Saturday, April 29, 2023

2023 USATF Masters 10 Km Championships at Dedham MA-Preview Overall, Age Division & Masters Course Records

April 29, 2023 Each spring since 2013, the fastest Masters long distance runners in the country have converged on the quaint New England town of Dedham MA. They have always sped past hired actors, costumed for the part, reciting from the works of James Joyce and often sped past flowering trees and shrubs. The weather is typically in the moderate range between 40 and 60; it can rain but rain has not typically been a factor. This could be the odd off-weather day for the race. Right now, the forecast is for low to mid 50's, light rain and low double-digit winds out of the east. But the east wind is mostly a cross wind so not as bothersome as a headwind. The only extended stretch heading directly to the east is along High Street before heading out to the Noble and Greenough School. As always with New England weather, stay tuned. It could change suddenly. None of that will matter though. Everyone will be pumped for a great race! The course is rolling. No one would describe it as flat and fast, but the competition often leads to fast times. American Records have been broken here. See after the analysis of the Age Division championship races for a discussion of record possibilities, both American and course.

A minute into the 2022 USATF Masters 10 Km Championships-Pushing the Pace Early! Photo Credit: Courtesy of Michael Scott

Photo Credit: All photos courtesy of Michael Scott unless specified otherwise.

The question is who's in for the race and who looks strong? 


WOMEN Last year's champion, Jessica Smith who ran a cracking 36:01 to win here last year, is not entered. No worries, there is plenty of speed in the field. 

The fastest returning runner is Brett Ely Marblehead MA who finished 5th in 37:27. 

Lead Women, Abby Dean, Jessica Smith, Kelly Couch, Brett Ely and Jennifer Mortimer getting off the mark strongly at the 2022 USATF Masters 10 Km Championships, hosted by the James Joyce Ramble Photo Credit: Courtesy of Michael Scott

Among the youngsters who will challenge her are Beverly Antunes Winchester MA, Christina Campbell Hingham MA, and Melissa Hardesty Binghamton NY. Veterans who cannot be ignored include Karolyn Bowley Middletown RI and Abby Dean Wilmington DE, out of the 50-54 division and Fiona Bayly New York NY, who is in her first year of 55-59. Ginger Reiner won here in 2017 with a 37:11, but her recent results suggest a sub-40 performance would be a stretch.

Antunes ran a sparkling 17:54 at the Super Sunday 5K in February, a USATF-New England championship. Bowley was over a half minute back. If Antunes can conjure up the same kind of magic on the 30th, she could crack 37 minutes, a different kind of super Sunday! Last year she ran 18:36 at the Glen Doherty Memorial 5K; the 17:54 is a big step forward from that. But Antunes has some history on her side. In October of 2020, she ran 36:36 in the Boston 10K for Women. Using age grading to adjust that to the present suggests a low 37's potential if she retains that fitness from age 38 in 2020.

Bayly has finished just off the overall podium at two national championships already this year. She ran 1:03:09 to finish 4th at the Masters Ten Mile Championships in Sacramento on the 2nd of April. Two weeks later, she finished 4th overall at the Half Marathon Championships on a warm day over a hilly course in Syracuse, running 1:25:03. She finished well ahead of Dean there. In January of this year, Bayly ran 38:10 at the Joe Kleinerman 10K. On a good day, Bayly, too, could be under 38 minutes.

Fiona Bayly heading for a 4th place overall, an Age Grading and Age Division win at the 2023 USATF Masters Half Marathon Championships Photo courtesy of Syracuse Half Marathon

Bowley had two sub-38 10K's last year, a 37:48 at the Beach to Beacon in late July and a 37:06 at the Lone Gull 10K in September. She ran 18:38 at the Super Sunday 5K, but. that was February and this is April. And the two fine 10K's provide evidence that she can turn 5k speed into 10K performance. She finished 2nd here at the 2018 championships and then again at the 2019 championships, just 11 seconds behind Hardesty.

