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Amazing Finish in the Men’s 10,000m at the 2011 Daegu World Championships: Mo Farah vs. Ibrahim Jeilan

Amazing finish – watch it (via BBC)!

Quick analysis – I counted the number of steps that Jeilan and Farah took starting at the 16 second mark (about 26:36.7 on the race clock) of the video and ending at 26 second mark. If my count is correct, both took 34 steps during that segment of the backside straightaway during the final lap. This would give each a cadence of 204 steps/min over this stretch.

During the final straightaway to the finish, if you start when the race time is at 27:04.5, Jeilan takes 32.5 steps over about 9 seconds to the finish line, for a cadence of 216.67 steps/min. Over the same distance, Farah takes 31.5 steps in about 9.3 seconds, for a cadence of 203.23 steps/min. What this suggests is that Jeilan was able to ramp up his turnover during the final stretch to catch up to and pass Mo Farah just before the finish line, whereas Farah’s turnover remained consistent. The one additional step gained by Jeilan by ramping his turnover up was enough for the win!

Unfortunately, no data on stride length as that is the other determinant of speed, but amazing to see how much Jeilan was able to ramp up his cadence during his final kick –amazing stuff!

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About Peter Larson

This post was authored by Peter Larson. Pete is a biology teacher, track/soccer coach, and dad (x3) with a passion for running, soccer, and science. If you'd like to learn a little bit more about who I am and what I do, click here, or visit


  1. Bkinggard says:


  2. RunTraveler says:

    That was amazing to watch. Gave me goosebumps. Thanks for sharing!

  3. Macmgagan says:

    Should be able to figure out stride length based on markings on the track

  4. When Farah looked back with about 150m to go, he lost the race. NEVER look back.

  5. Check out how beefy those shoes are. (the camera crew are wearing them)

  6. Rodger Kram says:

    it’s easy to calculate average step length
    velocity (m/sec) = step frequency (steps/sec) x step lengthRodger

    • Pete Larson says:


      Makes sense. Guess I was over thinking it – coming from a morphometrics background I was thinking in terms of a scale bar. I guess if you figure the time it took to cover the final 100m that would do the trick.

      Sent from my iPad

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