Saturday, September 17, 2022

Beach Blanket Boogie-12 Km Preview#2-Age Divisions, Age Grading and Teams

 September 17, 2022. We have 330 athletes registered to compete! The course is out and back, starting near Parking Lot E in Sandy Hook National Gateway Recreation Area at 3.7 meters above sea level, dropping at its lowest point, to sea level, and rising at its highest point to 7.3 meters above sea level. The forecast calls for sunny skies, 72 degrees and 75% humidity at the 9:30 AM start of the race, warmer than runners would like, but in the manageable range. There is not much shade. Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate! They are now forecasting winds in the 10-13 mph range, but we will hope the winds moderate. If not, we may see a bit more pack running as athletes try to tuck in for at least part of the time. For those who ran here last year, the temperatures are comparable, but the humidity will be less. As the previous post emphasized, there is some real speed at this year's Championship and American records are again likely. Most of the Age Division National Championship races will be highly contested.

AGE DIVISION NATIONAL 12 KM CHAMPIONSHIPS

WOMEN 40-44 The podium favorites in this division were already highlighted in the preview of the Overall Masters race in the previous post: Jacqueline Cooke, Karen dos Santos, Kristen Prendergast, Jeannie Sullivan and Shawanna White. To be consistent, I opt for Cooke, Prendergast and White to make up the 40-44 podium.

Podium Picks in Alphabetical Order

Jacqueline Cooke     Kristen Prendergast     Shawanna White

45-49 Sara Girotto was previewed as having potential for contesting for the Overall win. She is my pick for the 45-49 crown. Neither Jodi Buyyounouski nor Euleen Josiah-Tanner were mentioned in terms of the overall race. They both have credentials that are likely to put them on the division podium. Patricia Heppelmann could break onto the podium with a good day.

  • Buyyounouski  finished 4th in the division here last year in 50:07. This past April, she finished 5th in the division at the Masters 10 Mile Championships in Sacramento. Her time there, 1:08:40, is age grade equivalent to a 50:30 12 Km effort. 
  • Josiah-Tanner, who finished 7th at Sacramento in 1:11:48 and a much closer 6th here at Sandy Hook last year in 50:14, finished just back from Buyyounouski in both races..
  • Heppelmann's top credential is a 1:06:50 at the Blue Cross Broad Street (10 Mile) Run in Philadelphia in early May. That translates via age grading to a potential 49:08 12 Km effort. Tempering that optimism is her outing in June at the Rotary 8K in 33:49. That is equivalent to a 51:34. Somewhere between those two efforts puts her in a position to challenge both Buyyounouski and Josiah-Tanner.
It is too bad Melissa Gacek had to scratch. She would certainly have been in the podium mix and if she had a good day, might have pushed Girotto for the win. Girotto should be able to move up to the first spot in this division, with Josiah-Tanner trying to hang with Buyyounouski long enough to have a chance with a final kick. If Heppelmann can channel her Broad Street performance, she could break onto the podium.

Podium Picks in Alphabetical Order

Jodi Buyyounouski     Sara Girotto     Patricia Heppelmann

50-54 Kimberly Aspholm, Abby Dean, Samantha Forde, and Ingrid Walters are the favorites for the podium. 

  • Aspholm finished 3rd here last year in 49:57. She clocked 1:10:04 in the Garden State 10 Miler last spring, equivalent to a 51:29. She will need to match her sub-50 effort of last year as the other three contenders are all likely to break 50 minutes. 
  • Dean took the division crown at the Masters 10 Km Championships in Dedham MA in 38:01, a time that is equivalent on age grade terms with a 46:04. If she can match that on the Sandy Hook course, no one can stay with her. In late August she ran 45:46 at the iconic Falmouth Road Race over 7 Miles on Cape Cod. It was a warm day and that may explain why her time equates to a slower 48:54. It should be noted that she won her division and, were it not for 42-year-old Edna Kipligat, who is still a world-class road racer, Dean would have been among the top-3 Masters finishers.
  • Forde finished 4th in 45-49 at Atlanta, clocking 20:22 at the Masters 5 Km Championships, slower than Dean, Walters, and Aspholm. A 32:26 at the 8 Km in San Jose CA in April shows a bit more promise, equating to a 49:28. But her performance over 6 miles at the Santa Cruz Wharf-to-Wharf race in mid-July suggests either better capability at longer races or that her fitness is improving. Her 38:54 equates to a 48:52 which looks competitive for the podium.
  • Walters finished just ten seconds behind Dean in Atlanta. She is also accomplished at longer distances, finishing 4th in this division at the Ten Mile Championships in Sacramento, clocking 1:04:26, equivalent to a 47:21. Later in the spring, Walters clocked 1:26:00 at the OC Half Marathon in Newport Beach. That equates to a 48:03 12 Km effort. Walters is likely to crack 48 minutes on Sunday. That should be enough to come in ahead of anyone but Dean. Dean has faster times at both the Half Marathon and the Ten Mile Run this season. If Walters could defeat Dean over 7.45 miles, that would be a real feather in her cap!
Dean seems likely to take the win, followed by Walters. Aspholm and Forde should have quite a duel for third. Forde's times, especially at longer races give her an edge over Aspholm, but Aspholm may have extra confidence from having beaten Forde in Atlanta. It will be fascinating to find out how this matchup turns out.