Campbell's credentials include three 5K's last fall in the 18:10 to 18:26 range. The best of those line up with a 37:00 10Km, in terms of age grading. Of course, she would have to be just as good at the longer race as the shorter one. Last summer she clocked 26:46 in the Hingham 4th of July race that is 4.47pril.  miles long. That would line up with a 37:36, giving credence to the 37-minute projection. But the racecourse is described as 'friendly, with a downhill dip' so that raises some doubts again. Last year she finished 7th in 38:59, but this is a new year. We will let the race on Sunday tell us. 

Dean finished 6th overall here last year in 38:02, almost a minute ahead of Campbell. Dean ran an 18:51 at the Haddonfield Adrenaline 5K in March and then a 1:04:02 at the Credit Union Cherry Blossom 10 Miler in early April. Both suggest she is ready for a sub-39-minute performance again.

Ely's 5th place time of 37:27 in 2022 was fast enough to be on the podium in other years. Ely finished 4th at Cross Nationals in Richmond VA this January. Her 1:00:42 at the Frank Nealon Tune Up 15K aligns with a sub-40 10K. She ran a fine 37:38 at Lone Gull last year but finished a half minute behind Bowley. 

Hardesty won the overall championship here in 2019, at the age of 41, with a nifty 37:06. If we use age grading to age that up by 4 years, the expected equivalent in 2023 is 38:15. That makes Hardesty a definite threat, and she knows how to win! It is hard to judge current fitness. Hardesty has been competing in some triathlons in recent years. She ran a 2:43:51 at the Wineglass Marathon in October of 2021. She was apparently in shape to run a sub-38 10K at that time. She also ran some fine times in small, local races last summer, a 5-miler in 30:57 and a 4-miler in 23:48. Those times are certainly consistent with sub-39 potential, and perhaps sub-38, but it is difficult to know if the courses were accurately measured.

Melissa Hardesty winning the 2019 edition of the USATF Masters 10 Km Championships, hosted by the James Joyce Ramble Photo Credit: Courtesy of Michael Scott

This is a hard race to figure out. Antunes should make the podium. Campbell's 7th place here last year raises some doubts. Ely is a fine runner but may be just off the podium again. It is a strong field. Hardesty certainly has the pedigree as a past winner here and a strong marathoner. Bayly has been faster than Dean so far this year, but Bowley could beat them both, and she has home course advantage, running for the B.A.A.  My best guess, with a strong amount of uncertainty is Antunes to win it, followed by Bowley and then Hardesty.

Top Projected Contenders in Alphabetical Order

Beverly Antunes     Karolyn Bowley     Melissa Hardesty


Jesse Davis, who won here last year in a Masters course record 32:08, ran a 1:08:31 Half Marathon on April 8th. He is apparently not returning to defend his title. That leaves it open for several speedsters.

The fastest returning runners from last year are T.J. Unger Westwood MA, who ran 34:13 and veteran, Gregory Putnam Stoneham MA 50-54, who ran 34:08. Steve Bell Kennesaw GA 50-54 was not far off at 34:18. Unger had a better outing in 2019 when he clocked 33:22 here. Two athletes with strong races in the not to distant past did not race last year. David Angell Blue Ridge VA won here in 2017&2018, finishing 2nd in 2019. His best time was 32:22 in 2019. Brendan Prindiville Boston MA finished 3rd here in 2019 in 33:14. Mark Andrews Rochester NY 50-54 won here in 2016 in 32:45. Speedy newcomers include: Tomas Folch Brookline MA, Justin Freeman Thornton NHJason Reilly East Greenwich RI, Aaron Rowe Powell OH, and Mario Vazquez New Britain CT. [Plus anyone flying in under the radar.] 

Andrews was off his best here last year, finishing in 35:47. He is back on track this year. He won his division and finished 7th overall at the 5K championships in Atlanta with a 16:30. In mid-March he ran a 27:51 at the Running of the Green 5 Miler.

Angell, as noted, has won here before. He reduced his racing in 2022 and early 2023 to take care of recurring Achilles and ankle problems. He did race from time to time, while dealing with the issues. He finished 8th overall at the 12 K National Championships in NJ with a 41:00. His most recent outing was a respectable 7th place overall finish at Cross Nationals in Richmond. That was his last outing before a PRP treatment. It appears his training has been progressing. We will get some clues as to how well this Sunday.

