Saturday, April 23, 2022

Weather Smiles on Dedham as Masters Athletes Gather for USATF Masters 10 Km Championships-A Preview

April 22, 2022 The James Joyce Ramble will host the USATF Masters 10 Km Championships for the 8th time! Over 270 of the fastest Masters distance runners in the country will head to Dedham MA this weekend to race over the rolling hills of this quiet, historic suburb outside of Boston. The weather forecast looks very favorable with partly sunny skies, mid to upper 40's and only moderate wind forecast for the start of the race at 11 am.

Given the size of this event and the large number of runners entering in the last few days, almost half, and having 3 events in the last 5 weeks, this preview may be less comprehensive and more impressionistic than the usual preview.

Note: Podium Picks below are listed in alphabetical, not predicted, order of finish.



MEN Indiana Elite runner, Jesse Davis, 5th place finisher for Team USA at the 2015 World 50 Mile Championships, goes for his third Overall victory in 4 tries this Grand Prix season. Victorious at the Club Cross Country Championships and the Masters Half Marathon Championships, Davis was edged by his teammate, Bryan Lindsay at the 5 K Championships. Chris Garvin, Davis's teammate, John Poray and Garvin's HFC teammate, T.J. Unger went 1-2-3 at the Masters 5 Km Championships in Boston last fall and look to be the strongest challengers.  Garvin seemed to surprise everyone, even himself, when he won the national championship in Boston. Unger, had a good outing too. A month later, though, he finished 14th in the highly competitive Men's 40+ division race at Club Cross in Tallahassee, just ten seconds behind Poray. They are closely matched. Unger was not quite able to hang with those two on the turf but he does have a 33:30 at the Lone Gull 10K from last September to show that he may be harder to handle on the roads. Of course Poray has a 32:08 of his own from last April and rn 15:52 in tthe 5 Km race at the Carmel Marathon, equating roughly to a 32:09.  Ben Jarrett was not as competitive as those three on the turf at Boston, finishing a minute back. But he turned in a fine 1:12:53 at the New Bedford Half Marathon a month ago. That suggests he may be readier to challenge those three on the roads. Aaron Price who ran 34:04 at the Lone Gull 10K last year and finished 10th overall at the 5 Km XC in Boston may also challenge for the podium. Price's teammate, Jason Holroyd, finished ahead of him in Boston but behind in Tallahassee. His 34:42 at Lone Gull was not as strong as Price's but his 1:11:35 at New Bedford was better than Jarrett. He will be in the mix no doubt.

Jesse Davis     John Poray     T.J. Unger



WOMEN Jessica Hruska, another Midwesterner, from Iowa, who took the win at the 5 km in Atlanta and the Bronze Medal at the Half Marathon Championships, looks to land on the podium again. With podia at those distances, and the 10K in the middle, things look promising. Jessica Smith, who ran a blazing fast 35:11 10K at the Kaiser Permanente San Francisco Half Marathon in February, comes in with some West Coast speed. At least that's what Athlinks lists; if she runs 35 and change tomorrow, it's Katy Bar the Door!' . A little less other worldly are her 2:46:41 at CIM in December and her 1:20:21 at Clarksburg. In addition she notched 2nd at Boston in  the 5 km XC, behind Kasie Enman, but ahead of Maggies Shearer, so she knows how to podium at a national championship. New Englanders Brett Ely and Erin Genova will try to repel the interlopers. Ely ran 1:23:39 at New Bedford and a 19:13 at the Downtown 5K in Providence, both suggestive of sub-40 possibilities for a 10K. Genova took the W40 win at New Bedford 12 seconds ahead of Ely and ran an 18:39 5K in Mid-February. Jennifer Mortimer, from New Hampshire, may have the best shot at the win. She clocked a sub 1:20 Half Marathon last August and an early season 38:18 10K earlier this month, as well as a 17:37 5K last November. If she has a day like she had in Atlanta, Abby Dean could figure into this podium race as well. She took 4th overall there in 18:41! Tough to figure out, but let's go with Genova, Hruska and Smith, and let Dean, Ely, or Mortimer, or maybe someone else, prove me wrong!, 

Erin Genova     Jessica Hruska   Jessica Smith



40-44  See Overall above.

Erin Genova     Jessica Hruska   Jessica Smith

40-45 Rebeccah Wassner, who took 2nd W45 in Syracuse last month at the Masters HM Championships in 1:25:52, may be the strongest candidate for the division win. Brooke Bray, Euleen Josiah-Tanner, Laure Van den Broeck Raffensperger, and Kathy Wiegand should all be in the mix for the podium as well. Bray, who took some time off after a tough 3:10 effort at .CIM last December, ran 50:22 at the 12 Km championships in New Jersey last September. More recently she ran a 42:19 10K at the Oakland Running Festival. A few years back she took 5th W40 at the National Masters 5 Km Championships in Atlanta. Tanner was mostly a track athlete until last year when she started competing at MLDR events on the turf and the road. She has been highly successful! After getting her feet wet with a 6th place division finish at the 12Km championship in September, she took the division title on the turf at the highly competitive Club Cross in Tallahassee. She landed on the division podium at Atlanta as well, clocking 19:38. She followed that with a 7th place finish at the 10-mile championships. If she can manage a podium finish here it would be her first on the roads at a distance over 5 Km. Van den Broeck Raffensperger has already taken the title of the runner with the longest name at these championships. If she can add a podium finish to that distinction it would be excellent! A few years ago she ran a 43:47 10K, and she is just coming off of a 3:27:23 effort at the Green Mountain Marathon. Wiegand has been a solid contributor to the Atlanta Track Club's team efforts for years. She has often been in the position of finishing just off the podium. At Tallahassee she claimed 4th in the division.Perhaps she can find podium magic at this race.

Brooke Bray     Euleen Josiah Tanner     Rebeccah Wassner

50-54 Abby Dean and Cassandra Henkiel come in with the strongest records, although Henkiel's most impressive efforts on the national scene are not recent. Dean has recently taken a division first at Atlanta with an 18:41 that also netted her the 4th place finish overall, and a 2nd in Syracuse with a 1:24:57 over a hilly course. Henkiel, by comparison, can look back on a 2017 3rd place finish in W45 at Club Cross in Lexington KY, not to mention division wins earlier that year at Syracuse in the 5 Km and in the 10 Km at Dedham with a 37:57 on this course. Unfortunately there are few clues about her current fitness, despite an 18:29 5K in 2019 at Freihofer's. On the other hand, unless she is visiting old friends or relatives in the area, it seems unlikely Henkiel would be making her first trip from Texas to an East Coast national championship unless she was in decent condition. Alexandra Marzulla looks good for a podium effort after finishing 6th at the 12 km last September in 51:45, equivalent to a 42:45 10K. She moved up a position to finish 5th at the Half Marathon Championships in Syracuse with a 1:35:41 that would have been faster on a gentler course. Perhaps she is ready to move up two more spots to finish on the podium this time. If it is not the day for any of those three, strong regional runners Carmen Alfonzo, Eileen Cakouros, Estelle McCormack, or Lisa Sternstrom will battle for a podium spot.

