A New Kenyan Star Rises On The Road

Young and full of run, Kipruto put together the fastest 10K ever run on a record-standard course in the U.S. (VICTOR SAILER/PHOTORUN)

New York City, April 29, 2018—The Big Apple’s Healthy Kidney 10K featured a display not just of potential but also he’s-got-chops-now running from one very fast teenager.

Kenyan Rhonex Kipruto, 18, and his training partner Mathew Kimeli—just 20 and a 27:14.43 track performer last summer—wasted no time after the gun in their rush over a rolling Central Park route to the finish line.

Kipruto got there in 27:08—a World Junior (U20) Record and the U.S. soil best for a record-standard course—after starting to stretch the rubber band on Kimeli (27:19) in the fourth mile.

The splits the teen mentored by noted coach Brother Colm O’Connell laid down were eye opening. For example these mile figures: (4:31, 4:15 [8:46], 4:23 [13:09], 4:28 [17:37], 4:14 [21:51], 4:27).

After a 13:39 split at halfway, in the stretch where he was essaying that 4:14 split for mile 5 Kipruto charged through 8K in 21:45 (certified auto split), 17 seconds under Stephen Sambu’s former world best 4 years ago. He slowed some after that but “slow” is, of course, relative.

Kipruto’s performance earned him a $30,000 bonus for breaking the “Central Park Record” on top of $10K for the win.

Kipruto has track ambitions for the coming summer. “Our goal,” O’Connell told the Nairobi Star, “is ensure Kipruto makes it to the Kenyan team to the World Junior Championships. He will be competing in the 10,000 meters race.”

Buze Diriba, the ’12 World Junior champion at 5000, won the women’s race in 32:04 with fellow Ethiopian Aselefech Mergia 2 seconds behind.

Top American Laura Thweatt ended up 4th in a PR 32:22. Thweatt, regaining strength after a 6-month injury layoff in ’17, kept the tempo rolling at the front most of the way: 16:12 at 5K, 25:52 at 8K.

“Thank you @nyrr for having me,” Thweatt tweeted. “Loved the race, being competitive & getting a 15sec road PR. Thought I died last mile but splits were 16:11/16:10—I just couldn’t close, which is fair considering I’ve done no fast/track work yet. Now time to enjoy the Big Apple with my parents.”


UAE HEALTHY KIDNEY 10K

New York City, New York, April 29—

10K: 1. Rhonex Kipruto (Ken) 27:08 WJR (old WJR 27:11 Mathew Kimeli [Ken] ’17) (US all-comers record—old ACR 27:11 Sammy Kipketer [Ken] ’02) (WL) (13:39/13:29) (21:45 WB @ 8K—old WB 22:02 Stephen Sambu [Ken] ’14);

2. Mathew Kimeli (Ken) 27:19; 3. Teshome Mekonen (Eth) 28:10; 4. Fikadu Girma (Eth) 28:36 PR; 5. Edwin Soi (Ken) 29:07; 6. Stephen Sambu (Ken) 29:08;… 10. Brendan Martin (US) 30:41.

HEALTHY KIDNEY WOMEN’S RESULTS

10K: 1. Buze Diriba (Eth) 32:04; 2. Aselefech Mergia (Eth) 32:06; 3. Monicah Wanjuhi (Ken) 32:15; 4. Laura Thweatt (US) 32:22 PR; 5. Sinke Dessie (Eth) 32:56;… 7. Lindsey Scherf (US) 35:32. □

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