Podium Picks in Alphabetical Order

Abby Dean     Samantha Forde     Ingrid Walters

55-59 The primary division podium contenders include: Fiona Bayly, Tania Fischer, Lori Kingsley, and Suzanne La Burt
  • It is a new Age Division for Bayly and she is ready to race! Bayly finished 2nd last year in the 50-54 division with a 48:17. Repeating that performance would probably be enough for the win. But there is reason to think she could run faster if necessary. In May she ran 1:24:27 in the Brooklyn HM, equivalent to a 47:06. The following month Bayly ripped off a 37:41 in the Mini 10K in Central Park, equating to a 45:41, and the following month ran a 38:58 at Peachtree, age grading at the level of a 47:13 12 Km run. Looking for a time from Bayly under 48 and, perhaps, under 47, does not seem out of the question.
  • Fischer has been a killer on the XC turf and at shorter races. This year she has also authored some nice races over longer distances. She finished 3rd in this division at the Masters 10 Mile Championships in Sacramento; her 1:07:52 equates to a 49:50 12K. Offsetting that, however, she ran 42:23 at the Santa Monica Classic 10K this past weekend, which equates to a 51:22. But that was just a race not a Championship; Fischer was the 6th woman to finish and won her age division. The 10 Mile result is probably a better guide to the likely outcome at this 12 Km.
  • Kingsley ran 1:06:59 last fall at the challenging 15K Stockade-a-thon, a time equivalent to a 52:53 12K. She improved on that with a 4 Mile effort on the 4th of July. She clocked 25:26 which is equivalent to a 48:42 12 Km. The 15K is probably a better indicator of ability in a 12 K than a 4-Miler is. But the faster relative time in the 4 mile suggests Kingsley might be able to crack 50 at this 12Km.
  • La Burt took second in this division last year in 49:38. She has had a very productive year, despite being in her last year in the Division. La Burt took 2nd in the Half Marathon Championships at Syracuse and 3rd at the 1 Mile in Rochester. She topped that with a Division win in the 10 Km Championships in Dedham with a nifty 40:06! She also ran a speedy race at the Garden State 10 Mile, clocking 1:06:21. When considering age grade equivalents, La Burt's HM time is comparable to what she ran last year in the 12 Km. But the other three are all relatively faster, suggesting a sub-49 is not out of the question.
Bayly should be able to win this with La Burt a strong second. Fischer's strong race in Sacramento convinces me to give her the nod for the podium over Kingsley.

