Tegla Loroupe (Getty Images) © Copyright
General News Warstein, Germany

Tegla Loroupe beats Karolina Szabo’s World 30,000 metres record in Warstein

Tegla Loroupe of Kenya beat the 15 year old World 30,000m record at a small track meeting here on Friday evening, 6 June. Almost a month after her 30th birthday Tegla Loroupe ran 1:45:50.00 for the distance, lowering the mark (1:47:05.6) set by Hungary’s Karolina Szabo in Budapest on 22 April 1988 by 1:15.6 minutes. 

In a race with four competitors of which three finished, according to Tegla Loroupe’s manager Volker Wagner, Loroupe was paced by her training compatriot Irene Jerotich (Kenya).

”But as Irene was partially not fast enough, Tegla also did some pacing work herself,” Wagner reported.

It was only until 16,000m that Jerotich matched Loroupe’s speed. The Kenyan then dropped out and Tegla Loroupe was on her own. At an hour she had run an estimated 16,200 metres. She had passed 5000m in 17:36 and 10,000m in 35:11 minutes together with Jerotich.

When Loroupe was on her own she slightly slowed and reached 20,000 metres in 1:10:41. She was timed 1:28:22 after 25,000 metres, but all split times are unofficial.

“Due to a cold I had some problems at around 15k“, said Loroupe, who was cheered on by about 1,000 spectators. In addition to the cold she had suffered of diarrhoea the night before. ”But when the race went on it was getting better again and I found myself back into my rhythm.” As such, Loroupe was able to slightly increase her speed for the last 5,000 metres.

Originally she had planned to break not just the World record for 30,000 metres but also her own World record marks for one hour (18,340 metres/1998), 20,000 metres (1:05:26,6/2000) and 25,000 m (1:27:05/2002) in this race.

However, due to the health problems she decided to just concentrate on the one missing distance in her collection.

Loroupe had also run two marathon world best times in 1998 (2:20:47) and 1999 (2:20:43).

Instead of appearance money or a World record bonus, Loroupe asked the organizers to donate the money for a school which is to be founded in Kapenguria, the main town of the province where she comes from. Nearly 5,000 Euros were collected in Warstein for the school which will be called the “Tegla Loroupe Academy“.

Loroupe’s next goal is to qualify for the IAAF World Championships in Paris for either the 10,000 or 5000m. She will run the 5000m at the IAAF Golden League Meetings in Oslo on 27th June, and two weeks later in Rome. It is not yet decided if she will run the 3000m in Paris in between.

”But it’s difficult to find a good 10,000 metres race in which Tegla could beat the qualification time of 31:45 minutes which has been set by the Kenyan federation“, Volker Wagner confirmed.