16 MAY 2009 General News New York, USA

Tola smashes Central Park 10k record

In 2008 - Tadese Tola takes down New York's Central Park 10km record clocking 27:48 (Courtesy of New York Road Runners)In 2008 - Tadese Tola takes down New York's Central Park 10km record clocking 27:48 (Courtesy of New York Road Runners) © Copyright

Tadese Tola of Ethiopia made history by running 27:48 - the fastest 10K ever recorded in Central Park - at the Healthy Kidney 10K. This was his second match-up with Kenya’s Patrick Makau in New York City and his second win, after last year’s NYC Half-Marathon, in which he edged Makau by one second.

Tola and Makau ran the first half of the race side by side until Tola pulled away in the fourth mile. Judging by his form and the ease with which he won, Tola was in control of the race from start to finish.

“After mile four, we were moving at a fast pace, and I was confident I’d have the record,” Tola said. “This was a good course for me, and I am very happy now.”

Makau, recovering from his Marathon debut—a fourth-place finish in 2:06:14 at the Fortis Rotterdam Marathon a little more than a month ago—took second in 28:28, nine seconds slower than his winning performance from last year.

“This was good to see my endurance—my body is coming back,” he said. Boaz Cheboiywo of Kenya ran 28:31, good for third place in his Healthy Kidney debut.

Earlier this week, Tola said, “If the temperature is good, I think I can break the record by running 27:56 or 27:58.” In spite of the rain that fell intermittently during the race, Tola bettered his prediction and earned the coveted Zayed Bonus for a course record. The $20,000 prize had been won only once before, by Dathan Ritzenhein in 2007. Tola crushed Ritzenhein’s record by 20 seconds.

The frontrunners were followed by Wegayehu Tefera of Ethiopia (fourth), Stephen Chemlany of Kenya (fifth), and Worku Beyi of Ethiopia (sixth). Aziza Aliyu of Ethiopia won the women’s race in 33:38.

More than 7500 finishers, split fairly evenly between men and women, came out despite the fog and rain to be part of the fifth running of the Healthy Kidney 10K. The turnout was the largest ever.

Rachel Wallack for the IAAF