Podium Picks in Alphabetical Order

Fiona Bayly     Tania Fischer     Suzanne La Burt

60-64 The thrilling threesome from the Greater Philadelphia Track Club, Lorraine Jasper, Doreen McCoubrie, and Mary Swan are the favorites for the podium. Mary Cass and Lauren Leslie, from the Liberty AC out of Greater Boston, will try to break up their party. Last year McCoubrie, Jasper and Swan finished 3-4-7 in 55-59. That was their last National Championship in that age division. Jasper and McCoubrie went 1-2 in Atlanta, followed by McCoubrie, Japser and Swan going 1-2-3 at the Half marathon. They did not get the win at Dedham but finished 2-3-4 with Jasper leading McCoubrie and Swan across the finish line. They also went 1-2-5 in the same order at the 1 Mile in Rochester. It is probably not very relevant for the 12 Km but illustrates their dominance over a range of distances. Cass and Leslie were able to come in just ahead of Swan at Rochester.  Cass finished behind all three of the GPTC crew in Dedham but was only 13 seconds back from Swan. Cass and Leslie finished behind Jasper and McCoubrie in Atlanta, but Swan did not compete there.  
Jasper and McCoubrie are likely to go 1-2 but in which order? Last year, McCoubrie took the honors at the 12 Km by 6 seconds. But at the 10 Km Championships this April, Jasper had the edge by 8 seconds. Jasper and McCoubrie should both crack 52 seconds. Swan ran 53:35 here last year, but her results in the 10K Championships and the Utica Boilermaker 15K, 1:06:55 suggests she could break 53 this year. She will need to if the three are to mount the podium. Cass and Leslie could both come home under 53:30 and sub-53's are not out of the question.

Podium Picks in Alphabetical Order

Lorraine Jasper     Doreen McCoubrie     Mary Swan

65-69 Nora Cary won this race last year in record-breaking time, 51:09! Her times this year at the 10 Km Championships, 44:09, and at the Falmouth Road Race, 55:16 over 7 miles, suggest she will have a hard time matching that performance. Luckily, she will not need that fast a time to win the division. She should be able to come in under 55 and that should give her an ample cushion. 
Kitty Musante took the division crown in Atlanta in 22:20. In fact, she came in about 15 seconds ahead of Cary. But a 5 Km is not a 12 Km and Cary was not at her best in February. Musante's time at the Gate River Run, at 15K a more comparable distance to the 12 Km, was 1:14:24, equivalent to a 58:52 12 Km effort. Her 5 Km time of 22:20 is equivalent to a 55:42 12 Km, but a 5 Km is a less reliable guide than a 15K. Still, it would not be surprising to see Musante crossing the finish line before 58 minutes is on the clock. Cary will have to be aware of her. Alda Cossi finished two minutes behind those two at the 5 Km and was further back from Cary at the 10 Km Championships. But she should have a lock on 3rd place. Her 49:32 at Dedham suggests she might well finish the race on Sunday right around an hour. Her two closest rivals for the final podium position are Antoinette Marmora and Susan Stirrat. Marmora has not contested any of the National Championships but her 44:43 at the Tom Fleming Sunset Classic 5-Miler suggest a 12 Km time of around 1:08. Stirrat ran 1:07:22 to finish 3rd here last year, so it will be very tough for her to run with Cossi. But she did beat Marmora by 45 seconds at that 5-Miler so 4th seems likely for Stirrat.

It is possible that Musante could spring an upset, but Cary has been running more strongly again later with a few 5K's in the sub-22 range. Whatever was hindering her earlier this year seems to be in the past. Cossi is not quite up to their times but should come in 3rd with a good cushion.

Top contenders in Alphabetical Order

Podium Picks in Alphabetical Order

70-74 Jeannie Rice is strongly favored to break June Machala's 58:22 American Record. It would not be surprising to see her break it by a minute or two. Rice is the 2019 USATF Masters Athlete of the Year and holds 70-74 American records at the 1 Mile, Half Marathon and Marathon. Suzanne Ray is not quite at Rice's level but should take the Silver medal. Ray's 1:49:21 to win the 65-69 Half Marathon Championship was 7 minutes back from Roce's time. But she improved, lowering her half marathon time to 1:45:50 in Finland where she finished 2nd at the World Masters Athletics Championships. Joanne Coffee and Ray's teammate, Jeanette Groesz, will battle for the final podium spot. Coffee took 3rd here last year in 1:06:25 and ran 57:14 at the Essex County 10K on April 3rd. That is equivalent to a 1:09:34 12 Km effort. On that same day, Groesz ran 1:28:13 in the 10 Mile Championships in Sacramento, age grade equivalent to a 1:04:29. Groesz's 1:50:41 at the Redmond Half Marathon two months later signals even better, equating to a 1:01:08. If Groesz can run as she did on those two occasions, she should be a safe bet to take the final podium spot this year.