David Angell takes the Overall win at the 2018 edition of the USATF Masters 10 Km Championships, hosted by the James Joyce Ramble Photo Credit: Courtesy of Michael Scott

Bell had a fine 34:18 outing last year. A few months later he ran 36:02 at Peachtree. In the 5 Km Masters Championships in Atlanta, Bell ran 16:58 to finish 9th overall, behind Rowe, Prindiville, and Andrews who are all in this field.

Folch ran 34:51 at the B.A.A. 10K last June and is at least that fit now. He ran 16:10 at the Super Sunday 5K and then a 52:06 at the early April Tune Up 15K which equates, roughly, to a 33:59 10K.

Freeman, with a 31:32 at Lone Gull and a swift 50:04 at the Tune Up, equating to a 32:38, seems primed for a good run.

Prindiville, as noted, had a fine race here in 2019, finishing on the podium. It appears his fitness has returned to that level again. He finished 6th overall in 16:28 at the Masters 5 Km Championships in Atlanta and ran a fast 51:02 at the Tune Up 15K, suggesting he should be ready to run in the low 33's for a 10K.

Putnam had a good race here last year, finishing just outside the top ten in 34:08. This year has been even better, in at least one respect. Putnam had his first Overall podium at a Masters National Championship road race, that I can recall, taking third at the Half Marathon in Syracuse two weeks ago. The time was not to brag about, not as fast as he had run the previous year. But it was a hot day on a hilly course. Putnam handled it better than almost anyone. The podium in this race would be a stretch but a top ten would not. He clocked 16:19 in the Super Sunday 5K and a 52:52 in the Tune Up 15K.

Gregory Putnam sprinting to the finish and a top 15 and #2 in M50 Finish at the 2022 USATF Masters 10 Km Championships, hosted by the James Joyce Ramble Photo Credit: Courtesy of Michael Scott

Reilly ran 33:07 at Lone Gull last year. This year he has recorded a 16:15 at the Super Sunday 5K, a  1:14:15 at the New Bedford HM in March, and a 52:02 at the Tune Up 15K. He should be in the mix for the podium.

Rowe ran 15:58 in the Great Race in Pittsburgh last September. I tend to discount times at that race a bit as it is downhill overall. But Rowe showed it was not that bad a predictor when he took 4th in 16:10 at the 5 Km Championships in Atlanta with that challenging finishing mile back up to Centennial Olympic Park. Those times, which average out to something like a 16:06 on a typical course are consistent roughly with a sub-33-minute 10K. It will be interesting to see if Rowe can maintain the quality of his recent 5K's over the longer distance.

Unger appears ready to mix it up again. He ran 33:32 at Lone Gull last September, 25 seconds behind Reilly. His most recent outing is a 27:51 at the Irish Clover 5 Miler in March, suggesting another sub-34 minute 10K is in his near future.

Vasquez looks to be the guy to beat. He ran a 1:09:50 at the Hogs Back HM last September, and a 32:09 10K in October. He was 13 seconds behind Eric Blake, taking 2nd Masters at the Manchester Road Race in 24:12 (over 4.748 Miles). Blake won here in Dedham in 2019 in 32:17 and finished 2nd overall last year at the Masters Half Marathon Championships. This year Vazquez has recorded a spiffy 15:09 at the Shamrock n Roll 5K and a 31:39 10K at the Middletown 10K in March, a USATF-CT Championship.

Who knows? Blake won here in 2019; I will go with another guy from Connecticut to come over to Greater Boston and take the winner's medal home, Vazquez. Freeman will give Vazquez a great challenge, but may wind up 2nd. Prindiville looks like he may be ready to take 3rd place. The 5K specialist, in recent years, Rowe, certainly has the speed for the podium. In his late 30's he did run a 32:51 at the Beach to Beacon 10K and a 36:45 at the iconic Falmouth Road Race over 7 miles. But that was 6 years ago. Since then Rowe has run2 lots of fast 5K's. If he can carry a good early pace through the middle of the race and still have legs for the final stretch back up to the Endicott estate and the finish line, he could surprise. Three guys beat Rowe in Atlanta, but none are here. If Angell is fully recovered from his break, he could be on the podium. But he is not race ready, so that could be a lot to ask. 