Abby Dean      Cassandra Henkiel     Alexandra Marzulla

55-59 Suzanne La Burt finished a minute and a half ahead of Mimi Fallon at the 12 Km Championships last September at Highlands NJ and will try to repeat that tomorrow in Dedham. Since then La Burt has shown no weakness, taking 2nd place in the division at Syracuse with a 1:29:15 and clocking 40:01 at the Cherry Blossom 10K just three weeks ago. With a mid-March 42:20 at the Holyoke 19K, Fallon is clearly in fine form for another duel with La Burt.If the turf is relevant, both will get a strong challenge from Jody Dushay, who finished 4th in 50-54 at the 5 Km XC in Boston with a 20:51, some 13 seconds faster than La Burt's 3rd place W55 finish. in Mid-February she clocked a 26:58 4-miler, equivalent to a 42:36 10K so she should be ready. Two moths ago in Atlanta Kris Huff took 3rd in the division in 21:19; it would be a mistake to ignore her. Her most recent 10K effort is Peachtree last 4th of July when she ran 43:58. 

Jody Dushay     Mimi Fallon      Suzanne La Burt

60-64 Greater Philadelphia Teammates, Lorraine Jasper and Doreen McCoubrie will resume their friendly rivalry. Although both have their eyes primarily on the team awards, each is a top runner. So far Jasper has had the edge on the turf and at shorter distances; McCoubrie has had the edge at longer distances on the roads. Jasper has division wins at the 5 km XC, the USATF XC at Mission Bay, and Club Cross at Tallahassee. Admittedly McCoubrie was not inthose fields, so we do not know where she would finish relative to Jasper. They had the same time, 20:32,  at Atlanta in the 5 Km with just a stride separating them. McCoubrie came in ahead of Jasper by six seconds at the 12 Km Championships in New Jersey and by three minutes at the Half marathon championships in Syracues. That suggest there should be a heck of a race between them tomorrow. Stella Gibbs will try to find that little extra something that will enable her to keep pace with those two. In Atlanta she finished a half minute back from them in 4th, and a minute behind them at the 12 Km at Highlands NJ. Her most recent effort, a division win at the Masters Ten Mile championships in Sacramento in 1:10:08 seems promising. It graded above 93%. Mary Cass, Lauren Leslie, and the 'Third Musketeer' of the Greater Philadelphia 60's team, Mary Swan, will also have a say in the podium race.  Cass finished 2nd to Jasper in Boston, just 8 seconds back! She clocked a 42:58 at Lone Gull last September and ran 12 seconds faster in a 10K a month later. Leslie was a minute and change back from Jasper and McCoubrie in Atlanta but came in ahead of Cass at Lone Gull with a 42:32. Leslie ran 1:35:09 at New Bedford, faster than Jasper at Syracuse, but not as fleet as McCoubrie. It will be fascinating to see how it all sorts out tomorrow. Swan is a very reliable runner. She finished 3rd at Syracuse, a minute back from Jasper. She will definitely be there if any of these four falter. Sally Reiley, better at the Marathon and Half Marathon, will also turn in a fine effort and time.

Stella Gibbs     Lorraine Jasper     Doreen McCoubrie 

65-69 In 2018, Alda Cossi finished 3rd in 60-64 at the 10 Km Championships over this course. More recently, she won the 5 Km XC at Boston with  a 25:27 effort last October. At Atlanta this February, she finished 3rd behind two runners who are not entered here, Kitty Musante and Nora Cary. If Claire McManus's 33 minute 5K at the St. Pat's Day 5K was just treated as a 'fun run then she should be a strong contender. She ran 49:42 at the Milton 10K last September and 23:17 at the Somerville Jingle Bell 5K in December. Lorraine McPhillips won this division at Club Cross at Lehigh in 2019 and finished 4th at the 5 km XC in Boston last fall. She also clocked a 55:35 10K earlier this month. Although well behind Cossi in Boston, she was a half minute ahead of Susan Stirrat, another potential contender. Stirrat has had a good year, finishing 3rd in the division at Club Cross in December, followed by a 2nd place at the Half Marathon Championships. In early April she ran a strong 52:54 at the Cherry Blossom 10K. Another runner who is a bit of a wild card is Sharon Moore, who took the win at Tallahassee, running a minute faster than Stirrat. A few years go, Moore was a frequent competitor at National Masters Championships and was regularly on the podium. That has not been the case this year. She has only competed in one championship, but it was a good one. Winning a division at the highly competitive Club Cross Country Championships is a feather in anyone's cap! I am guessing she is fit but I cannot find any race results since Club Cross for her.

Alda Cossi     Claire McManus     Sharon Moore

70-74 In 2018, Karen Durante took the win in the 65-69 division with a 47:18. Last August she won the 70-74 division at Falmouth with a 57:46, equating roughly to a 50:05, and in November clocked 23:11 in a 5K. I cannot find any 2022 results. Barbara Sauer, who finished 2nd in Atlanta with a 28:08 5K and 3rd at Syracuse in 2:08:01, will be a contender. Mary Sharkey ran several 5K's between October and January; a typical time was around 24:45. That 5K translates roughly to a 51:09 10K. That might be too generous an equivalence though. She ran a 34:27 4-miler in mid-February that equates to a 54:04. Jessica Wheeler ran a 52:31 10K on January 8th and a 1:23:56 15K two weeks later. Her 1:57:21 Hampton Half Marathon converts roughly to a 53:13.  Those three Winter races in New England suggest she may be able to run a good bit faster on Sunday. It is probably unwise to pick Sauer, who has two national podiums already this year, to finish off the podium, but that is what I am doing. Durante, Sharkey and Wheeler just seem a bit too speedy for Sauer to handle. Should Sauer prove me wrong, I would be delighted!

Karen Durante     Mary Sharkey     Jessica Wheeler

75-79  In a class by herself, Joan Tremberth is sure to be a national champion; she just has to finish the race! She should do much better than that; Tremberth ran a 41:59 4-miler in mid-February!