Podium Picks in Alphabetical Order

Jeanette Groesz     Jeannie Rice     Suzanne Ray

75-79 Barbara Donelik and Cheryl Kohut are the two runners entered. Donelik finished 2nd here last year in 1:05:01 (1:04:52 net). Two months later she ran a 43:14 5-Miler which is roughly comparable. Kohut ran a 1:51:23 10-Miler earlier this year and a 31:16 5K in June. She will be happy to run in the 1:20's and score points for her team. Kohut is primarily running for her Raritan team. Donelik should enjoy a comfortable win.

Podium Picks in Alphabetical Order

Barabara Donelik     Cheryl Kohut

80-84 Heide Moebius and Sandra Folzer went 1-2 here last year in 1:17:38 and 1:20:49. In May, Folzer ran 1:43:26 at the Blue Cross Broad Street 10-Miler; that equates to a 1:15:27 12 Km. The Broad Street Run is known to be a fast race with few turns and an overall drop. Still, that is impressive. If she can muster a similar effort on Sunday, it could be quite close. Moebius ran a 52:40 5-Miler in June, equivalent to a 1:21:34. Whether she has the fitness to break 1:20 this year or not is a question. Folzer could force the question. I will go with Moebius, who has had an illustrious career as a masters Runner. But Folzer will make her earn the win.

Podium Picks in Alphabetical Order

Sandra Folzer     Heide Moebius

85-89 Joyce Hodges-Hite took the 5 Km 80-84 Championship at Atlanta in 49:48. This time she will take home the 85-89 Division Championship as she continues racing into the 2nd half of her 80's!

Top Runner

Joyce Hodges-Hite

MEN 40-44 This division was previewed in terms of contenders for the Overall Championship in the September 15 post. Please see that for details. Ben Bruce, Riley Cook, and Jesse Davis are the favorites. Darryl Brown, Dickson Mercer, and John Poray are very strong runners who contribute to a superb field. They will make those three earn the podium.

Podium Picks in Alphabetical Order

Ben Bruce     Riley Cook     Jesse Davis

45-49 The Overall preview in Wednesday's post also covers this division. David Angell, Christopher Shaw, and Nicholas Thompson should all run in the low 40's or better, and that should put them on the podium. Shaw and Thompson went 1-2 in this division in 40:34 and 41:19 last year. Angell was off his game last year and still ran 41:31! His recent outings suggest he could run a bit faster this year. Mike Cole, who finished 2nd in the division at the 10K Championships in 33:55 is also in the hunt. That time equates to a 41:07 12 Km. His recent outings in a Sprint Triathlon and a local 5K raise some doubts about him  breaking 42 minutes. But Cole is a seasoned competitor who will be right there for his team and that could translate into a podium finish. Marco Cardoso, who finished 3rd in the division last year with a 44:03, will have to find more speed to make the podium this year.

This is a fascinating race to watch. Angell is the comeback kid. Is he fully healed? Has he lost any of his national race savvy from an 8-month absence? Shaw surprised everyone last year with his strong showing. His best credential since last year's stirring performance is a 34:33 10K in April, a time nearly a minute slower than Angell's 10K in mid-June. But perhaps Shaw is a runner who rises to a challenge and runs his best at National Championships?!  Thompson is primarily in training for the major Marathons; and Cole is a canny runner who is primarily competing to bring home a Championship and a Grand Prix title for his team. If Angell is fully healed, he could well win the division.

