Beatrice Chebet breaks the 10,000m WR

Conditions were good, with a slight wind but humidity and, for much of the race, the heat of the sun.

The 10,000m race was to be two races within one race, a WR attempt by Gudaf Tsegay, who had run a 5,000m WR at the 2023 NIKE Pre Classic. Gudaf had already run 3:50.30 at her opening outdoor race in Xiamen, China, on April 21, 2024.

The pace for the WR attempt was challenging: 70 seconds a lap, 2:54 for the 1,000m, to reach 29:01.03, set by Letensebet Gidey. Many thought Gudaf Tsegay could do it; they did not give Beatrice Chebet the script.

Gudaf Tsegay looked fantastic. Some did not notice that Beatrice Chebet was just behind her throughout the race.

Saron Berhe led the 1000m in 2:53.52, and the Ethiopian also led at 2,000m in 5:48.07. The entire field was in a straight line. What was fascinating for me was that Beatrice Chebet, the two-time World Cross Country Champ, was right on the shoulder of Gudaf Tsegay, the current world record holder at 5,000 meters.

Women’s 10,000m Beatrice Chebet, Gudaf Tsegay, en route, NIKE Pre Classic, May 25, 2024, photo by Brian Eder for RunBlogRun

This race was set up for Tsegay, and the Ethiopians played a huge part in the race development.
Mekedes Alemeshete led the 3,000m mark in 8:42.19.

At the 4,000m mark, Gudaf Tsegay took the lead with Beatrice Chebet on her shoulder, hitting 4k in 11:37.39.

And by this time, the lead pack was down to five.

Tsegay completed the 5,000m in 14:31.08, right on pace, with Chebet there and the rest of the pack falling back.

This had been a war of attrition from the first kilometer. Remember how I said this was the Kenyan Trials and a World record attempt. It was also a dress rehearsal between Ethiopians and Kenyans for the Paris 10,000m, except that Paris will probably be twenty degrees hotter!

The 10,000m is a classic race. It involves 25 laps around a 400-meter track and is sometimes described as a moving chess game.

This writer ran a couple dozen 10,000m races on the track. A few things about the 10,000m. First, you know when you are running a bad race, from early on, and you also know when. You are running a good one.

Gudaf Tsegay and Beatrice Chebet were running great races!

Tsegay had run 29:29.73, and Beatrice had run 33:29.70 (at altitude).

A little bit on both athletes.

Gudaf Tsegay is the world champion at 10,000m and has run 3:50.30 for 1,500m and 14:00.54 for 5,000m. She is a racing animal.

Beatrice Chebet has won two straight World Cross Country Champs in terribly difficult conditions and seems to just hunker down in a tough situation.

They were in no women’s land by six thousand meters, which Gudaf and Beatrice hit in 17:25.13. They were inching ahead of the World Record pace.

And it was showing. Gudaf Tsegay was grimacing, and Beatrice Chebet was withdrawn.

Seven thousand meters, with Tsegay in the lead, at 20:19.97, and the challenge of running 7k at a world record or better pace was telling.

Who would win this one? I did not know.

Gudaf Tsegay led Beatrice Chebet through 8,000m in 23 14.20, on pace.

I was watching Tsegay and Gudaf was hurting.

About 8,700 meters, Beatrice Chebet took control, and the party was over immediately.

Chebet passed 9000m in 26:07.90.

Then, I noticed Beatrice increased her speed, running 68.33 on lap 23, 68.03 on lap 24, and 63.63 on lap 25!

By this time, Gudaf Tsegay was trying to hold on.

Beatrice Chebet, energized by leading, just flew away, becoming the first woman to break 29 minutes for 10,000m, with her 28:54.14 WR/NR/PB.

Beatrice Chebet wins 10,000m in WR of 28:54.14, photo by Brian Eder for RunBlogRun.

Gudaf Tsegay had run 29:05.92, a new PB. Lillian Basalt Rengeruk, KEN, was third in 29:26.89, and Margaret Chelimo Kipkemboi was fourth in 29:27.59!

Beatrice Chebet has taken women’s distance running into a new world and is racing as fast as the great Emil Zatopek!  What was also fascinating to me was that Beatrice looked fully recovered as she and Gudaf Tsegay hugged each other post-race!

Gudaf Tsegay and Beatrice Chebet embrace after a 25-lap battle, photo by Brian Eder for RunBlogRun.

Beatrice Chebet told the media the following after her World record race:

“For Paris, I’m going to double. But my target is to run 5000 first, then 10,000 comes second. Because this is my first 10,000 out of the country to run, and I’m so happy to run 28, a world record. The last lap just motivated me, especially when Gudaf dropped. Then I realized I was the best, so I could go. I just want to thank my management, my coach, and everyone at home for their great support. I did very well because I saw my body was responding well. I say because Gudaf requested a world record, let me go with her and see how my body responded, and the body responded well then I decided to go.”


Beatrice Chebet, photo finish, 10,000m, WR 28:54.14, NIKE Pre Classic


Women’s 10,000m
1 Beatrice CHEBET KEN 28:54.14 WR*
2 Gudaf TSEGAY ETH 29:05.92
3 Lilian Kasait RENGERUK KEN 29:26.89
4 Margaret Chelimo KIPKEMBOI KEN 29:27.59
5 Janeth CHEPNGETICH KEN 30:04.97
6 Emmaculate Anyango ACHOL KEN 30:06.43
7 Catherine Reline AMANANG’OLE KEN 30:07.42
8 Faith CHEPKOECH KEN 30:22.77
9 Sarah CHELANGAT UGA 30:24.04
10 Miriam CHEBET KEN 30:27.30
11 Grace Loibach NAWOWUNA KEN 30:34.86
12 Loice CHEMNUNG KEN 30:44.86
13 Daisy JEPKEMEI KAZ 30:52.43


Beatrice Chebet, WR, 10,000m in 28:54.14, photo by Brian Eder for RunBlogRun