Joan Tremberth

85-89 Edna Hyer already has a national championship this year. She took the 85-89 title in Atlanta with a 41:12. She has apparently scared off the competition again.

Edna Hyer


40-44 See the analysis of the Overall Race above. 

Jesse Davis     John Poray     T.J. Unger

45-49 Jason Holroyd and Aaron Price were mentioned in the overall preview. That suggests they are favorites for the 45-49 podium. Another favorite who should, perhaps, have been mentioned as an overall contender is Mike Cole, the elder statesman of the Indiana Elite AC. Cole finished 2nd overall in 26:21 at the 8 Km National Championships at Virginia Beach in 2019. Not quite at the top of his game late last year, he ran a 1:19 HM and finished 10th in M45 at Club Cross in Tallahassee. He has bounced back this spring though, running a 37:46 quarter marathon (6.555 miles) in late March, equating to a 35:41 10K. He should be able to stay with Holroyd and Price for a while at least. Should any of those three have an off day, Timothy Gavin is poised to move up. He finished 4th in the division on the turf at Boston and ran a 1:15:07 at the New Bedford HM in March.

50-54 The podium is likely to come from these 4 contenders: Mark Andrews, Ivan Lieben, and Gregory Putnam. Andrews won the overall championship in the 2016 edition of this race in 32:45. In 2018 he took 3rd overall in the 5 Km national masters championships in Atlanta in 15:57. This year he finished 2nd in the division to Christian Cushing-Murray with a 16:52. He is, if anything, faster now as he showed with a 16:52 5K on April.  Ivan Lieben, who has done even better on the turf, is no slouch on the roads. He ran 33:55 at the Oakland Running Fest 10K and finished 3rd in the division at the recent 10 Mile championships in Sacramento, clocking 56:38, equivalent to a 34:15 10K. Lieben came in 20 seconds ahead of Cushing-Murray in that race.Gregory Putnam has had an impressive year, starting off with a division 2nd place at the 12 km Championships in Highlands NJ, followed by a gutsy win over Mark Callon in Boston on the turf. When those two met in Syacuse at the HM, the tables were reversed, but a 2nd place in 1:15:51 is nothing to sneeze at. Although there is no necessary transitivity across races, it is probably worth noting that Callon beat Putnam by a mere 5 seconds at the HM while he had over a half minute's edge over Lieben at the ten-mile championships. It should be quite a race at the front of this division!

Others who could factor into the podium race include : Brent Fields, Elliott Frieder, and twin brother, Jonathan Frieder, and their teammate, Richard Falcone.  Fields finished well back from Andrews in the 5K in Atlanta but ran an impressive 33:51 at Peachtree last July. In November he ran a 1:18:39 HM. J Frieder ran an impressive 1:17:43 Half Marathon to  take 5th in the division. E Frieder had an off day and was a couple of minutes back. Falcone finshed just ahead of both. However, last September the order was reversed when E Frieder clocked 42:52 to J Frieder's 43:15. Those are equivalent to a 10 K in the mid 35's so Fields may have too much speed for them; it will be interesting to see how this race within a race unfolds.

Mark Andrews     Ivan Lieben     Gregory Putnam

55-59 When Brian Crowley and Nat Larson raced the 12 km Champion and ships at Highlands NJ last September, Crowley enjoyed the win over Larson with a minute to spare in 42:06. At the time, Larson was not injured but was not fully back up to speed after surgery during the pandemic lull in races. It will be interesting to see how this rematch go. Both appear to be ready! Crowley ran a 35:30 10K in January and clocked 58:36 in the Garden State ten miler. Larson, meanwhile is back at the top of his game with a 1:16:30 division win at the HM Championships in Syracuse, followed up by an impressive 57:11 at the 10 Mile Championships in Sacramento. This could be a battle for the ages! No one else in the field appears close to those two. Who will get the final podium spot. Mike Nier should have a good shot! Nier has paid his dues. He has finished 4th at two of the recent national road championships. His 44:19 at the 12 Km Championships last September and his 17:45 in the 5Km both left him just off the podium. Jason Cakouros will try to defend the home roads; he ran 36:48 at the Lone Gull 10 Km last September. Others who might upset the apple cart include John Hogan and Harold Porcher of Garden State. Hogan clocked 37:57 at the Cherry Blossom 10K earlier this month and Porcher's 1:02:11 at the recent Garden State 10-miler equates to a 37:35 10K.

Brian Crowley     Nat Larson     Mike Nier

60-64 Like the 5 Km National Championships in Atlanta, this one may come down to a battle between Tim Degrado, Rick Lee, and Joe Mora. They locked horns, with Mora pulling away in the end for the gun time win 18:02 to 18:05 for Degrado and Lee who placed in that order. However, if you look at Athlinks, they incorrectly place them based on chip time and there the result reads: Lee 17:57, Mora 18:00 and Degrado 18:02. Since then Lee took a nice win at Syracuse with a 1:19:40 at the HM Championships and just won his division at the Boston Marathon this past Monday in 2:47:58. The bad news for his rivals is that was a new PR for him; the good news is that the Marathon was just six days before this race. Even with Lee's incredible powers of recovery it seems likely there will be a little less bounce in his step on Sunday because of that. Degrado, in the meantime, demonstrated his fitness with a 59:47 division win at the 10 Mile Championships in Sacramento. Mora has not been as active but he did recently run a 23:44 4-miler just to keep his legs in the game. They will definitely have some company in any division lead pack. Robert McCormack ran 39:09 at Lone Gull last September and followed that with a 3rd at the 5 Km XC contest in Boston and a 4th place finish at Tallahassee. He is a force to be reckoned with. Paul McGovern ran an 18:42 5K last November and followed that up with a nifty 1:21:24 att he New Bedford HM, equating to a 37:03 10K. Although he is unlikely to challenge for the podium at this distance, it will be interesting to see what track specialist, David Westenberg, can do. He did run a 39:57 10K in March of 2020 and threw down an 18:11 at the BAA 5K last weekend.

Tim Degrado     Rick Lee     Joseph Mora

65-69 A couple of months after his fine 12 Km win where he set the American M65 record of 45:05, Ken Youngers suffered a setback. Luckily it was only temprary as he worked his way back into  condition over the winter. He was able to run a 38:55 10K by mid-February and finished 2nd in the 5 Km Masters Championships in 18:22  to Jacob Nur, who has broken several M65 records of his own this year. John Barbour who is typically at or near the top of his age division, finished 5th at the 5 Km XC Championships in Boston last October. He won the Club Cross M65 title at Lehigh in 2019 and earlier that year took the M65 10 Km title on this course in 38:37. He has, uncharacteristically not run in any of the New England GP races since the XC race in Boston. That could be a bad sign or it could just mean that he was taking a break from racing to recover his fitness and he is ready to roll. We shall find out on Sunday. Charlie Muse was an upset winner of this race in 2017 with a sparkling 37:51, but has not run a strong race in the last few months. It would be nice ot see him back in peak condition but probably not at this race.