Podium Picks in Alphabetical Order

David Angell     Christopher Shaw     Nicholas Thompson

50-54 Six runners stand out in this 12 Km field of 41 entries: Mark Andrews, Mark Callon, Christian Cushing-Murray, Richard Falcone, Ivan Lieben, and Gregory Putnam
  • Andrews finished 2nd in the Division in the 5 Km Championships in Atlanta this year in 16:53, and won the 10 Km Overall Championship in 2016. Despite those credentials it appears that Andrews has not run many races longer than 10 Km in recent years.
  • Callon won the Half Marathon Championship in Syracuse with a 1:15:43, which equates to a 41:56 12 Km. His 2nd place division showing at the 10 Mile run in 56:01 equates to a faster 41:06, although that may be partly due to terrain. Sactown is flat; Syracuse is hilly.
  • Cushing-Murray won the 5 Km in Atlanta, running 8 seconds faster than Andrews. But he has the additional credential this year of his 4th place finish in the ten-mile championships in Sacramento. That translates to a 41:46 12 Km.
  • Falcone's primary credential is his excellent 2nd place finish in the division at the 10 Km Championships in Dedham in 33:39, age grade equivalent to a 40:49. No doubt Falcone has the talent to make the podium. But it is troubling that I can find no race results for him since that 10 race in April.
  • Lieben is known more for his Cross Country prowess but he has competed in two of the Road Championships this year. He finished 3rd in the Ten-Mile Championships in Sacramento, running a half minute lower than Callon, his West Valley teammate. He finished 5th at Dedham in 34:25. Both outings suggest he should break 42 this Sunday.
  • Putnam will renew his rivalry with Callon. Putnam beat Callon at the 5 Km XC in Boston in the fall of 2021, and then picked up a 2nd place here at Highlands in 41:52. Callon pulled away to beat Putnam by half a minute at the Half Marathon Championships in Syracuse. Putnam came in 3rd at Dedham, sixteen seconds ahead of Lieben.
Callon seems to be the strongest at this distance, although Putnam may be closer at 12 Km than 13.1. Falcone has the best age graded performance at a comparable distance; he came in a half minute ahead of Putnam there.  I will include Falcone as a podium pick but am a little uneasy with it. I wish there was a fuller record for him, especially in the last few months.  If Falcone is off his best for any reason, Lieben could be in ahead of him, and Cushing-Murray as well. My guess is that Callon can beat Falcone at 12 Km regardless. We will find out on Sunday!

Podium Picks in Alphabetical Order

Mark Callom     Richard Falcone     Gregory Putnam

55-59 The top contenders are: Michael Collins, Brian Crowley, Scott Grandfield, Keith Guilfoyle, and John McMahon

  • Collins has been a steady performer at the top of this age division now since the 15 Km Championships at Tulsa in 2019. when he took the M55 crown in 57:38. He finished 2nd in the 55-59 5K Championships in Atlanta, with a time that is age grade equivalent to a 43:06. He followed that up in July with a 37:01 10 Km that equates to a 44:54. And that does not consider his exploits on the track, where he has won multiple medals at 5000 and 10,000 meters.
  • Crowley won here last year in 42:06. His recent races suggest he should come home in less than 43 minutes; that should get him the win. His 58:36 at the Garden State 10 Miler in late March equates to a 42:58 12 km. A month later he recertified his sub-43 credentials with a 2nd place finish at the 10 Km Masters Championships in Dedham in April in 35:02. That translates to a 42:30. 
  • Grandfield is a runner who seems to come in under the radar but is always a threat for the podium. A prime example is the 10 Km Masters Championships in Dedham this year where he finished 3rd in the division in 36:19, which equates to a 44:03. Lest you think that was just a fluke, he clocked 28:58 in the Bobby Doyle 5 Mile Classic in mid- August. That translates to a 43:57. That puts him in the thick of the race for the podium!
  • Guilfoyle took 6th here last year in 50-54 in 44:33. He finished 2 minutes behind McMahon at the Half Marathon Championships in March. Guilfoyle ran 56:32 at the Utica Boilermaker 15K in early July, a time equivalent to a 44:40. Later that month, he clocked a 17:44 5K that translates to a 43:33.
  • McMahon's two Silver Medals at M55 National Championships demonstrates his range. He ran 5:00 flat at the Road Mile in Rochester and clocked 1:19:58 at the Half Marathon in Syracuse. The latter equates to a 44:16 12 Km effort. He also showed some speed in winning a 4-Miler in early July; his 22:18 equates to a 42:31.
Crowley should break 43 and come home the winner. After that, the crystal ball gets murkier. I will opt for McMahon and then Grandfield, but Collins and Guilfoyle will not be far back and if it is their day, either could finish on the podium. Francis Burdett deserves a mention as well. After working his way back from injury, he had two fine races this summer, a 37:03 10K at the TD Beach to Beacon, and a 1:21:17 at the WMA Half Marathon. Both are age grade equivalent to a few ticks under 45 minutes. If his momentum continues through to this race, perhaps he could break through onto his first road podium in a few years?

