• Geoffrey Kipkorir Kirui wins the men's marathon athletics event at the 2017 IAAF World Championships London 2017

10,000 Metres

How it works

Runners compete over 25 laps of a 400m track. They make bunched standing starts and can break immediately for the inside.


The Ancient Greeks organised a number of events akin to today’s long-distance races. During the mid-19th century, races for betting purposes were very popular in Great Britain and America.

Every Olympics since 1912 has included a men’s 10,000m, but it wasn’t until 1988 that a women’s version featured at the Games.

Did you know

When Kenenisa Bekele won the men’s Olympic 10,000m title in 2004, he ran the final lap in 53.02sec – a time quick enough to have won bronze in the women’s 400m at the 1964 Games.

Gold standard

Ethiopians and Kenyans dominate the male version, while China and Ethiopia have a strong tradition in the women’s event.