Yesterday, we were treated to a taut, 62-minute mini-meet in Valencia, Spain with groundbreaking results. The aptly named “NN Valencia World Record Day” centred entirely around taking down two long-standing and coveted marks — the men's 10,000m and the women's 5,000m.
Breakout superstar Joshua Cheptegei took on the 10,000m world record, set way back in 2005 by the man, the myth, the legend that is Kenenisa Bekele. Meanwhile, 22-year-old phenom Letesenbet Giday delivered arguably the most surprising performance of this very strange and exciting track season in the women's 5,000m, where she handily dispatched Tirunesh Dibaba’s 2008 mark.
It signalled a changing of the generational guard of sorts, as Dibaba and Bekele were once the dominant forces in distance running. These were the last two outdoor records held by either runner, with Cheptegei also taking down Bekele’s 5,000m record back in August. It appears we’ve got two major stars emerging just in time for the 2021 Olympics (of course, if they actually happen).
Letesenbet Giday: 14:06.62 (new world record)
Joshua Cheptegei: 26:11.00 (new world record)
NN Running Day was a weird and wonderful event, featuring just these two staged world record attempts on a hot night in Spain. Alex Cyr and Michael Doyle unpack all the action, and discuss legacies, witnessing history in the making, and if running should stage more of these sorts of events in the future.
You can listen to our “World Record Day” reaction /recap podcast right here 👆 by pressing ▶️ or in all the usual podcasting apps. Here are the links to a few spots for you to listen and subscribe 😉 :
If you missed World Record Day, you can watch the entire replay here: