November 20 2015. Fall is a great time for a 12K race. The weather on Sunday, November 15th was crisp and cool in the morning, warming up to upper 50's,/low 60's by afternoon. The race started at 7:55 am with very little wind or humidity and temps in the low 40's. We were running though Oldtown in Alexandria Virginia, just south of the Nation’s capital, and then onto the George Washington parkway running south along the Potomac. The course is pretty fast, a true 'out and back' with only 1 real uphill on the way out, and it is not long, even shorter on the way back. Apart from that the runners have a long straight at the start and finish of about 3/4ths of a mile, and a 2.5 mile long flat stretch along the George Washington (GW) Parkway to the turn-around. Two Masters runners took advantage of the day to set records, and a third athlete came very, very close.
RECORDS. Jen Rhines, now in her 41st year, had indicated her intention to try for a top 10 finish in the Women's Open Elite race. She felt it would take a faster time than her record setting effort last year to do so and she was right. That goal enabled her to run faster than last year and establish a new Masters 12K record for women of 42:04, lowering her old record time by nearly half a minute. It’s a tribute to training and resilience when you’re getting faster with age!
An age group record was also set. Edie Stevenson broke the 2005 Women's 65-69 record of Barbara Miller, 55:15. Stevenson not only broke it, she trampled it, running 53:46 to break the record by nearly a minute and a half. What an achievement!
AGE-GRADING CHAMPIONS. Not surprisingly Kathryn 'Kathy' Martin, 64, stood atop the age-grading standings with another effort over 100%, the only one to even approach 100% in this race. Her time translated to a 100.41% age-grade score. The other top age-grading scores for women were turned in by Edi Stevenson [94.85], Perry Shoemaker (92.19), Carmen Ayala-Troncoso (90.78), and Heide Moebius (90.36).
|Age-Grading Winners at the USATF 12 K Championships- from left to right- Kathy Martin 1st, Edie Stevenson, Perry Shoemaker, Carmen Ayala-Troncoso, and Heide Moebius [photo: Paul Carlin, runningprof.com]|
Tom Bernhard led the way on the men's side with a 92.69%. As usual the top women's age-grading exceeded that of the men but the men were more tightly packed. Rick Becker was a half percentage point back in 2nd (92.14), followed by Kristian Blaich (91.26) and a tie between Lloyd Hansen and Doug Bell, both at 90.22.
|Men's Age-Grading Winners at the USATF 12 K Championships- from left to right-Tom Bernhard 1st, Rick Becker 2nd, Kristian Blaich 3rd, Doug Bell 4th-tie, Lloyd Hansen 4th-tie [photo: Paul Carlin, runningprof.com]|
|Women's Overall Winners at the 2015 USATF 12K Championships -left to right-Perry Shoemaker, Sonja Friend-Uhl and Brenda Hodge [photo: Paul Carlin, runningprof.com]|
|Kristian Blaich Crossing the Finish Line with an Impressive Overall Masters Win at the USATF 12K Championships in Alexandria VA [photo: USATF]|
Wardian moved past Frieder between the 8K and 10K marks and took a strong third place in 40:40. Frieder pushed home in 40:59, holding off a fast closing Carroll who finished 5th overall in 41:21.
|Top Two in the Overall Masters Race at the 2015 USATF 12K Championships-Kristian Blaich (L) & Philippe Rolly (R) [photo: Paul Carlin, runningprof.com]|
40-44. (Covered above in 'Overall') Shoemaker 42:04, Friend-Uhl 43:23, Hodge 46:35.
45-49. As expected, Cassandra Henkiel visited from Austin TX, hit the 5K mark in 19:39 with a 90 second lead, built it from there and got the win and another 100 points in the Individual Grand Prix race; her time was 47:37. Audra Naujokas-Knapp took 2nd in 51:33 and Shannon Smith took 3rd in 53:49. Henkiel 47:37, Naujokas-Knapp 51:33, Smith 53:49.