Podium Picks in Alphabetical Order
 
Brian Crowley     Scott Grandfield     John McMahon     

60-64 Nat Larson is a strong favorite to take the division crown on Sunday. Mark Neff, Henry Notaro, and Roger Sayre are the top contenders for the rest of the podium. Two strong runners from this division, Tim De Grado and Rick Lee, are skipping the Championships to partake in the MUT excitement at Pike's Peak.
  • Larson aged up into this division earlier this year and ran for Team USATF at the WMA's 60-64 division. But as August passed into September and his name was still not on the entry list, I wondered if all was well. Apparently, the delay had more to do with his team than with Larson. Perhaps they were waiting to see if they could field a complete team? The Greater Springfield Harriers do not have a full team, but Larson entered as an individual in the last few days. That adds a little more heft to my mention of Larson as one of the potential record setters. I wonder if he would have made the trip were it not for the possibility of setting an American Record? He should, in any case, be a safe bet for the win! Even though he was still on the comeback trail at last year's Championship here, Larson ran 43:13. and no one else can touch that. His winning time at the 10 Km Championships, 34:20, translates to a sub-42-minute 12 K. Larson's 57:11 winning effort at the 10 Mile Championships also suggest a sub-42 is possible. As long as he comes home under 42:50, he gets the record!
  • The only National Championship Neff has contested this year is the Road Mile at Rochester, where he finished 4th in 5:13, six seconds behind Notaro. He has done well at longer distances though, namely the Credit Union Cherry Blossom Ten Mile Run in early April. Neff's 1:00:23 translates to a 44:15 12 Km equivalent. He ran a 17:52 5K in mid-August, equivalent to a 44:21. 
  • Notaro is new to the circuit; in his first National Championship at the Road Mile in Rochester, he landed on the podium! Notaro has plenty of speed and endurance. He ran 56:07 at the Gasparilla 15K in February, equivalent to a 44:18. Notaro followed that with a 36:55 at the Ridgewood 10K in May. That translates to a 44:48. In between those he found time to run a 2:55:51 Boston Marathon.
  • Sayre is in the last six months of his time in this division, but he is still a force to be reckoned with. A bit off the top of his game last year, he still ran a 45:49 to take 2nd in a mad dash to the finish, edging Joe Mora by a single second! In March, Sayre finished 2nd at the USATF Half Marathon Championships in Syracuse with a 1:21:42, equivalent to a 45:07. At the end of July, Sayre ran a 44:02 at the challenging Quad City Bix-7, a bucket-list race for many runners.
As noted, Larson is the favorite for the win. Notaro is a likely 2nd, with Neff perhaps edging Sayre for third.

Podium Picks in Alphabetical Order

Nat Larson     Henry Notaro     Mark Neff

65-69 Rick Becker and Ken Youngers are co-favorites for this division. Kevin Dollard and Robert Reynolds are the likeliest candidates for the third spot. Kevin Dollard, John Blaser and Scott Lucking will try to upset the applecart and surge onto the podium.
  • Becker's top performances have tended to come first on the Cross Country turf where he has been selected the USATF Masters Harrier of the Year three times. Earlier this year he finished 2nd in M65 to Jacob Nur, who has been breaking records left and right on the roads. In 2021, he set two M65 American Records on the track. This is probably his first road race since 2018 when he finished 2nd at the 15 Km Championships in Tulsa in 58:30 at the age of 63. It appears he has been running some trail races, one the Light at the End of the Tunnel Trail Marathon in 3:01:35. That race advertises itself as a fast course with a consistent 2.2% drop, so it is hard to evaluate.
  • The record of Youngers is largely on the roads, so we have clearer signals of fitness. Last year on this course, Youngers broke the American 55-59 Record with a time of 45:03. After a niggling injury over the winter, Youngers came back with a very strong 37:48 at the 10K Masters Championships, translating to a 45:54 12 Km time. He ran Peachtree this year, known for its Cardiac Hill and for its warmth and humidity. Nonetheless, Youngers clocked 38:21. Although the low 45's might be a stretch this year, breaking 46 seems very reachable for Youngers.
  • Dollard finished 5th here last year in 51:29. Since then he has run better. He took 2nd at the 10 Km Masters in Dedham with a 41:07. That is age grade equivalent to a 49:56. He also took 2nd at the Masters Half Marathon Championships at Syracuse, with a 1:32:43 over their hilly course. That, too, is a better age graded effort than his 2021 effort here. If Dollard carried his fitness well through the summer, he might run faster this year than his 51:29 in 2021.
  • Reynolds finished 7th in 60-64 here in 2021 in 48:56, coming in two and a half minutes ahead of Dollard. In May, he ran 1:06:26 in the Blue Cross Broad Street Ten Mile Run, equivalent to a 48:39. The faster equivalent is partly due to a fast Broad Street racecourse, but it serves to illustrate similar fitness for Reynolds. In order to place, it is likely that Blaser and/or Lucking would need to improve on their 10 Km performance at Dedham, where they both came in about a minute behind Dollard.
Youngers has been running well all year on the roads, I will pick him for the win, with Becker second. Reynolds probably has the fitness to come in ahead of Dollard so I will put him on the podium in his new age division.

