Agnes Ngetich made the headlines in the Trunsylvania 10km at the Brasov Running Fesival when she sped to a women-only 10km world record of 29:24 on Sunday.
En route, the Kenyan passed through 5km in 14:25 which is also a women-only world record.
The race started at a hectic pace right from the gun with Ngetiich, fellow Kenyan Catherine Reline and Uganda’s Joy Cheptoyek leaving the pacemaker – who had been asked to tow the runners through 5km in 15:00 – quickly behind.
The trio sped through 1500 meters in a super-fast 4:12, leaving onlookers to wonder about the wisdom of such a fast start as Cheptoyek started to lose contact with the Kenyan pair at around 2.5km.
Ngetich and Reline went through 3km in 8:32 but it was only a few hundred metres down the road in the Coresi district on the outskirts of the Transylvanian city that the latter started to drift back and from then on Ngetich was out on her own.
The 2023 World Cross Country Championships bronze medallist – who finished second in Brasov 12 months ago and was sixth more recently in the World Athletics Championships Budapest 23 10,000m last month in a personal best of 31:34.83 – went through 5km in stunning women-only world record of 14:25, four seconds faster than the existing mark of Ethiopia’s Senbere Teferi from 2021.
By 7km, Ngetich had built up an 18-second lead over Reline and the gap just kept on widening.
Ngetich passed the 8.5km checkpoint in 24:56, with Reline second in 25:29 and she continued to fly over the last half of the three-lap course before acquiring her second world record of the morning.
“The world record is a surprise to me, I was just thinking about the course record [30:07 set by her fellow Kenyan Sheila Chepkirui last year] or a personal best,”
“I actually thought it was a false start, but I just kept going, nobody called us back, and then I didn’t worry about the fast early pace,” she joked. “I started the year in a perfect way with a medal at the world cross and I just wanted to finish the season with a good result, but I still can’t believe it’s a world record.”
Behind Ngetich, the unheralded Reline made a huge impression to finish second in 30:14 with Cheptoyek hanging on to finish third in 30:34.
The men’s race also produced plenty of thrills and excitement as Weldon Langat made it a Kenyan double triumph in Brasov, winning the men’s Trunsylvania 10km – a World Athletics Elite Label Race and the only road race of this status in Romania – in 27:05.
A large group of seven men went through 5lm in 13:30, with another four just two seconds further back at the halfway point.
However, surges in the sixth kilometer by the Kenyan Amos Kurgat and Dennis Kibet saw the pair pull away with Weldon Langat being towed along comfortably in their wake.
Kibet continued to regularly push the pace over the course of the next three kilometres but with just over one kilometer to go, he started to pay for his service at the front.
As Kurgat and Langat embarked on the final kilometer, the latter used that as a signal to change gears and made a decisive move that took him to victory just over two-and-a-half minutes later.
Kurgat took second in 27:12 while the 2018 world U20 champion Edward Pingua Zakayo came through strongly over the final kilometer, firstly overtaking the tiring Kibet and then almost catching Kurgat to complete an all-Kenyan podium in third place with 27:14.
Full results from the Trunsylvania 10km and all the races from the Brasov Running Festival are here and a video of the races is available on the Brasov Running Festival YouTube channel.