Published 07 Apr 2022

As part of our week celebrating the fifth anniversary of the NN Running Team we put the spotlight on five unforgettable memories in 2020.

  • Tokyo rising for Birhanu

Birhanu Legese leads home an NN Running Team one-two to successfully retain his Tokyo Marathon title with a stylish performance.

The Ethiopian made his winning move a little after 38.5km to accelerate clear of the field to victory in 2:04:15 ahead of his team-mate Bashir Abdi, who set a Belgian record 34 seconds further back.

“The weather was good, unlike last year,” said Birhanu. “It was a little windy, but no rain. 2:04:15 is a good time.”

  • MA RA TH ON boosts the global running family

In response to the global pandemic and the cancellation of countless races, the NN Running Team was at the heart of MA RA TH ON an exciting new concept designed to offer meaningful competition.

Attracting a staggering 106,000 runners from across the world the exciting four-person virtual relay proved a huge hit.

As an additional bonus participants were given a unique opportunity to run on the same team as global distance running superstars such as Eliud Kipchoge, Joshua Cheptegei, Geoffrey Kamworor and Kenenisa Bekele.

Global Sports Communication ceo and NN Running Team visionary Jos Hermens said: “The event brought our athletes and fans together on the start line. In these difficult times we like to challenge people to stay active and go for a run.”

  • Joshua lowers legendary global mark

Joshua Cheptegei claimed his maiden track world record by slicing two seconds from the long-standing world 5000m record of Kenenisa Bekele with a dazzling performance in Monaco.

Churning out metronomic 61-second laps the Ugandan superstar stopped the clock in 12:35.36 to lower the 16-year-old world record mark.

“If you believe in something, anything is possible,” said Joshua. “Breaking a record was something really difficult, but when you know the right way, it’s not difficult anymore.”

  • Joshua completes long-distance world record track double

At the specifically organised NN Valencia World Record Day Joshua Cheptegei plundered the world 10,000m, recording a time of 26:11.00.

Just 54 days after capturing Kenenisa Bekele’s long-held 5000m record in Monaco he added the 10,000m record formerly held by the Ethiopian with a dazzling display of distance running.

Joshua said: “In this difficult situation (of the pandemic which devastated so much of the athletics calendar), I hope things like this can still give us joy and some hope for tomorrow.”

  • Letesenbet creates history in Valencia

On an unforgettable night for distance running, Letesenbet Gidey announced herself as a global star by setting a world 5000m at the NN Valencia World Record Day.

The brilliant Ethiopian wiped four seconds from the world record mark previously held by countrywoman Tirunesh Dibaba, recording 14:06:62.

“This is a long-time dream and I’m very happy with this competition,” she says. “It is very big for me.”