|Audra Naujokas-Knapp, 2nd place in Women's 45-49 Group at the 2015 USATF 12K Championships [photo: Paul Carlin, runningprof.com]|
|Women's 45-49 Winners-Alisa Harvey 1st (L), Lorrraine Jsaper 2nd & Julie Pangburn 3rd at the 2015 USATF 12K Championships [photo: Paul Carlin, runningprof.com]|
55-59. When there is a Hall-of-Famer like Carmen Ayala-Troncoso in the field, the race is not likely to be close. Ayala-Troncoso hit the 5K mark in 20:31 with a two minute lead and never looked back. In the end she had more than a 5 minute margin, finishing in 49:04. There was a much closer race for 2nd and 3rd. Julie Hayden, Ida Draim and Colleen Magnussen all covered the first mile in about 7:30. But things were starting to settle out by the time the trio hit the 5K mark. Hayden hit it in 22:49, with Draim 23 seconds behind and Magnussen another 13 seconds back. Those gaps all grew over the final 7K, with Hayden claiming 2nd in 54:33 and Draim 3rd in 56:14. Bischoff was a minute off her pace to finish just off the podium in 4th. Ayala-Troncoso 49:04, Hayden 54:33, Draim 56:14.
|Winners of Women's 55-59 Division at the 2015 USATF 12K Championships-Carmen Ayala-Troncoso 1st (C), Julie Hayden 2nd, and Ida Draim 3rd [photo: Paul Carlin, runningprof.com]|
65-69. Edie Stevenson made my prediction for a record in this age group come true. She took on all comers, running a 53:50 (gun) to take the division by 3 minutes. Erika Campbell was 3 minutes back in 2nd with Alice Franks claiming 3rd in 58:44. Stevenson 53:50, Campbell 56:50, Franks 58:44.
|Women's 65-69 Winners at the 2015 USATF 12K Championships--Edie Stevenson 1st (R), Erika Campbell & Alice Franks at the 2015 USATF 12K Championships [photo: Paul Carlin, runningprof.com]|
75-79. The celebrated runner, Heide Moebius, won this age group race in 1:07:20 and, as a bonus, was in the top 5 age-grading runners.
|Heide Moebius, 1st place Women's 75-79 Division at the 2015 USATF 12K Championships [photo: Paul Carlin, runningprof.com]|
40-44. The competition between Philippe Rolly, Michael Wardian, and Thomas Carroll was detailed in the report on the overall competition above. Rolly 39:48, Wardian 40:40, Carroll 41:22.
|Men 40-44 Division Winners--Philippe Rolly, 1st (L) and Thomas Carroll, 3rd (R) at the 2015 USATF 12K Championships [photo: Paul Carlin, runningprof.com]|
|Men 45-49 Division Winners--Kristian Blaich, 1st (L) & Doug Mock, 3rd (R) at the 2015 USATF 12K Championships [photo: Paul Carlin, runningprof.com]|
|Men's 50-54 Division Winners--Steve Kartalia, 1st (C), Francis Burdett, 2nd (L), & Alan Evans, 3rd (R) at the 2015 USATF 12K Championships [photo: Paul Carlin, runningprof.com]|
60-64. Rick Becker, the second place winner from 2014, left no doubt this time around. He covered the first mile in 5:46, establishing an 11 second gap. He built the gap to more than a half minute in the first 5K and grew it from there to the 8k mark and held a nearly 1 minute lead all the way to the finish line. Tom Bernhard, Reno Stirrat, John Victoria and Doug Bell battled for 2nd and 3rd. Bernhard had 3 seconds over Stirrat and Victoria at the mile clock, with Bell another 3 seconds back. By the 5K mark all 4 were together crossing the timing mat in 18:37. They knew they were in the battle! Bernhard clocked 29:48 for the 8K with both Bell and Stirrat within 4 seconds, in that order; Victoria had fallen off the pace somewhat and was 8 seconds back from Stirrat. By 10K Bernhard had made a decisive move, crossing the mat in 37:18. It was 17 seconds back to Stirrat and another 9 seconds back to Bell. By the finish it was Bernhard 2nd in 44:28 and Stirrat 3rd in 45:03. Victoria passed Bell in the last stretch to take 4th in 45:33 with Bell ten seconds back from there. That was some competition! Congrats to all; they will remember that one for a long time. Becker 43:30, Bernhard 44:28, Stirrat 45:03
|Men's 60-64 Division Winners-Rick Becker, 1st (C), Tom Bernhard, 2nd (L), & Reno Stirrat, 3rd (R) at the 2015 USATF 12K Championships [photo: Paul Carlin, runningprof.com]|
65-69. Lloyd Hansen ran away with this and came within a whisker of breaking the American record! Hansen ran his first mile in 6:10 and did not slow down much as he hit the 5K mark in 19:32. Hansen maintained a steady 6:20 to 6:21 pace through the 8K mark but then slowed slightly between 8K and 10K which he ran at 6:24 pace. But that slowing may have had a big payoff as he was fresh enough to run his last 2K at 6:15 pace. In the end he clocked 47:03 (gun time) to miss the 46:58 record (net time) by only a second or two. Although Hansen missed the age group record he did at least, set a PR. This is the 9th year in a row that Hansen, age 67, has run at least one PR-amazing! Tony Gingello took 2nd by a fairly comfortable margin in 52:14. Jerry Learned, the consistent and reliable distance runner for the Atlanta Track Club, was a half minute back in 3rd place. Hansen 47:03, Gingello 52:14, Learned 52:47.