As Nur is not entered, and neither John Barbour nor Charlie Muse seem to be at the top of their game right now, it falls to Kevin Dollard and his Shore AC teammate, Reno Stirrat to provide Youngers with a challenge. Dollard continues his steady production of strong efforts this year. After his 3rd place finish in Atlanta with a 19:54, Dollard followed that up with a 2nd place run of 1:32:43 in the HM Championships in Syracuse. Stirrat continues his gradual return to form. His 5K effort in Atlanta left him in 5th, half a minute behind Dollard. In the HM Championshgips at Syracuse, Stirrat was only 23 seconds behind over a much longer distance. In addition, Stirrat just turned in a fine 41:17 effort at the Cherry Blossom 10K. If Robert Ciano can match the 32:28 5 Miler he ran last Labor Day, equivalent to a 40:39 10K, he could break onto the podium.

Kevin Dollard     Reno Stirrat     Ken Youngers

70-74 Richard Larsen who took the 5 Km title in Atlanta with a nifty 19:34 must be considered the fvorite evne though this is a step up in distance for him. My guess is that he has worked a little more mileage into his workouts and will find the adjustment not too major. Kirk Larson returns to the fray after a problem with his elbow and then an unrelated difficulty that popped up during the Club Cross race in Tallahassee. In any case it appears that his recovery has proceeded well. He just ran a 21:37 5k at the end of March. Something in the mid-40's or maybe even a little faster seems feasible. His Atlanta partner, Jerry Learned hs continued his fine, steady season. After his 4th place finish at the 5 km Championships in Atlanta, he followed that with a 1:41:11 Half Marathon to finsih 3rd in M70 in Syracuse.He bumped that up a notch by claiming 2nd at the ten mile championships in Sacramento with a fine 1:12:28. Not so long ago he would have been happy to run that in a 15K! It is hard to see anyone breaking that threesome up. Allan Bates and Gordon MacFarland ran 1:46:54 nd 1:47:54 respectively at the New Bedford HM. Either one of the three aforementioned runners would have to falter of these two would have to raise their game to deny them.

Richard Larsen     Kirk Larson     Jerry Learned

75-79 Dave Glass has not been beaten at any distance greater than 8K fo rthe past 7 months. He won the 12 km last September and continued his winning ways with a sterling 1:41:54 at theHalf Marathon Championships and an equally fine 1:16:38 ten-mile victory in Sacramento. At shorter distances, track specialist Gary Patton has sometimes been able to hold onto Glass's pace and outkick him at the end. It is hard to see that happening over 10 Km but it would be a mistake to completely rule it out. Patton knows how to train and how to race. He is very determined. Ezequiel Garcia finished just 46 seconds behind Glass at the 12 Km Championships, and was closer on the turf. He was a minute behind Glass at the 5 Km Championships on the roads in Atlanata but fell far back in the HM at Syracuse. He still took 2nd and was not threatened but he finished over ten minutes behind Glass. The question now is whether that was an aberration or a sign of something being not quite right with Garcia's fitness. His 1:25:53 at the Garden State ten-miler at the end of March and a 51:02 at the Cherry Blossom 10K suggest his fitness is off a bit. Does that give an opening to other contenders like Jan Frisby and Jim May to climb onto the podium? That is certainly possible. Frisby's fitness has continued to improve. Last September in the 12 km, he finished 5th in M75 in 1:03:15 at Highlands. In early April he finished 4th in the division in Sacramento over ten miles, not such a huge improvement in place,  but his pace was actually 6 seconds faster per mile than it had been at Highlands, over a longer distance. His 1:23:13 was faster than the ten mile run by Garcia shortly thereafter. If his fitness has continued to improve in the interim as seems likely he may be ready t break 50 minutes. May is a bit of a wild card. He finished 5th at Club Cross in this division in 41:17. that was well behind Glass and Garcia, but well ahead of Frisby and even one second ahead of Patton. But there is nothing since, so we have to guess at current fitness. He apparently does a fair amount of XC skiing over the winter and often has pretty good fitness in the spring. In 2017, for example, he won the M70 8K Championship in mid March in Virginia Beach. We will find out on Sunday where he is right now. Liam Finnigan also has a chance at the podium. He has a recent 10K at 50:24 and a 1:18:37 at the Gate River Run 15K that is consistent with that kind of effort. It will probably take a sub-50 minute effort to make the podium. Who will it be? I have left myself, Paul Carlin, out of these calculations because it just seems a little too soon. I have made progress, but still my most recent effort was a 5th place in Sacramento, almost two minutes behind Frisby. Everything would have to go perfectly for me to break 50 minutes.

Jan Frisby     Dave Glass     Gary Patton

80-84 John Elliott finished nearly two minutes ahead of Roland Cormier in Tallahassee on the turf. Cornier has apparently not raced since then so his current fitness, almost 5 months later, is unknown. Elliott ran a 29:58 5K in mid-Februar as part of his prep for Atlanta. But a few days befoer the race, he took a bad spill. That derailed his Atlanta plans. This appears to be his first race since the fall but he is likely pretty fit. He has won a ton of national championships. Philip Pierce my be in the mix as well. He ran 33:55 to finish 5th in this division on the turf at Boston last October. He followed that with a 41:08 4-miler in mid-February, roughly equivalent to a 1:04:13. That is not as fast as Elliott was before his fall but we will find out on Sunday if Elliott is a bit off the top of his game. Last September, Cormier ran 1:17:10 at the 12 Km Championships, equivalent roughly to a 1:03:25 10K. It looks like those three will battle it our for the podium spots. George Gilder just threw down a 1:39:54 10-Miler at the April 9th Tenacious Ten in Seattle. That suggests he could run around an hour for a ten K. Denny Leblanc ran two 5K's last fall in 28:17 and 28:16, suggesting a 10 k in the upper 50 minute range should be within reach. This new talent could make it rough for Elliott, Comier and Pierce.

George Gilder     John Elliott     Denny LeBlanc

85-89 William 'Bill' Reilly, who has won many a championship in his day, ran a 32:28 5K in January, roughly equivalent to a 1:05:12 10K. Duane Lougee ran a 1:05:19 10K. Those are pretty close. Ordinarily I would say the runner who actually rann the distance has a solider time ans so shold be favored. Reilly has won so many championships over the years thought hat it is hard to say anyone should be favore dover him. The third entrant, Lawrence Cole, will likely not break 1:30 but s long as he finishes, he will be on the podium.

