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10K run

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10K run

The mass public race at the 2012 London 10000 race
Amateur runners completing the 2006 Peachtree Road Race

The 10K run is a long-distance road running competition over a distance of ten kilometers (6.2 miles). Also referred to as the 10K road race, 10 km, or simply 10K, it is one of the most common types of road running event, alongside the half marathon and marathon. It is usually distinguished from the 10,000 metres track running event by stating the distance in kilometers, rather than meters.

As one of the shortest common road distances, many 10K races attract high levels of public participation. Among the largest 10K races, the Peachtree Road Race in Atlanta, United States had over 55,000 participants in 2011 while the Vancouver Sun Run and Bolder Boulder both had close to 50,000 runners.[1][2][3] The popularity of 10K races lies in the fact that, for most adults, the 10K distance is long enough to represent a challenge but short enough to remain accessible for an untrained runner.[4][5]

Most popular 10K races are an annual fixture in a city or area and typically incorporate an element of charity running, where participants raise funds for a cause based upon their completion of the course. Members of the public may take part in the races as a competition or simply for pleasure as a fun run. Some races also allow wheelchair racers to enter. Traditional New Year's Day races in Europe (Silvesterläuf) are often held over 10K.

The accessibility of the distance, and road running in general, has meant that local governments and health charities often form partnerships with races as a way of promoting sportswear companies are typical commercial sponsors of 10K events.[7][8]

The 10-kilometre metric distance has been used for road running events for a large portion of the modern era of athletics – the BěchovicePraha race is one of the longest-running events over the distance, having first been held in 1897.[9][10] In Western countries using imperial measurements, the 6-mile run (9.7 km) was once more prevalent, but many long-running events (such as the Cincinnati Thanksgiving Day Race and Saltwell Road Race) have adapted their courses to match the metric distance.[11]

Professional 10K running

At the professional level, there are many races which offer significant prize money to athletes who achieve a high finishing position in the race. At the highest level, annual prize money can total over US$100,000 at races such as the World's Best 10K, Peachtree Road Race, and World 10K Bangalore.[12][13]

Mo Farah, Micah Kogo and Chris Thompson in the elite men's race at the London 10000 in 2010

The 10K road distance has never featured on the event programs of the Athletics at the Summer Olympics or the IAAF World Championships in Athletics. However, it did briefly have its own individual championship for women in the form of the IAAF World Women's Road Race Championships, which was contested over ten kilometers in 1983 and 1984.[14] As a result, the highest level 10K road competitions occur at individual races run by race promoters, who attract elite international level runners through prize money and appearance fees. These types of races are held in all parts of the world, but the highest caliber races are mainly concentrated in the United States, Canada, Europe and East Asia.

The world records for the 10K road distance are 26:44 minutes for men (Leonard Patrick Komon, 2010) and 30:21 minutes for women (Paula Radcliffe, 2003).[15][16] Performances over ten kilometers on the roads were not recognized as world records by the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) until 2003 and instead the fastest times were referred to as "world bests". This changed in August 2003 when the IAAF Congress approved world record status for a number of specified road distances, including the 10 km.[17]

As with other forms of professional long-distance running, East African athletes have been dominant in the 10K distance since the 1990s. As of April 2013, all ten of the fastest male 10K runners are East African (nine of them Kenyan), while seven of the top ten female runners are Kenyan.[15][16]


Area records

  • World records are in bold. Correct as of February 2015.[18][19]
Area Men   Women
Time Athlete Nation   Time Athlete Nation
Africa 26:44 Leonard Komon  Kenya 30:27 Isabella Ochichi  Kenya
Asia 27:57 Nicholas Kemboi  Qatar 30:52 Kayoko Fukushi  Japan
Europe 27:34 Nick Rose  United Kingdom 30:21 Paula Radcliffe  United Kingdom
North, Central America
and Caribbean
27:23 Mark Nenow  United States 31:05 Angela Chalmers  Canada
Oceania 27:54 Craig Mottram  Australia 31:17 Benita Willis  Australia
South America 27:48 Marilson dos Santos  Brazil 32:06 Carmem de Oliveira  Brazil

