Mo Farah broke the British 10km record to win the second ‘BUPA London 10,000’, a 10km road race on the streets of the British capital this morning (Mon 25).
The 26-year-old ran away from Kenya’s Samuel Kosgei on the scenic central London course to cross the line in 27:50 slicing five seconds from the national record set by Mark Scrutton in March 1984 when Farah was less than a year old.
Kosgei was second in 28:03 after chasing the Briton hard for the first 7km, while Ukraine’s Sergey Lebid was third in 28:34.
New Zealander Kim Smith was a runaway winner of the women’s race in 31:38 breaking her personal best by 40 seconds. Hatti Dean added to a good day for Britain as she finished second in 33:52, 33 seconds ahead of the Olympic marathon champion, Constantina Dita.
“I knew I was in really good shape,” said Farah who returned to Britain recently after six weeks altitude work in Font Romeau.
“My training’s been going really well and I came here wanting to win. I wanted to get close to 28 minutes but I didn’t expect the British record. That’s a real bonus.”
Farah set off at the head of a field of 9000 running alongside his training partner Boniface Kiprop of Uganda, with Kosgei, Lebid, and former Olympic Marathon champion Stefano Baldini in attendance. Two Britons, Phil Wicks and Andrew Lemoncello, were also in the leading group.
Farah made the most of the excellent conditions - overcast skies and a light breeze - as he knocked out consistent 2:40-2:45 kilometre splits. By the 3km mark he led a line of four athletes clear of the rest, with Kosgei already on his heels. These two gradually pulled away from the chasers over the next 4km as the course snaked along the Thames, past St Paul’s Cathedral, and through the City of London.
Farah made his move between 6 and 7km as the two leaders strode past St Paul’s for the second time. With a 2:40 split for the seventh kilometre the Briton finally pulled away from his stalker and headed back to the finish line in The Mall with the wind in his face.
“Samuel hung on for a long time,” said Farah afterwards. “I knew I could out-kick him so I wasn’t worried but I wanted a decent time so I thought I would push on and get away.”
“The crowd really helped. They made a big difference cheering all the way. Now I want to run well over the summer and keep moving on. My aim is to get the British 5000m record but more importantly I want to run well in the big championships.”
Kosgei had expected to do well here after setting a PB of 27:49 at the World’s Best 10km earlier this year, but the Kenyan was hampered by a tight calf in the closing stages.
“I thought I could stay with him but my calf started hurting and I couldn’t hang on,” he said. “I expected to win so I’m a bit disappointed.”
There was more good news for Britain as Phil Wicks beat Kiprop, the Commonwealth Games 10,000m champion to finish fourth. Baldini marked his 38th birthday by finishing eighth in 29:42.
If Farah had to fight for his victory, Smith had it all her own way in the women’s race. The 27-year-old Olympic finalist blasted off at the start leaving Dita and the rest in her wake.
She ran unchallenged for the whole race and won by more than two minutes. “I’m feeling pretty fit right now and that felt very comfortable,” she said. “I wanted to make a good impression out there.
“I knew Constantina was feeling a little tired after the Olympics so I thought it’s a good chance to beat someone who’s an amazing runner.”
Dean was also delighted to notch up victory over the Olympic champion. A former British record holder for 3000m Steeplechase, Dean caught Dita at the half way mark and steadily pulled away over the second half.
“I was hoping for a slightly quicker time,” said Dean, who set her PB of 33:40 in Bristol earlier this month. “But I think it’s important to look at who I beat. I know she is a marathon specialist but to beat an Olympic champion is really exciting.”
For her part, Dita was just pleased to make the podium as she is still suffering with the liver problems that forced her to drop out of the London Marathon last month.
“The time was not fast but it’s OK to come in the top three,” said the 39-year-old Romanian. “It’s my first race since the marathon so it’s fine. These girls are all younger than me anyway.”
Australia’s Emily Brichacek was fourth in 33:34, a personal best for the 18-year-old.
Matthew Brown for the IAAF