The NN Running Team has toasted a memorable fifth year of its existence with a string of outstanding performances across the calendar year. In the second of our three-part review of 2022 highlights we focus on several key moments.
World 10,000m double
The NN Running Team completed a momentous 10,000m track double at the World Athletics Championships in Eugene, Oregon.
Joshua Cheptegei retained his world title over the 25-lap distance, executing a masterful display to take gold in 27:27.43.
The Ugandan hit the bell in front – having led for much of the second half of the race – and would not be surpassed, repelling nearest pursuer Stanley Mburu of Kenya by a margin of 0.47.
Having won the World U20 10,000m title back at Hayward Field some eight years earlier he said: “It was very emotional for me to come back to the USA where I started my international career. Now I want to continue my dominance in long distance running.”
In the women’s 10,000m final, world record-holder Letesenbet Gidey claimed her first major track title in a thrilling sprint finish.
The Ethiopian edged Hellen Obiri of Kenya by just 0.08 to finally claim her maiden global track crown. It was a sweet moment for Letesenbet, who had to settle for World 10,000m silver in 2019 and a 10,000m bronze at the Tokyo Olympic Games.
Lonah’s big year
Not one 2022 highlight for Lonah Salpeter but several. The Israeli opened her year by running the second fastest marathon of her career (2:18:45) to finish second in the Nagoya Women’s Marathon and in July she won a World Championship marathon bronze in Eugene (2:20:18).
A European Championship 10,000m bronze followed one month later before she ended a terrific competitive year finishing second in the TCS New York City Marathon. Lonah completed the 42.2km distance in 2:23:30 – just seven second behind race winner Sharon Lokedi.
Almaz makes spectacular marathon debut
One of the most heartfelt successes of the NN Running Team in 2022 belonged to Almaz Ayana, who produced the fastest ever women’s debut marathon time of 2:17:20 (later beaten by Letesenbet Gidey) to win the TCS Amsterdam Marathon.
The Ethiopian athlete won the 2016 Olympic 10,000m title in Rio and the following year took out the World 10,000m crown but has barely competed since as injuries took a grip and in November 2020 she gave birth to her son, Surafel.
Yet on her first ever 42.2km she mounted her winning move just after 35km to win in a time which elevated her to seventh (now ninth) on the all-time lists for the distance.
Gidey makes huge impact in Valencia
In a hugely-anticipated first appearance over the 42.2km distance, Letesenbet Gidey recorded a scorching 2:16:49 to place second in a high-class Valencia Marathon Trinidad Alfonso.
The Ethiopian world record-holder over 5000m, 10,000m and the half-marathon hit the halfway checkpoint in 1:07:18 – only 19 seconds off world record pace.
A little before the 35km mark, Letesenbet’s countrywoman Amane Beriso broke clear at the front and while she could not be caught Gidey stuck to her task.
Crossing the line in a mark which elevates the world 10,000m champion to sixth on the all-time lists was a hugely promising marathon debut and points to a huge future over the distance.
The NN Running Team looks back upon a memorable 2022 in a three-part review. The first of three parts can be read here.