Joshua Cheptegei Shatters 5K World Record in Monaco

The Ugandan runner broke the 13-minute barrier on the road by a whopping 27 seconds.


Taylor Dutch & Kirsten Curtis |

Ugandan running sensation Joshua Cheptegei obliterated the 5K world record in his first race of the season. The 23-year-old ran 12:51 at the Monaco Run 5K on Sunday, breaking the previous record by a whopping 27 seconds.

Pending ratification, Cheptegei’s winning performance broke the previous world record of 13:18 set by Rhonex Kipruto en route to his 10K world record in Valencia on January 12, according to World Athletics.

“Wow, this is really great,” Chepetegei told World Athletics. “I had sub-13 minutes on my mind today, so when my legs felt good during the race I decided to really go for it. To take this many seconds off the record makes me very happy and is a great first test for me in an important season.”

Cheptegei attacked the pace from the gun, breaking away from the field with an opening kilometer of 2:31. He held a consistent pace—2:35, 2:36, and 2:35—for the next three kilometers and finished with a final split of 2:32.

Cheptegei was wearing the controversial Nike Vaporfly shoe also worn by Kenyan Eliud Kipchoge when he made history by breaking the two-hour mark for the marathon last October.

RELATED: Inside the Nike Vaporfly: The Shoe So Good It Almost Got Banned

Cheptegei’s 12:51 is the fastest 5K recorded on the roads and the track in the last year. During the 2019 season, the top mark in the 5,000 meters was 12:52.98, run by Telahun Haile Bekele at the Rome Diamond League meeting in June.

Because the 5K did not become an official world record event until November 2017, Cheptegei also surpassed the fastest time ever recorded on the roads, which was Sammy Kipketer’s 13:00 set in 2000 at the Carlsbad 5000.

Jimmy Gressier of France finished second to Cheptegei in 13:18, which broke the European record. Liv Westphal, also from France, won the women’s race in 15:31 and broke the French national record.

The 5K world record builds on a series of breakthrough races for Cheptegei, who broke the 10K world record at the 10K Valencia Trinidad Alfonso in December.

RELATED: Joshua Cheptegei Caps Stellar Year With 10K World Record

Prior to the record, he became a cross-country world champion in March 2019 and a world champion in the 10,000 meters at the IAAF World Championships in Doha, Qatar.

Watch how the race unfolded below:

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