Five-time Olympian, Bernard Largat made history as he became the oldest-ever athlete to win the USATF 10Km championships, that was held on Wednesday (4) at AJC Peachtree Road Race in Atlanta.
The 42 year-old ignored the early breakaway attempt of Augustus Maiyo of the U.S. Army team, stayed tucked in the pack after Maiyo was caught just past the 5-kilometer mark, then sat at the back of a five-man group of Haron Lagat (no relation), Lopez Lomong (the recently-crowned national 10,000m champion), Tyler Pennel, and Sam Chelanga in the final stages of the race. Lagat took advantage of this and went on to cut the tape in 28:42.
“I hung in as much as I could and waited patiently until the last minute,” Lagat said in a text message to Race Results Weekly.
Chelanga was the first to crack in the final kilometer, then Pennel, then Lomong. The taller Haron Lagat tried mightily to hang on his namesake, but the five-time Olympian’s sizzling drive to the finish left his rivals gasping behind him in Atlanta’s warm and sticky air.
“I want to come back again, and I want to win this,” Lagat said, recalling his mindset. “So I trained so hard. I decided not to race in the other race before this. My last race was in March. From March until this, there’s a lot of races I missed. But I thought it was worth the sacrifice.”
Haron Lagat got second six seconds later and was followed by Pennel in 28:49.
Chelanga and Lomong took fourth and fifth place in 28:56 and 28:57 respectively.
Langat pocketed a cool $10,000 in prize money.