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.
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!
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.