ASICS Speed Race – Paris Festival of Running

Take the vibes of On Track Nights, add a world class field of runners like adidas' Road to Records and you get ASICS Speed Race

ASICS Speed Race – Ignite The Streets

ASICS set out with a mission over three days in Paris. Ignite. Excite. Inspire.


The first stage of this was a rather rainy Friday night. However, the drab weather couldn’t dampen the spirits of the ASICS Frontrunner crew who partied their way to the start line. In the middle of the 2.5km loop were food trucks, DJs and plenty of runners. Around the outside of the course, spectators galore who didn’t let the rain deter them from cheering on their favourites. The night consisted of several events:


The opening event, a youth race with several categories with the winner of each standing to win a year’s sponsorship from ASICS.  Next up, the 10k Elites which was followed by the 5k Elites. Finishing off the evening, a 5k community race which ended up having some of the loudest support of the night. 

ASICS Speed Race (21 of 33)
ASICS Speed Race (23 of 33)

10km Elites

The first of the elites to take the start line outside the Palais Royal were the 10k runners. With both men and women starting at the same time, it was sure to be a frantic departure. The ASICS Speed Race began to live up to its name. A very strong field set off for 4 laps around the 2.5km loop. With runners representing Europe, Africa, North America and Asia on the line, PBs and national records were up for grabs. 


Aside from the main competition it was good to see Eilish McColgan back on pacing duties for 5km of the race after recovering from some long term injuries. She also shared a more relaxed pacing job with the community run at the end of the evening. However, back at the business end of the event, Jemal Mekonen took the win with a personal best time of 27:43. In second place, Hillary Kipkoech crossed the line just a second behind. Vincent Kibet took third with a time of 27:48. 


Other notable results from the men’s race include a personal best of 28:09 for France’s Etienne Daguinos and a 28:11 clocking from Cam Levins which equals the Canadian national record. 


The women’s race was also a close run thing for gold and silver. Likina Amebaw smashed her own PB by taking the win in a time of 29:56. This saw her beating Loice Chemnung of Kenya who also recorded a new personal best time of 29:57. Miriam Chebet took third with a time of 30:41.


Nadia Battocletti had an excellent night on the Paris streets where she ran 31:19 three weeks after returning from injury. The time was enough to set a new Italian national record. A very confidence inspiring return. Julia Mayer also attained a national record for Austria with a time of 32:28

ASICS Speed Race (14 of 33)

ASICS Speed Race 5km Elites 

After the great results from the 10km runners, excitement was high for the two laps of the 5km race. Sources report that the aim was for a 12:49 pace from the outset. However, conditions rather worked against the field in this endeavour. Another frenetic start with men and women on the same start line saw Hagos Gebrhiwet take an early lead. This lead was never relinquished during the race and his time of 13:24, while a distance outside the hopeful pace, was more than enough to take the win. Second place went to Mohamed Ismail of Djibouti who ran 13:32 which was not only enough for silver but also a national record. Third place for the men went to Adel Mechaal of Spain in a PB of 13:34.


The women’s race was another fairly straightforward win. Caroline Nyaga’s 14:40 was over 20 seconds ahead of  Uganda’s Joy Cheptoyek (15:03). Third place went to Belinda Chemutai whose time of 15:05 was another personal best for the evening. 


Overall, it was a great night of running and celebration with cheers, dancing and congratulations for everyone along the route. The evening was ended in splendid style with the community run around the picturesque route. A great way to get the marathon weekend going. Same time and place next year?

ASICS Speed Race (29 of 33)
ASICS Speed Race (24 of 33)


45 years old

173cm (5’8″) – 66kg (145lbs)

Forefoot striker – (Very) high cadence runner


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