Podium Picks in Alphabetical Order

Rick Becker     Robert Reynolds     Ken Youngers    

70-74 Gene Dykes and Robert Qualls are co-favorites for this division contest, with Eugene Myers a slight favorite for 3rd over Fernando Moura and Jerry Learned.

  • Dykes won the Masters 10 Mile Championship in Sacramento in 1:07:43. A few weeks later he ran even faster at the Blue Cross Broad Street 10 Miler in his hometown of Philadelphia. The Sactown time is equivalent in age grading to a 49:31 12 Km effort. He has had his ups and downs this year, with a fall or two on some challenging and technical trail Ultras. Nonetheless he has been ramping up his training recently to attack the upcoming Marathon season. He should be ready for a good race.
  • Qualls has returned to top fitness after a few years of struggle. He lost the M70 Road Mile Championship to Masters Track legend, Nolan Shaheed by a single second in May. More importantly, he followed that up with a Silver Medal at the WMA 10 Km Championship in Finland, clocking 39:44. That age graded at 89.97% for the 70-year-old Qualls, and is age grade equivalent to a 48:15.
  • Myers finished 8th in 65-69 here last year with a 53:29 effort. Seven months later, he ran even better at the 10 Km Championships where he took 6th in 65-69 with a 43:14. That translates to a 52:31 12 Km effort. A 10 Mile effort earlier this month was not quite up to those standards so Moura and learned may have a better shot at Myers than his earlier times suggest.
  • Moura has a 35:12 over 8K and a 35:59 over 5 Miles that suggests a 12 Km time a little over or a little under 54 minutes is within reach for Moura. of course, those are not National Championships, and they are not over 12 Km.
  • Learned ran 55:33 to take 2nd place in 70-74 here last year. Learned kicked it up a notch in April when he ran 44:30 at the 10 Km Championships, finishing 1:15 behind Myers.
It is probably unwise to pick against Gene Dykes in any race, but Qualls is the new kid on the block, and he has been running so well. I will go with Qualls for the win and Dykes a close 2nd, and a terrific workout for his upcoming Marathons! Myers should be able to claim 3rd, although Moura seems close and Learned is a very determined competitor.