Lawrence Cole     Duane Lougee     William Reilly

It is time to draw this preview to a close, at 11:16 pm the evening before the race. I will watch the age grading and team contests with interest but will not be able to include them in this preview. 


Good luck to all the competitors tomorrow and may the wether forecast even in changeable New England, hold overight and keep the favorable conditions forecasted.

Thursday, April 21, 2022

A Somber Beginning But a Happy Ending at the USATF Masters 10 Mile Championships in Sacramento-Recap 1-Overall-Records-Women's Age Division

April 15, 2022 Walking to the Championships staging area from my Air BnB about a mile away, I took a left turn and was surprised to see a crew extending yellow crime scene tape further out from one of the buildings. I retraced my steps and later learned that there had been a tragic shooting in the early hours of Sunday morning and 6 were killed. There had been doubt about whether the race would be allowed to go on. But once the police determined that there was no lingering threat and that the race would not be impinged by the crime scene investigation nor vice versa, the race was allowed to go on. That was background information and a topic of pre-race discussion for the Masters runners, but focus soon shifted to the matter at hand, the USATF Masters 10 Mile Championships.

It helped that the weather was near perfect, fair skies, low 50's and a gentle breeze. There was a great setup for the Championships, with a secured area right next to the start, with access limited to elite and masters athletes. In that area was a large tent open to the front that housed packet pickup, gear check, and team uniform check in. In front of it was a large paved area, with sturdy folding chairs, where gear could be changed and left while warming up. Lots of good conversation with teammates and rivals was in the air.  Some were thinking about the possibility of new American records. Jenny Hitchings Sacramento CA holds the Women's 55-59 record at 1:01:15, set last fall at the Buffalo Stampede in Sacramento. Jacob Nur Elk Grove CA holds the Men's 65-69 record at 59:11, set a month ago at the John Frank Memorial NorCal 10 Miler. Soon enough it was time to line up. After a slight delay while they got everything synced at the start, the gun sounded and we were off!



WOMEN The Preview suggested that Carre Joyce Heineck Portland OR, Jenny Hitchings, and Maggie Shearer Newbury Park, CA were likely to push the pace up front. Chris Lundy Mill Valley, CA and Laura Osman Encino CA also played a role in the overall race. Heineck displayed her credentials as a strong turf runner by taking 3rd overall at Club Cross in Tallahassee. She backed that up on the roads with a 1:20:23 at the RnR San Jose Half Marathon. Hitchings, though a good decade older than the others, has been on a tear breaking American 55-59 Records over the last couple of years. Her 1:20:25 at the Clarksburg Half Marathon this year shows her speed even if the Race Officials did discover after the fact that the course had been set up incorrectly and was short of what had been certified. Her American and World Record Marathon performance at New York in 2019 provides added evidence of her ability. Her American Record for the 10 Mile Run set last September was 1:01:15. Clearly Hitchings would need to be reckoned with. Shearer has produced several podium efforts at national championships, both on the turf and on the roads. Her 2nd place finish at the 12 Km Masters National Championships in New Jersey last September suggested that a 1:00:30 was within her grasp.

Masters Runners Head North on Capitol Mall to Begin their Ten Mile Journey at the 2022 USATF Masters Ten Mile Championships Hosted by the Sactown 10 Photo courtesy of Sacramento Running Association

Shearer noted after the race that she had had a good training block and felt the support of her teammates as they went for a national title. She felt fitter than she had been the previous fall and that she should be able to clip the miles off at a good 5-10 seconds below 6:00 pace per mile.Shearer went off at that pace and soon found herself with no rivals close to her. She knew there were contenders behind her but she could not see them. With packs of runners scarce around her, she tried to find a rhythm and stay strong for each mile. She hit the timing mat at the 7.2 mile turn around in 42:12, an average pace of 5:52. Whatever she was doing was working! She felt ready to race should anyone come up on her. Hitchings, meanwhile, had less confidence on the starting line about how she might run on the day despite all her records. She had had a hamstring/glute issue that made her training a bit less satisfactory than usual. She knew she needed to hit 6:06's or better to have a good shot at her 1:01:15 record. She decided to take what the day would give her and not put pressure on herself to necessarily think she would break her record. She tried to take each mile as it came. After the race, Hitchings indicated that she tends to run a pretty steady pace; she is not one for negative splits. She was determined to start at a reasonable pace, perhaps not as fast as her normal. When she checked her gps at 1 mile, she was surprised to fins that she was under 6:00, not just because it was faster than she needed, but because it did not seem like she was pushing the pace. Also, of course, she had no feeling that her hamstring or glute would act up. As the race progressed, she felt positive and was not putting pressure on herself to try to break her won record, but to just accept what the race was giving her. Luckily, as it turned out, it was giving her a few sub-6's but, more importantly, consistent sub 6:10's to go with the early sub-6's. It also left her a bit behind Shearer in 2nd place. Not far behind and, no doubt, happy to have Hitchings in her sights, was Heineck. 

From right: Jenny Hitchings, Scott Siriano and Carre Joyce Heineck lead a group of Masters athletes through Sacramento's Oldtown District 4 miles into the race Photo courtesy of Sacramento Running Association

Hitchings made the turn in 42:58, with Heineck nine seconds back. Heineck had a bit more in the tank as she closed the gap over the next couple of miles and was able to stride over Tower Bridge in 2nd place with a small gap back to Hitchings. But Shearer was long gone, out of her reach. Shearer had her first national Masters title, breaking the tape in 59:20! 

Maggie Shearer heads for the finish line and the Overall Win at the 2022 USATF Masters Ten Mile Championship hosted by the Sactown 10 Photo courtesy of Sacramento Running Association


Hitchings was not fazed when Heineck passed; she knew her old 1:01:15 record was crumbling, to be replaced by her effort today. What a nice surprise, given her thoughts earlier in the day!

Heineck claimed the Silver Overall Medal in 1:00:28, moving up from the  Bronze she earned at Club Cross. 

Carre Joyce Heineck sprints to the finish and the Overall Silver Medal at the 2022 USATF Masters Ten Mile Championship hosted by the Sactown 10 Photo courtesy of Sacramento Running Association


Hitchings had Bronze in 1:00:40. Chip time can be used for American Age Division Records. 