Top 10 men

  • Correct as of February 2015.[15]
Rank Time Athlete Nation Date Race
1 26:44 Leonard Patrick Komon  Kenya 26 September 2010 Singelloop Utrecht
2 27:01 Micah Kipkemboi Kogo  Kenya 29 March 2009 Parelloop Brunssum
3 27:02 Haile Gebrselassie  Ethiopia 11 December 2002 Doha, Qatar
4= 27:04 Joseph Kimani  Kenya 4 July 1996 Peachtree Road Race
4= 27:04 Josphat Kiprono Menjo  Kenya 18 April 2010 Cursa de Bombers
6 27:09 Peter Kamais Lotagor  Kenya 6 September 2009 Tilburg 10K
7= 27:11 Sammy Kipketer  Kenya 30 March 2002 Crescent City Classic
7= 27:11 Sammy Kirop Kitwara  Kenya 26 September 2010 Singelloop Utrecht
9= 27:19 Moses Ndiema Masai  Kenya 28 February 2010 World's Best 10K
9= 27:19 Geoffrey Kiprono Mutai  Kenya 26 June 2011 Boston 10K

Top 10 women

  • Correct as of February 2015.[16]
Rank Time Athlete Nation Date Race
1 30:21 Paula Radcliffe  United Kingdom 23 February 2003 World's Best 10K
2 30:27 Isabella Ochichi  Kenya 26 March 2005 Crescent City Classic
3 30:29 Asmae Leghzaoui  Morocco 8 June 2002 New York Mini 10K
4 30:30 Tirunesh Dibaba  Ethiopia 1 September 2013 Tilburg 10K
5 30:32 Lornah Kiplagat  Kenya 4 July 2002 Peachtree Road Race
6 30:37 Joyce Chepkirui  Kenya 13 October 2013 Grand 10 Berlin
7 30:38 Tadelech Bekele  Ethiopia 13 October 2013 Grand 10 Berlin
8 30:39 Liz McColgan  United Kingdom 11 March 1989 Red Lobster Classic
9= 30:45 Lineth Chepkurui  Kenya 3 April 2010 Crescent City Classic
9= 30:45+ Mary Jepkosgei Keitany  Kenya 18 February 2011 Ras Al Khaimah Half Marathon


  1. ^ Largest races. Running USA. Retrieved on 2013-04-08.
  2. ^ Peachtree Through the Years 1970-2013. Peachtree Road Race. Retrieved on 2013-04-08.
  3. ^ History of The Vancouver Sun Run. Vancouver Sun Run (2012-11-19). Retrieved on 2013-04-08.
  4. ^ Ryder, Samantha (2009-01-20). Running: Top 10k races. Daily Telegraph. Retrieved on 2013-04-08.
  5. ^ Run your fastest 10K. Men's Health. Retrieved on 2013-04-08.
  6. ^ 5k, 10k and 10 mile runs. British Heart Foundation. Retrieved on 2013-04-08.
  7. ^ Bupa Running. Bupa. Retrieved on 2013-04-08.
  8. ^ Partners and Sponsors. Great Run. Retrieved on 2013-04-08.
  9. ^ Bechovice-Prague 10 km. Association of Road Racing Statisticians. Retrieved on 2013-04-08.
  10. ^ Běchovice Praha. Běchovice–Praha. Retrieved on 2013-04-08.
  11. ^ Longest Running Road Races. Association of Road Racing Statisticians. Retrieved on 2013-04-08.
  12. ^ Welcome to World Class Running. Professional Road Running Organization. Retrieved on 2013-04-08.
  13. ^ AWARDS & ACCOLADES WORLD 10K CATEGORY (Including Nation's Challenge). Procam Running. Retrieved on 2013-04-08.
  14. ^ IAAF World Women's Road Race Championships. GBR Athletics. Retrieved on 2013-04-08.
  15. ^ a b c 10 Kilometres - men - senior - outdoor. IAAF. Retrieved on 2013-04-08.
  16. ^ a b c 10 Kilometres - women - senior - outdoor. IAAF. Retrieved on 2013-04-08.
  17. ^ IAAF Congress approves world records for selected events on the road and agrees to accept World Antidoping Code. IAAF (2003-08-21). Retrieved on 2013-04-08.
  18. ^ Road Running - 10 Kilometres Men. IAAF. Retrieved on 2013-04-08.
  19. ^ Road Running - 10 Kilometres Women. IAAF. Retrieved on 2013-04-08.
  20. ^ Mutuota, Mutwiri (2012-07-11). Focus on Athletes - Mary Jepkosgei KEITANY. IAAF. Retrieved on 2013-04-08.
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