Saturday, September 20, 2014

Preview No. 1 of USATF National Masters 5K Road Championship-Women

As promised, here is the first preview for the upcoming USATF 5K Master's women's championship race at the Syracuse Festival of Races on October 5th, 2014. Feedback suggests shorter posts may be better so today I do W40 through W50 and tomorrow W55 and up.

The women and the men run separate races; last year the men ran first and were lucky with the rain which held off. The women wound up running in a fair [or perhaps unfair :)] amount of rain. But I was told it had been the other way around a few years previously. In any case, the rain served to neither dampen their spirits nor slow their times down as there were some incredible performances.

[Preview based upon information available online as of Sep.19, 2014 at 10:30 pm]

Overall. The overall Master's crown went to Melody Fairchild [Boulder, CO] who scored a decisive win last year in 16:51. She was followed by Sonja Friend-Uhl [Brentwood, TN] 19 seconds back and  Lori Kingsley [Wysox, PA] another half minute back. It was a terrific Masters debut for Fairchild, who has been a storied runner since her high school days. As of press time, only Friend-Uhl is currently registered. Even if the field were fixed as at present, there would be a challenger for 2014. Holly Ortlund [Atlanta Track Club] is a new Masters athlete who ran a 17:12 5K on Labor Day this year. And, of course, Fairchild and Kingsley may yet register.
Melody Fairchild breaking the tape as the 5K Women's Champion in 2013

Sonja Friend-Uhl, setting a brisk pace in one of her many races
W40. Fairchild, Friend-Uhl, and Nancy Mack [GA] went 1-2-3 in the W40 age group. If Fairchild has other plans for the 5th of October, Friend-Uhl and Ortlund should battle it out for supremacy in this age group, as for the overall title.

W45. Last year Lori Kingsley (PA) and  Emily Bryans (NY) battled to the finish with Kingsley taking the age group [and 3rd overall] by 5 seconds in 17:47. So far neither is signed up for this year's race. Among
Lori Kingsley, USATF Half Marathon Champion, 2011

those who have signed up, it appears that Linda Hawke [Athena Track Club] is the strongest competitor with a sub-3 hour marathon, a 1:25+ half marathon and a 30:41 8K. Although she seems

Linda Hawke (middle), 3rd place finisher in Michelle's Miles 5K
to prefer longer races, she does have a sub-20 5K this year and a couple of sub-19 5K's in 2013. I hope that Kingsley and Bryan have this race on their calendar as Hawke adds a new element to the competition.

W50. Last year Marisa Sutera Strange [Athena Track Club-NY] took this category decisively at 18:10, with a half minute margin over Deborah Torneden (KS). Sutera Strange is back to defend her
Marisa Sutera Strange, claiming the vistory in the Women's 5k of the Dutchess County Classic

title but so far Torneden has not registered. Among those who have, her teammate, Doreen McCoubrie [Athena Track Club], is a real threat. She will try to reverse the results of the USATF 10K championship earlier this year where
Doreen McCoubrie, #2 in the 2006 MORE Marathon

Sutera Strange defeated her by 14 seconds in 38:47. It should be quite a rematch!

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