Podium Picks in Alphabetical Order

Gene Dykes     Eugene Myers     Robert Qualls

75-79 Dave Glass is the favorite for the win. Gary Ostwald is the favorite for 2nd, with Ezequiel Garcia picked for third. Paul Carlin, your author, and Tom Jennings will try to chase them down! 
  • Glass has won every national road Championship this season at 10 Km and above and there is no reason to expect anything different. he has raced locally over shorter distances this summer, but he has raced well. He won this division last year in 56:15. Other relevant performances include his 44:42 10K win in Dedham, equivalent to a 54:22 and his 10 Mile win at Sactown in 1:16:38, equivalent to a 56:02.
  • Ostwald was able to beat Glass by 12 seconds on the turf over 8 Km at Cross Country Nationals last January. But it has been another story on the roads. Glass beat Ostwald by almost a minute over 5 Km in Atlanta and the margin rose to over three minutes in the ten Mile Run. But make no mistake, Ostwald is no slouch on the roads. No one else in the field can touch him if he runs like he did in Sacramento!
  • At his race last year, Garcia finished less than a minute behind Glass, clocking 56:59. Garcia continued to run within a minute or so of Glass in most races last fall and over the winter, but Garcia must have started struggling with an injury in late winter. At the Half Marathon championships in mid-March, he ran 1:52:17 at the Half marathon Championships in Syracuse, a good ten minutes behind Glass. And at the 10 Km it was not much better, as Garcia was probably running primarily for his team and struggled to a 50:01, finishing just a few seconds ahead of me. More recently he sems to have recovered somewhat. He ran 49:35 at the Ridgewood 10K in late May and 40:11 over 5 Miles in late June. Those are faster equivalents than his HM and 10 Km times. If Garcia's fitness has not improved, it looks like a time around 1:01 or a little better is reachable on Sunday. 
  • I [Carlin] had to skip this race last year because I aggravated an Achilles injury the Friday before the race. In all, I lost May to December last year to the injury. I finished 4th in the Half Marathon Championships in March but my time was not competitive, finishing 4 minutes behind Garcia.  By April though, my fitness had come around to almost being competitive at National races. My 50:02 was only good for 7th place but it was age grade equivalent to a 1:00:4, and just a few seconds out oof 5th. I also managed a 5th place at the 10 Mile Championships in 1:25:02, equivalent to a 1:02:08. My hope was to build base over the summer and come out with a good shot at making podiums this fall. Alas, I had some minor knee and heel problems that forced me to do more cross training than planned. That was probably good for me but the 10K times I have been able to run this summer were 1 to 3 minutes slower than the time I ran in Dedham.
  • Jennings ran 1:26:03 at the fast Broad Street (10 Mile) Run, equivalent to a 1:02:51 12 Km. In early August he ran a 26:56 5K but it is easy to make too much of summer 5K's in both directions. Jennings will likely run a strong race and finish somewhere under 1:05. Garcia and I will have to make sure we run closer to an hour, or we might be wathcing the Jennings 'M75' back bib pulling away from us over the latter portions of the race.
Unless the unexpected happens, it should be Glass-Ostwald-Garcia, with me and Jennings perhaps having a chance to reach the podium if everything falls in place.

Podium Picks in Alphabetical Order

Dave Glass     Gary Ostwald     Ezequiel Garcia

80-84 George Gilder enters as the favorite, with John Elliott, Gary Cochrane and James Leitz doing battle for the other two podium positions. 
  • Gilder took the 80-84 title at the 10 Km Masters Championships with a smashing 58:03, age grade equivalent to a 1:10:40 12 Km. He is, perhaps, unlikely to hit that height on Sunday but his other efforts, like a 1:10:55 effort over 7 Miles, and a 50:55 5-Miler in August suggest he should be well under 1 :20 on Sunday, and probably under 1:15. 
  • Elliott has won his share of national titles over the years, but a fall just before the 5 Km Championships has thrown him off his form. At Dedham, he finished over 4 minutes behind Gilder in 1:02:35, equivalent to a 1:16;08 12 Km effort. Elliott has run some road miles since then, but it is hard to gauge 12 Km fitness from those races.
  • Cochrane's credentials include a 1:06:43 at Peachtree over 10 Km. That race, famous for its Cardiac Hill and its warmth and humidity, tends to be a test for Masters runners. Cochrane's time equates to a 1:21;09 12 Km or perhaps better, given its terrain and weather conditions. A month earlier he ran a 1:02:14 on an out and back course that is flat but certified. It is equivalent to a 1:15:42 12 Km.
  • Leitz finished 2nd in 80-84 here last year in 1:18:42. His recent 32:19 at the Asbury Park 5K suggests his fitness is not far off from last year's. A sub 1:20 is within his reach.
Gilder is my pick for the win, with Elliott 2nd, and Cochrane third. Leitz is definitely a threat though.

Podium Picks in Alphabetical Order

George Gilder     John Elliott     Gary Cochrane

85-89 Adrian Craven is the sole entrant. He ran 1:02:26 over 8 Km of turf at Tallahassee and won his division at the Road Mile in Rochester, clocking 10:40. The goal on Sunday is to finish the 12 Km race. This will be his longest race that I can find over the past few years. As long as he finishes the race, he wins. 

Pick for the win!

Adrian Craven

That finishes the preview. No pics this time, and no team predictions. No time left!

All the best to the folks whose main focus is the team competition. In terms of participation, Shore AC has the most runners here, followed by Clifton Road Runners and Raritan Valley Road Runners. 

National teams do not have as many athletes here but those Clubs with the most from outside the New Jersey association are the Greater Philadelphia Track Club, the Atlanta Track Club and the Genesee Valley Harriers.

Sunday should provide a terrific day of racing. It will be so interesting to see how the overall, and age division races come out!

1 comment:

  1. Thank you for your thorough coverage of masters events.

    ReplyDelete