Lagat Continues To Dominate: Wins In Australia

  • By Duncan Larkin
  • Published Mar. 3, 2011
  • Updated Mar. 3, 2011 at 10:49 AM UTC
Bernard Lagat defeated Chris Solinsky at the Melbourne Track Classic on Thursday. Photo:

Bernard Lagat defeated Chris Solinsky at the Melbourne Track Classic on Thursday. Photo:

Chris Solinsky ended up placing third.

Bernard Lagat appears to be practically unbeatable this year. On Thursday, he defeated a stacked field to win the 5,000m event at the Melbourne Track Classic. Lagat’s winning time was 13:08.43. The rabbits did the heavy lifting up to 3000m mark (13:18 pace). Six runners, including Lagat, Matt Tegenkamp, and Chris Solinsky, had managed to hang on. At that point, Lagat and Solinsky took turns leading.

With 800m remaining, it came down to four runners: Lagat, Solinksy, Tegenkamp, and Australia’s Ben St. Lawrence.

And at the bell lap, it appeared to become a two-man race between Lagat, the American 5,000m record holder and Solinksy, the American 10,000m record holder. However, as the runners cleared the final straight, St. Lawrence put on the jets and nearly caught the two. Lagat sensed the surge and exploded ahead. Solinsky had no counter and St. Lawrence passed him.

Ben St. Lawrence finished second in 13:10.05, while Solinsky had to settle for third in 13:10.22. It was a stunning 15-second PR for St. Lawrence.

“I had so much fun running here today. I knew that I had been training really, really well,” said Lagat after his victory lap.

Solinsky, Lagat, Tegenkamp, and Andy Bumbalough all ran fast enough to earn the Olympic ‘A’ qualifying time (13:20:00).

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Duncan Larkin

Duncan Larkin

Duncan Larkin is the news editor at and a freelance journalist who’s been covering the sport of running for over five years. He’s run 2:32 in the marathon and won the Himalayan 100-Mile Stage Race in 2007. His first running book, RUN SIMPLE, was released last July.

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