70-74. This was the second consecutive race in which Przemyslaw Nowicki and Paul Carlin (yours truly) battled for the victory in this age group with the margin of victory less than ten seconds! In a reversal of roles, Carlin went out faster at the start and this time it was Nowicki passing Carlin around the 2 mile mark, just the reverse of what happened in the 15K two weeks earlier. Unlike that race where they exchanged the lead a few times, this time Nowicki passed and held the lead all the way to the finish. Nowicki led Carlin by 13 seconds at the 5K and by 19 seconds at the 10K. Carlin was gaining over the last 2K but could not close fast enough. At the finish line Nowicki enjoyed a wider margin this time, 8 seconds instead of 4, taking the title 52:41 to 52:49. Almost more remarkable was the fact that Doug Goodhue, the 'silver bullet' was behind, not in front of those two. Goodhue is a terrific champion and a feisty competitor. Even though he probably should have skipped the race because of prior damage to his right leg, he wanted to compete and felt an obligation to lead his 70+ Ann Arbor Track Club teammates into battle with the other 70+ teams. He started off gamely, sprinting from the line to lead the group for the first 2 and a half miles or so. Shortly after Nowicki passed Carlin, he went past Goodhue. Goodhue tried to respond but found that he could not. Still, as game as ever, Goodhue persevered and took 3rd overall in 55:08, leading his team into the finish line.Nowicki 52:41, Carlin 52:49, Goodhue 55:08.
75-79. John Elliott took a decisive win in this group, establishing a 17 second lead over Roland Cormier in the first 5K and accelerating his pace from 5K to 8K and, by the end, had built the lead to 2 and a half minutes, 1:00:46 to 1:03:15. Cormier ran a very steady pace in finishing second. Harlan Van Blaricum took 3rd in 1:10:56. Elliott 1:00:46, Cormier 1:03:51, Van Blaricum 1:10:56.
40+. The Genesee Valley Harriers took this division easily with Melissa Senall and Wakenda Tyler taking 1-2 in the team race. Their 3rd runner, Audra Naujokas-Knapp, was 4th in the team race. Their total time of 2:26:55 was good enough for a large margin of victory, about 28 minutes. The TNT International Racing Club, the home team from Washington D.C., took 2nd in a very competitive contest with the Philadelphia Masters team. Marilyn Gregory, TNT's top runner, ran nearly ten minutes faster than Philadelphia's top runner, Linda Kelnock. But Philadelphia had a much tighter pack. Philadelphia's 2nd and 3rd runners, Lauren Estilow and Judy Stavely came in before TNT's 2nd and 3rd, Nancy Latsch and Joy Oakey, but would it be enough. In this case, the answer was no as TNT took the 2nd place medal by 2:20 seconds. Genesee Valley Harriers 2:26:55 (48:59 avg.), TNT International Racing Club 3:04:53 (1:01:38), Philadelphia Masters 3:08:13 (1:02:45).
50+: The biggest question in this division was whether the Athena Track Club's A or B team would win. Needless to say, both hoped to also defeat the Genesee Valley Harriers. First in was Lorraine Jasper for ATC A with more than a minute lead on ATC B's 1st runner, Julie Pangburn. Pangburn, in turn, had a 31 second lead over GVH's 1st runner, Carol Bischoff. Seven seconds later, ATC B's Joan Hunter zipped across the line, to be followed by her B teammate, Betsy Stewart, less than a minute and a half later. That wrapped it up for the ATC B team. Now the unanswered question was whether Athena A could still defeat GVH. In the end, it was a clear cut 2nd place finish for Athena 'A.' Their 2nd runner, Julie Hayden, came in 26 seconds behind Stewart and 3 minutes ahead of GVH's Colleen Magnussen. When the next runner across the line was Athena B's Mary Swan rather than GVH's Jill Gordon, the suspense was over and Athena A had their 2nd place. Athena Track Club B 2:39:05 (53:02). Athena Track Club A 2:42:03 (54:01), Genesee Valley Harriers 2:48:12 (56:04).
