten meters.
Kiplagat looked within herself, as did Emily Chebet and Joyce Chepkirui. On paper, Florence Kiplagat had a 30:47 PB for the 10,000 meters. She looked tough.
The ninth kilometer was hit in 29:15.34 and still the pack of Chebet, Chepkirui and Kiplagat were all together.
The pace had quickened, and would continue. The final kilometer was run in 2:51, with the bell hit in 31:05 and all three women looked great. We knew that Kenya would sweep. That is all we knew.
The tension picked up as the Kenyan troika moved past 300 meters, with just a slight increase. Emily Chebet tried a move with 250 meters to go, but Joyce Chepkirui and Florence Kiplagat were passed her. Chepkirui and Kiplagat were together at 200 meters, when Kiplagat played her cards.
Florence Kiplagat started to move, as Chebet went off the back and Chepkirui stayed close.
Coming down the straight, it looked like Florence Kiplagat had the race in control, but Joyce Chepkirui had other ideas.
Moving on the inside of Kiplagat, Chepkirui sprinted by Florence Kiplagat, who had little time to respond.
Joyce Chepkirui not only took the gold, but scored a personal best with her time of 32:09.35!
Florence Kiplagat took a surprise silver with her run of 32:09.48.
Emily Chebet held on in third, with a PB of 32:10.82 for the bronze.
In the battle for fourth, Kate Avery nipped Beth Potter at the very finish, 32:33.35 to 32:33.26, both in personal bests!
Women’s 10,000m, 1.Joyce Chepkurui, KEN, 32:09.35, PB, 2. Florence Kiplagat, KEN, 32:09.48, 3. Emily Chebet, KEN, 32:10.82, 4. Kate Avery, ENG, 32:33.32 PB, 5. Beth Potter, SCO, 32:33.35 PB, 6. Toroitich Chebet, UGA, 32:41.95 NR, #glasgow2014
Larry Eder has had a 50-year involvement in the sport of athletics. Larry has experienced the sport as an athlete, coach, magazine publisher, and now, journalist and blogger. His first article, on Don Bowden, America's first sub-4 minute miler, was published in RW in 1983. Larry has published several magazines on athletics, from American Athletics to the U.S. version of Spikes magazine. He currently manages the content and marketing development of the RunningNetwork, The Shoe Addicts, and RunBlogRun. Of RunBlogRun, his daily pilgrimage with the sport, Larry says: "I have to admit, I love traveling to far away meets, writing about the sport I love, and the athletes I respect, for my readers at runblogrun.com, the most of anything I have ever done, except, maybe running itself."
Theme song: Greg Allman, " I'm no Angel."
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