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Keita Sato Breaks Indoor 5000 m NR by 18 Seconds at BU John Thomas Terrier Classic

Three weeks after running a 59:22 half marathon equivalent at the Hakone Ekiden, Komazawa University 2nd-year Keita Sato became only the second Japanese man ever to break 13:10 for 5000, taking over 18 seconds off the indoor 5000 m NR with a 13:09.45 for 10th at Boston University's John Thomas Terrier Classic.

After Hakone on Jan. 2 Sato took a week off to recover from what had been his first race longer than 11 km. Phasing back into training the week after that during exams, on Jan. 18 he flew to Boulder, Colorado for six weeks of training with OAC. On Jan. 22 he celebrated his 20th birthday, and on Jan. 24 the group flew to Boston. Throughout the race he stayed near the middle of the front pack, splitting 2:38.24-2:37:17-2:38.76-2:38.01-2:37.28 en route. His 3000 m split of 7:54.16 was 2 seconds faster than the only other indoor race he had ever run, a 7:56.41 for silver at last spring's Asian Indoor Championships.

Sato had been totally focused on building volume for his Hakone debut and only had the week with OAC to do speed work oriented toward the Terrier Classic 5000 m, but even so his time bettered his outdoor PB by 13.46 seconds and Hyuga Endo's Japanese indoor 5000 m record by 18.36 seconds. He was also 1.04 seconds off Kieran Tuntivate's 13:08.41 indoor 5000 m Asian area record, and 1.05 seconds from Suguru Osako's 13:08.40 outright Japanese national record.

"I thought I could run 13:07, but in the last 1000 m I just couldn't pick it up," Sato told JRN post-race. "There's still a lot of work to do. My stomach was bothering me and I had diarrhea, and I thought about not running at all. I think something I ate last night disagreed with me. I'm glad I did run, though."

After heading back to Boulder, Sato next races the 2 mile at the Feb. 11 Millrose Games, where he'll go for Osako's indoor 3000 m NR of 7:45.62.

John Thomas Terrier Classic 5000 m Scarlet Race

Boston University, Boston, 26 Jan. 2024

1. Edwin Kurgat (Under Armour) - 12:57.52 - PB
2. George Mills (OAC Europe) - 12:58.68 - NR
3. Yared Nuguse (OAC) - 13:02.09 - PB
4. George Beamish (OAC) - 13:04.33 - NR
5. Ben Flanagan (On Running) - 13:04.62 - PB
6. Joe Klecker (OAC) - 13:06.02
7. Morgan McDonald (OAC) - 13:07.30 - PB
8. Mike Foppen (Nike) - 13:08.60 - NR
9. Olin Hacker (NAZ Elite) - 13:08.76 - PB
10. Keita Sato (Komazawa Univ.) - 13:09.45 - NR
11. Mohamed Abdilaahi (Puma) - 13:16.43 - PB
12. Willy Fink (Under Armour) - 13:22.53
13. Maximilian Thorwirth (SFD75) - 13:29.00 - PB
14. Simon Bedard (Hoka One One) - 13:30.14 - PB
15. Jonas Raess (OAC) - 13:32.33
16. John Reniewicki (Under Armour) - 13:35.18
17. Mario Garcia Romo (OAC) - 13:57.24 - PB

© 2024 Brett Larner, all rights reserved

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