Kipruto Sets Blazing Pace at UAE Healthy Kidney 10K
In its 14th year on the New York Road Runners calendar, the UAE Healthy Kidney 10K brought more than 7,500 runners—including a field of world-class professional athletes—to race over the rolling hills of Central Park.
The race celebrates the culture of the United Arab Emirates while raising awareness for kidney disease and organ donation. The connection between the two causes originated through the UAE's founder and first president, the late Sheikh Zayed, as he aimed to show appreciation for the care he was given in the U.S. after receiving a kidney transplant in 2000. In his honor, the race offers the $30,000 Zayed Bonus, given to the first man who breaks the event record of 27:35 and to the first woman who runs faster than 30:44.
From the starting horn, two runners—Kenyan training partners Rhonex Kipruto and Mathew Kimeli—set off to chase that bonus prize money, in addition to competing for the $10,000 first-place prize. Passing the 5K split in approximately 13:39, the two were on track to break the event record, and they would only pick up the pace from there.
On the fourth mile, the 18-year-old Kipruto began to pull away from Kimeli, and he reached the 8-kilometer checkpoint in a world-best time of 21:45, breaking the previous mark by 17 seconds.
Kipruto would then lower the UAE Healthy Kidney 10K event record by 27 seconds, crossing the finish line in 27:08; that time is also the fastest in the world this year to date, the fastest road 10K ever run in the United States on a record-eligible course, and the seventh-fastest road 10K of all-time (also on a record-eligible course). Kimeli would finish second in 27:19.
The women's race provided another exciting finish, as 2018 United Airlines NYC Half champion Buze Diriba of Ethiopia once again used her fast finishing kick to win, this time in 32:04, coming from behind to pass fellow Ethiopian Aselefech Mergia in the final 200 meters.
Both winners were presented with their $10,000 checks in the post-race festival, with Kipruto receiving the $30,000 Zayed Bonus to accompany his new event record. After the awards presentation, Kipruto and Kimeli stayed on stage to celebrate with a special guest performance from Flo Rida.
The post-race festival also included booths that showcased both the culture of the UAE, highlighting cities like Abu Dhabi and Dubai, as well as kidney health organizations like the National Kidney Foundation. In addition, this year's festival served as a celebration of Sheikh Zayed's life and legacy, as he would have turned 100 on May 6 of this year.
Today we are celebrating the @yearofzayed & #Emirati culture at the #UAEHK10K through an exhibition of why we love Sheikh Zayed, an interactive installation of #Emirati traditional dress from @alserkalcf and #UAE branded giveaways in honor of the late Sheikh Zayed. pic.twitter.com/LPTDku3u5b— UAE Consulate in NYC (@UAEinNYC) April 29, 2018
And with spring finally starting to arrive in New York City, runners had plenty of seasonal backdrops to show off their finisher medals.
Missed the action live? USATF.TV +Plus subscribers can watch the a replay of the UAE Healthy Kidney 10K professional athlete race on demand at USATF.TV.