Jenny Hitchings  claims third place Overall and a New 55-59 American Ten Mile Record at the 2022 USATF Masters Ten Mile Championship hosted by the Sactown 10 Photo courtesy of Sacramento Running Association

So her new record will be 1:00:38! Not a bad day at the office for Shearer, Heineck and Hitchings! 

Lundy had an impressive day as well; when she made the U-turn at 7.2 in 43:51, she could see she had no rivals within 150 meters. Laura Osman and her teammate, Elizabeth Guerrini Long Beach, CA were closest, making the turn at 44:36 and 44:38. Amy Halseth La Jolla, CA was another 50 meters back, with 60 meters separating her from Amy Alzina Santa Barbara CA and Jacqueline Cooke Burlingame CA, who were running in tandem 25 meters ahead of Midori Sperandeo Folsom CA. Lundy looked like she would have no trouble but the others were close enough that the final distance of almost three miles would contain plenty of action! Guerrini hung with Osman as long as she could but eventually felt herself slipping backward. She just hoped they had enough of a lead that her followers would run out of room before catching her. Cooke was moving as well as Osman, taking 4 seconds off of Guerrini's lead with every half-mile. When Cooke came off the bridge she could see Osman well ahead in 5th and Guerrini still a good 30 meters ahead and moving well. Lundy took 4th in 1:01:58, with Osman 5th in 1:02:47. Guerrini held on for 6th in 1:03:10 with Cooke next in 1:03:16. In the meantime, Alzina and Sperandeo had closed on Halseth. It would be a mad dash to the finish! In the end, Alzina had just enough to nip Sperandeo and Halseth as they finished in 8th, 9th and 10th separated by just two seconds from 1:03:33 to 1:03:35-Some finish!

Maggie Shearer 59:20     Carre Joyce Heineck 1:00:29     Jenny Hitchings 1:00:40

MEN The preview focused on Riley Cook South Weber UT, Roosevelt Cook Hesperia CA, Peter Gilmore Alameda CA, Gregory Mitchell Wilsopnville OR, Sergio Reyes Los Osos CA, Jacques Sallberg Pasadena CA and Jason Troxler Flagstaff AZ. Riley Cook and Reyes are both Open Runners with elite credentials who turned 40 this year. A multiple winner of Marathons and Half Marathons, Cook's best races have been in Utah, including a 1:05:26 Half Marathon at the 2017 Deseret News HM in Salt Lake City and a 2:16:09 win at the 2016 St. George Marathon. Like Cook, most of Reyes's wins came in his home state, California. Reyes enjoyed more success on the national/international stage, running for Team USA in the World Half Marathon Championships in 2002, winning the 2010 USA Marathon Championship in 2:14:02, and competing for Team USA again in the 2011World Marathon Championships in Japan. 

This would be Cook's first try for a Masters National Championship, the second try for Reyes. Reyes was successful at this first try, the Masters race at the USATF Cross Country Championships at Mission Bay in San Diego. He threw in a surge after the first loop of the course and rolled to an impressive victory over Roosevelt Cook, Mitchell, and Sallberg. Roosevelt Cook has more impressive times on the roads, though, including a 1:10:20 HM at Surf City and a 1:09:23 at RnR Las Vegas this February. In a side note, Gilmore, from 2003 to 2008, had a winning head-to-head record against Reyes, hi fellow Californian, including a 2008 Surf City HM win in 1:03:53. More recently Gilmore had been trying to find ways to win a  Masters Cross Country race at the Club Cross Country National Championship. Foiled by Sallberg at Lehigh in 2019, he gained the edge on Sallberg at Tallahassee last fall; but fell to midwesterner, Jesse Davis.  Perhaps he will get his first win on his 'hometown' course at Golden Gate Park this fall. No slouch on the roads, as his earlier record against Reyes shows, Gilmore had a 1:11:01 at the 2019 Urban Cow HM and a sparkling 1:08:09 at the (just short of a) Half Marathon on the Clarksburg course this winter. Mitchell won the 2018 Masters National Half Marathon Championship hosted by the Dexter-Ann Arbor Run in Michigan with a 1:10:36. Last June he ran 1:10:56 to take second overall at the North Olympic Discovery Half Marathon. Sallberg was rarely beaten on the turf at masters races at National Championships from 2014 through 2019. After a stumble in Tallahassee on a hot and humid day, Sallberg showed he is still a force to be reckoned with. A master of the changes in elevation, turns and footing that XC provides, he would try to spin his magic on a flat road course that does not give him much to work with. Troxler, less well known than his rivals, comes in with solid recent credentials, a 1:12:04 at the RnR Arizona HM in January and a nifty 2:31:03 at the typically fast Mesa (AZ) Marathon. 

For most of the contenders it was a typical intermediate length road race. A lead pack went out hard and a chase pack held together until folks started to drop away in a 'war of attrition.' 

Jacques Sallberg leads one of the Open Elite Women and a group of West Valley, SRA Elite and Boulder Road Runners Masters men from right: Jacques Sallberg, Ben Koss, Todd Rose, Galen Farris, Ivan Lieben, Tim Degrado gray cap, and Mark Calllon


Reyes led Riley Cook through the first mile in 4:50, and through the next two in the low 4:50's before Cook decided the pace was too fast, let them go, settled into 5:00/mile pace and hoped Reyes would come back to him later in the race. Between miles 4 and 5 his deficit was up to 7-8 seconds but Cook started to gain thereafter by keeping his pace at 5/mile. By mile 6, Cook was able to pass Reyes; at the turn=around at 7.2 miles, Cook was at 35:31 with a lead of about 30 meters on Reyes. Roosevelt Cook was a couple of hundred meters back from Reyes in 36:20, but had left the rest of the field well behind. Gilmore headed the rest of the field at 37:32, with Mitchell 11 seconds back in 5th, and Troxler another 11 in 37:54. From there, Riley Cook kept grinding out the 5 minute miles all the way to the finish line and a solid win with over a half minute to spare. His only regret was that he did not realize he had a shot at a sub-50 minute time until it was too late. His winning gun time was 50 minutes flat. At least he had the satisfaction of a sub-50 chip time at 49:59!

Reyes followed his Gold Medal performance in San Diego with a Silver Medal here in Sacramento. 

Sergio Reyes claims the Silver Medal Overall at the
2022 USATF Masters Ten Mile Championship hosted by the Sactown 10 Photo courtesy of Sacramento Running Association


Roosevelt Cook turned the tables on Gilmore on the roads, claiming the final podium spot in 51:27. 