60+: The GVH team of Sharon Moore, Belinda O'Brien, Cindy Ingalls and Jeanne Herrick ran unopposed but their total time of 2:53:06 makes ti clear that they would be a fromidable opponent regardless of who showed up to challenge. Genesee Valley Harriers 2:3:06 (57:42).
40+: The Baltimore Washington Athletic Club successfully fought off the challenge of the Atlanta Track Club. ATC's top runner, Kristian Blaich, finished 19 seconds ahead of his counterpart, Philippe Rooly, and ATC's 2nd runner in, Thomas Carroll, had 4 seconds advantage over his BWAC counterpart, Doug Mock. But then BWAC's Douglas Wickert came in over a minute ahead of ATC's john Westrick and that was enough to give BWAC a 1:04 victory. The other local team, the TNT International Racing Club took 3rd place. BWAC 2:03:31 (41:11 avg.), ATC 2:04:35 (41:32), TNT 2:26:59 (49:00).
50+: The Playmakers Elite/New Balance team out of Lansing MI and the Genesee Valley Harriers out of greater Rochester NY, put on a heck of a show for us. GVH's Al Evans and Mike Nier came in 2-3 in the team competition but the next 3 runners across the line, Eric Stuber, Ruben henderson and Dave Bussard, were all from Playmakers. After the first 2 runners were in, GVH was 45 seconds ahead. But by the time GVH's Charlie Andrews came in, Playmakers had reversed that advantage and enjoyed a margin of victor of a minute and a half. And the race for third was even closer. BWAC's Steve Kartalia was 1st in the team race establishing a minute and a half lead over ATC's 1st runner, Jeff Dundas. But ATC;s 2nd runner, Jeff Haertel finished almost that much in front of BWAC's Mark neff. After the first two runners for each team were in, BWAC was 12 seconds ahead. It all came down to the 3rd runner for each team. ATC's Ken Youngers was able to nip BWAC's Jean-Christ Arcaz y 18 seconds. That allowed ATC to claim the 3rd spot on the podium by a whopping 6 seconds! It doesn't get much closer than that. Playmakers 2:06:52 (42:18), GVH 2:08:30 (42:50), ATC 2:11:07 (43:43).
60+: Unlike the first two men's divisions, the Boulder Road Runners won this one by a strong margin. Their 1st, 2nd and 3rd runners all finished ahead of their counterpart on the 2nd place GVH team. John Victoria had over a minute on Mark Rybinski, Doug Bell 2 minutes over Tim McMullen, and Devin Croft 30 seconds over Frank Gioia. The Shore Athletic Club was not quite able to keep up, despite the fact that Reno Stirrat, their top runner, finished 1st in the team competition. But they were able to fend off the powerful Ann Arbor Track Club. Stirrat gave them a 2 minute lead, finishing that far in front of Lloyd Hansen, AATC's top runner. Mark Chiusano padded Shore's lead by finishing 25 seconds ahead of AATC's Eduardo Matsuo. Shore's 3rd runner, Patrick Gaughan, stayed close enough to AATC's Wally Hayes to preserve the 3rd podium position. Boulder 2:20:06 (46:42),GVH 2:23:59 (48:00), Shore AC 2:25:11 (48:24).
70+: Another tight contest, Shore AC's Przemyslaw Nowicki led the team competition finishing 6 minutes in front of the Atlanta Track Club's top finisher. But all 3 of ATC's runners, Frank White, Morris Williams, and Ed Bligh finished ahead of Shore's 2nd runner, Roland Cormier. Would it be enough? Not quite as JL Seymore finished soon enough to deny ATC the gold. In teh end, Shore had a 55 second margin. The Ann Arbor Track Club had to settle for third. Their top runner, Doug Goodhue was running on a bum right leg and their 2nd runner, Monte Piliawsky, is still recovering from a hamstring injury that set his training back. Shore AC 2:56:22 (58:48), ATC 2:57:17 (59:06), AATC 3:00:36 (1:00:32).