Wednesday, April 26, 2017

A First Look at the 2017 USATF Masters 10K Championships

April 26 2017. DEDHAM MA. The weather looks perfect for this coming Sunday’s USATF Masters 10K Championship, held under the auspices of the James Joyce Ramble. Low 60’s and overcast skies provide a perfect environment for fast running. Over 200 speedy Masters runners will be seeking to run their fastest over the rolling course that winds its way around the quaint streets of Dedham, Massachusetts. With online registration open the rest of the day, and on-site registration on Saturday afternoon at the Endicott Estate, a few more top Masters Runners may join the field.

Two current 10K American Age Division record holders, Houston’s Sabra Harvey, 67, and native Bay Stater, Jan Holmquist, 72, are entered. Both set their records, 42:37 and 45:19 respectively, on this very course two years ago. Earlier this spring, Edie Stevenson ran a half minute faster than the current American 10 Mile record for Women 65-69 with a 1:13:23 at the Cherry Blossom Ten Miler. Tom Bernhard, the favorite in the Men’s 65-69 division, broke the American 5K record at Syracuse last year with a time of 17:31.
The red singlets of Atlanta getting off to a fast start in the 2016 USATF Masters 10K Championship at the James Joyce Ramble in Dedham Massachusetts

As far as who should be first across the finish line, watch the battle between the top talent from around the country and local luminaries. Of those currently entered, the favorites to win the Men’s race overall include David Angell, from the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia, fresh off a victory at the USATF 8K Championship in Virginia Beach in 25:24. Atlanta’s Kristian Blaich and New York’s Jake Stookey who took 3rd and 4th in that race are entered as well. 
Kristian Blaich (left) and Kent Lemme (right) battling for Masters 10K supremacy in 2015.

Blaich won this race in 2015 in 33:22, but was injured last year. New York’s Mark Andrews and the BAA’s Peter Hammer battled all the way last year with Andrews eking out a 2 second victory. Neither is entered yet but Greg Putnam, of the Central Mass Striders. who was just off their pace in 3rd with a 33:08, should be a factor. 
Marisa Sutera Srange enjoyed a 1 second victory in the Women's Masters 10K Championship last year and is back to defend her title.

New York’s Marisa Sutera Strange returns to defend her 2016 title, which she took with a 36:47. Cassandra Henkiel, the 2015 8K Masters Champion in 29:17, from Texas, will try to make things interesting.

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