Roosevelt Cook powers to the finish line and the Bronze Medal Overall at the 2022 USATF Masters Ten Mile Championship hosted by the Sactown 10 Photo courtesy of Sacramento Running Association

Twenty seconds later, Gilmore finished just off the podium. Mitchell finished 5th in 37:43, with Troxler 6th in 53:49. The closest finish in the top ten involved Ben Koss San Francisco CA, Juan Rivera Salinas CA, and Sallberg. Rivera hit the 7.2 mile u-turn at 38:55, with a hundred meter lead on Sallberg, and Koss trailing him by 50 meters. As Sallberg closed on Rivera over the next mile or so, Koss closed on Sallberg. Coming off the Tower Bridge they were all together. Koss had just enough left to edge Sallberg for 7th at the line, with both getting the same time to the second, 51:49. Rivera was two seconds back in 9th at 54:51!

Maggie Shearer and Riley Cooper atop the Podium for the 2022 USATF Masters Ten Mile Championships Photo courtesy of Sacramento Running Association



 As noted, both Jenny Hitchings and Jacob Nur were gunning for records. The attempt of Hitchings, still a force for an overall Masters win out of the 55-59 division, was covered above. No matter how strong an individual runner, the likelihood of an Overall win coming out of the 65-69 division is vanishingly small. But Nur, like Hitchings, was also going for the largest single prize at the Championships, the top age-grading award. But first there is the matter of the record. Like Hitchings, Nur has knocked down several American Records in the last couple of years. Unlike Hitchings, he has a rival in Brian Pilcher, who is also knocking down 65-69 records at the same time. In Houston last fall Pilcher set 65-69 records at every distance from the 8 km, 29:12, up through the 15 Km, 55:15, to the Half Marathon, 1:19:03. They were broken on a special road setup with a few runners and the help of a timing company that took care of all of the details including multiple timing mats laid out on a circuit. The primary aim was for an elite Masters runner, Pilcher in this case, to take down multiple records in a single run. They also saw it as a demonstration of what could be done on an annual basis with top Masters runners invited to take a shot at age division records across the spectrum. Two weeks  later, Nur took down Pilcher's HM record, lowering it to 1:18:29 at the Clarksburg HM. Unfortunately that was disallowed because of an error setting up the course, where the turn around was misplaced. Eleven days later, at the local turkey trot, the Run to Feed the Hungry, Nur lowered the 10 km record to 35:42. In March of this year, he took aim at the 10 Mile record at the Nor Cal John Frank Memorial race, dropping Pilcher's mark by a half minute to 59:11. This race, a month later, gave Nur the opportunity to put the mark further out of reach. Nur knew that if he hit the u-turn 7.2 mile mat in 42 minutes, he would be on pace for a 58:20 and a new record. When his time turned out to be 41:49, he knew he had run well; now he needed to dig a little deeper so that it did not slip away. Mile 7 had been hard and it was hard to keep things going through miles 8 and 9. But then he was over the bridge, the finish line in sight; he had kept his pace going. He crossed the line in 58:34, dropping the record by another 37 seconds!It is quite remarkable that two of the speediest runners in the land are from the same city! As Hitchings observed, "Jacob and I are so lucky to live in the Sacramento area where there are so many flat, fast races and a wonderful timing company led by Rich Hanna, that cares about making sure that Masters runners get credit for their record-breaking efforts."

With Gene Dykes Bala Cynwyd PA 74 in the field as well, it was not certain that this record-breaking effort would necessarily find Nur 66 at the top of the age grading podium. However, despite appearances to the contrary, Dykes is not invulnerable. He is not at the top of his game right now, although he is moving in that direction. And, as it turned out the chief challenge came from Nat Larson Amherst MA 59,, three time USATF Masters Harrier of the year, and current 55-59 record holder in the 5 km at 15:54. Like Dykes, he is returning to the top of his form. His 56:11 graded at a nifty 93.11%, with Dykes's 1:07:43 grading at 92.10%. But Nur topped them both; his 58:34 graded at 97.25%. 


Jacob Nur puts an exclamation mark on his new American record with this strong drive to the finish!

The top 5 age graders on each side earn prize money. The remaining two on the Mens side were Tim DeGrado Arvada CO 62 , a relative newcomer to the Masters National Grand Prix circuit, whose 59:44 merited a 91.70%, and Greg Mitchell 48, a veteran who has been winning national championships since 2013. Mitchell clocked 52:55 for 91.28%. In all, ten men cracked the national class standard of 90%.

On the Women's side there were nine who cracked 90%. Jo Ann Hall Redding CA 80, was the senior among them, clocking 1:34:31 for 91.22% and 5th place. Midori Sperandeo 55, who was in the wild finish chronicled above, wound up at 1:03:30 for 92.77%. The age-grading podium was reserved for three who topped even those superlative marks.  Merry Dearmon-Moore Tucson AZ 68, covered the ten miles in 1:15:27 meriting a 92.94%. Stella Gibbs 63 Pacific Grove CA, averaged a few ticks over 7 minutes a mile for 1:10:08 and a 93.17%. Hitchings 58, of course, mounted the top of the podium; her 1:00:38 garnered a 100.88%. As a pro football announcer might say, 'She gives a hundred percent on her off days!" But this time it would be earned. It does not get any better.



WOMEN 40-44 As noted in the overall coverage, Jacqueline Cooke, Laura Osman,  and Carre Joyce Heineck went 4-3-2 to Maggie Shearer's #1 finish!

Maggie Shearer 59:20     Carre Joyce Heineck 1:00:29     Laura Osman 1:02:49

45-49 Amy Alzina earned a mention in the overall coverage with her spirited finish to take 8th. Elizabeth Goya San Francisco CA left no room for close rivals with her 1:04:37 for 2nd place. Dena Evans Redwood City CA and Christy Peterson Rolling Hills Estates CA battled for  the final podium spot. Evans was just a couple of strides ahead when they made the turn at 7.2 miles but was able to pull away in miles 8 and 9, finishing in 1:07:36 with a substantial cushion. Jodi Buyyounouski Palo Alto CAtook 5th.

Amy Alzina 1:03:33     Elizabeth Goya 1:04:37     Dena Evans  1:07:36

50-54 Despite the strong field, Chris Lundy had no trouble dominating the division, taking the win with over a minute to spare. Elizabeth Guerrini kept Lundy's F50 back bib in sight for as long as she could. By the time Guerrini made the U-turn at 7.2 she could see that Lundy was a good 150 meters ahead. After making the turn, Guerrini headed back and saw Amy Halseth, one of her rivals, only 50 meters back. It would probably be ore important to keep from being caught than worry much about catching Lundy. Guerrini kept her rhythm going and was relieved not ot hear Halseth's footsteps, or anyone else's, coming up fast over the final miles. Guerrini held on all the way to the finish, taking 2nd with a hundred meters to spare. Halseth was third, followed by Ingrid Walters Santa Monica CA, 4th in 1:04:08. Fiona Bayly New York, NY took 5th.

