14 MAY 2011 General News New York, USA

Komon smashes Central Park 10Km record

Leonard Patrick Komon shattering the Central Park 10Km record (Courtesy New York Road Runners)Leonard Patrick Komon shattering the Central Park 10Km record (Courtesy New York Road Runners) © Copyright
Leonard Patrick Komon of Kenya strengthened his position as the hottest distance runner on the planet when he defeated one of the finest 10Km fields ever assembled and broke the Central Park 10Km record at the UAE Healthy Kidney 10Km on Saturday (14). 

Komon’s time of 27:35 took seven seconds off Ethiopian Gebre Gebremariam’s winning 27:42 from last year and earned him a $20,000 course-record bonus, which, added to the $25,000 winner’s purse, made Komon’s payday the highest for the winner of any non-Marathon race in the United States.

Komon, 23, who set the World record for 10Km on the road at 26:44 last year in the Netherlands, led wire-to-wire despite the presence of former 10Km World record holder Micah Kogo of Kenya, 2010 IAAF World Cross Country champion Joseph Ebuya of Kenya, and Lelisa Desisa of Ethiopia, who set the course record at the Cherry Blossom 10-Miler in Washington, DC, last month in his second major road-race victory in two days.  The four stayed together through a blazing 4:17 first mile; Kogo and Ebuya hung on through two miles (8:38), but Komon broke away before the three-mile mark, which he reached in 12:55.  His lead widened from there to a gap of about 150 metres by the finish line, which Komon crossed with a wide smile on his face.

Behind him, Kogo and Ebuya staged a sprint duel for second place, with Kogo prevailing, 27:55 to 27:56 — the fourth and fifth-fastest times in Central Park history. Desisa edged Kenya’s Simon Ndirangu for fourth; both men were timed in 28:19.

I’m very happy,” Komon said. “Last night I was thinking, ‘How can I break this course record?’  At the halfway point, I saw that I was inside the record — that picked me up a little.”

The race is sponsored annually by the Embassy of the United Arab Emirates to support awareness and treatment of kidney disease. The $20,000 Zayed Bonus for the course record honours the late Sheikh Zayed, former president of the UAE, who benefited from American expertise when he was treated for kidney disease.

Organisers for the IAAF