55-59 With Hitchings in this division there was little suspense. She took the win with almost three minutes to spare. But what about the rest of the podium? Had Hitchings not been in the race, it would likely have belonged to Sperandeo who ran an excellent 1:03:34 to take 4th in Overall Age-Grading and finish 2nd almost 4 minutes ahead of the rest of the field. Tania Fischer Santa Monica CA, who is in her element if a race is on turf and a good bit less than 10K, showed that she can handle a longer distance as well. Fischer took 3rd in a fine 1:07:54. When Dana Blum San Francisco CA sailed around the u-turn and headed back toward the Tower Bridge, she would have seen Genevieve Clavier Sacramento CA a hundred meters back, but moving well. Since they are the same age and live just an hour and a half apart, I assume they know of each other, but perhaps not. In any case, Clavier carved a good 80 meters out of the lead. Blum held tough though and finished 4th in 1:11:15, with Clavier in 5th seven seconds back.

Jenny Hitchings 1:00:40     Midori Sperandeo 1:03:34     Tania Fischer 1:07:54

60-64 Stella Gibbs Pacific Grove CA finished 2nd in this division at the 12 K National Championships in New Jersey last September and at the XC Championships at Mission Bay. She sandwiched those around another national podium, a 3rd at the 5 km XC Championships in Boston. She came up short, technically, at Atlanta; she and her teammate, Nancy Simmons, crossed the line together but the finish camera gave the 3rd place finish to Simmons while they were both awarded the same time. The top spot has eluded her, but not this time. Gibbs stormed off to nearly a two minute lead by the time she made the turn at 7.2 miles. By the time she crossed the finish line she had upped it to over two minutes. Not only tht, she had earned the impressive age graded score that gave her 2nd place overall in that contest.  Kathi Sleavin Seattle WA was just as dominant with respect to the rest of the field; she had over a kilometer on the third place finisher, Lanore Bergenske Fortuna CA. Betrgenske was delighted with a podium finish at a national championship! Margit Falk San Francisco CA finisehd 4th with Debra Cramer Alameda CA fifth.

Stella Gibbs 1:10:14     Kathi Sleavin 1:12:20     Lanore Bergenske 1:18:42

65-69 Merry Dearmon-Moore Tucson AZ took on a talented group in this division and came out on top. Her 3:27:54 at the fast Sprouts Mesa Marathon in March suggested she has wheels!  Suzanne Ray Jacksonville OR won the division at the Half Marathon Championships in Syracuse in 1:49:21 on a tough, hilly course and ran 1:44:36 on a presumably faster RnR Las Vegas course in February. Ray matched up well against Honor Fetherston Los Gatos CA who ran 1:49:12 at the Livermore HM in March; she ran a strong 1:44:58 last summer in the OC Half Marathon. That course has significant elevation change which makes it a challenge. Still, it was not clear that either could outmatch someone who can run two successive sub-1:45 HM's in a single race, even if it is on a fast course. In the end the race unfolded more or less as expected. Dearmon-Moore carved out a 2 minute lead over Fetherston in the first 7 miles. Fetherston, for her part, put a surprising amount of distance on Ray in the first 7 miles She hit the timing mat in 55:46 with a 300 meter lead on Ray. Perhaps the Livermore HM is a challenging course also? Dearmon-Moore cooked u a sparkling 1:15:36 which age graded high enough to land her on the overall age grade podium! Fetherston's 1:18:18 netted second place. Her chip time of 1:18:13 merited a fine 88.37% age grade. Ray, soon to enter the 70-74 division, and not quite up to Fetherston's pace, nonetheless cracked out a 1:21:34 to finish 3rd. Her chip time, 1:21:28, graded 87.36%.  Suzette Smith Alameda CA and Barbara McQuinn Oakland CA took 4th and 5th respectively.

Merry Dearmon-Moore 1:15:36     Honor Fetherston 1:18:18 

70-74 This race marked the return of the 2017 USATF Masters Runner of the Year, Sabra Harvey Houston TX , to the Masters National Grand Prix circuit. This time she is part of the powerful W70+  Team Red Lizard. Although she is not as fit as she was a five years ago, she is still very fast and knows how to win races. She and Kate Stewart Berkeley CA went off at a good clip. No doubt they ran together for much of the race. I do not know if they exchanged the lead or if Harvey, like the savvy track runner she is, recognized a good pace when she saw it and just accepted it. Confident in her kick, she would turn it on when needed. However it worked out in actuality, Stewart hit the u-turn mat in 59:58, three seconds ahead of Harvey. Once they came off the Tower Bridge, Harvey waited for the right time and sped past Stewart to take the win, 1:23:57 to 1:23:59. At the same time, Jo Anne Rowland Concord CA, was trying to find a way to close on Sharon Gerl Eugene OR. A crossover athlete from triathlon, Gerl had managed to carve out a 20-meter lead. Rowland thought she would close that but, despite her best sfforts, Gerl always had an answering surge. Gerl crossed the 7.2 mile timing mat in 1:00:55 with a 7-second lead over Rowland. Gerl was able to pull away a bit over the last few miles netting the final odium spot with a 1:26:13, thirteen seconds ahead of Rowland. Sharlet Gilbert Richmond CA finished 5th a minute later.

Sabra Harvey 1:23:57     Kate Stewart 1:23:59     Sharon Gerl 1:26:13

75-79 Shirley Shean Concord CA took the division win with over 15 minutes to spare. Barbara Rinker Sacramento CA earned the Silver Medal at a National Championship.

Shirley Shean 1:46:25     Barbara Rinker 2:03:45

80-84 JoAnn Hall Redding CA was the sole entrant in this division. But she thought she would take a crack at Hedy Marque's 1:31:24 from the 1998 Cherry Blossom Run. She knew she needed to average 9:08 per mile to have a good shot. As it turned out, today was not the day. After a few miles it was clear that her best effort today would be closer to 9:15 per mile. She turned around the 7.2 mat in 1:06:31; she needed to be a minute faster to be on pace for a record. She missed it by three minutes. It was a good day still. A National Championship is always a nice reward. Hall can hope for a better day in the near future. She know s the record is not far off even though it eluded her grasp today.

JoAnn Hall 1:34:39 

It was a terrific day of racing! The next recap will cover the Men's Age Divisions and the Team contests.