Top Projected Contenders in Alphabetical Order

Justin Freeman     Brendan Prindiville     Mario Vazquez



40-44 Vazquez and Rowe are projected for 1st and 4th overall so that lines up as 1-2 in this division.

Aaron Rowe claimed the Bronze Medal Overall at the 2023 USATF Masters 5 km Championships hosted by the Atlanta Track Club Photo courtesy of Atlanta Track Club-Credit-Joaquin Lara

 Among the others mentioned as podium contenders overall, I will go with Reilly, and let Folch or Unger prove me wrong. If Vazquez is at his best, Jesse Davis's 40-44 course record of 32:07 net time, could be threatened.

Top Projected Contenders in Alphabetical Order

Jason Reilly     Aaron Rowe     Mario Vazquez

45-49 With Freeman and Prindiville projected for the overall podium, they are projected 1-2 in 45-49. If Angell, also mentioned in the Overall discussion above, is close to his past fitness, he can certainly give Freeman and Prindiville a run for their money. 

Brendan Prindiville claims 6th overall at the 2023 USATF Masters 5 km Championships hosted by the Atlanta Track Club Photo courtesy of Atlanta Track Club-Credit-Joaquin Lara 

Even if he is off his best, Angell should claim 3rd in the division. If any of those three are off on Sunday, it appears that Matthew DiPretore Newtown Square PA, Timothy Gavin Weston MA, and Eli Queen Cambridge MA could battle for a podium spot. DiPretore was 9th in Atlanta with a 17:07. Gavin finished 7th inn this division last year with a 38:05. Queen ran 37:54 at Lone Gull; his 57:41 at the Tune Up 15k equates to a 37:36. 

Top Projected Contenders in Alphabetical Order

David Angell     Justin Freeman     Brendan Prindiville

50-54 Andrews, Bell and Putnam were all mentioned in the overall discussion. That suggests they are in the hunt for 1-2-3 in this division. Putnam is running very strong again this year and Andrews seems to have recovered from what was, for him, an off year in 2022. It should be a real battle, but my projected order is Putnam-Andrews-Bell. Brent Fields Cov8ington GA was just 7 seconds behind Andrews last year in this 10K. But this February, Andrews won the division at Atlanta, with Fields running almost a half-minute back in 3rd. 

Steve Bell strides to a Top Ten finish overall at the 2023 USATF Masters 5 km Championships hosted by the Atlanta Track Club Photo courtesy of Atlanta Track Club-Credit-Creagh Cross

Fields may be able to make it closer over this longer distance. Arthur Besse Templet1on MA could also factor into the podium race. He ran 34:50 at Lone Gull last fall and 16:30 at the Super Sunday 5K. Besse's 53:30 at the Tune Up 15K April 1st equates to a 34:52.

Top Projected Contenders in Alphabetical Order

Mark Andrews     Steve Bell     Gregory Putnam

55-59 This division is strong, as always, but there is not one clear-cut favorite. Any one of a half dozen runners could win through to the podium: Scott Grandfield Rehoboth RI, Mark Hixson Simsbury CT, Scott Humphrey Marcy NY,, Mike Nier Rochester NY, Brett Stoeffler Tolland CT.. Grandfield took the bronze medal here last year in 36:19.  A few months later the ran 36:40 at Lone Gull. This winter and spring he ran 17:23 at the Super Sunday 5K and 56:41 at the Tune Up 15K. One of the top 50-54 runners, Hixson had a few years off from the Masters circuit and started easing back in with a 4th place effort at January Cross Nationals in Richmond. This March he ran a 17:42 at the Shamrockin' 5K. If that course is accurately measured, it suggests a sub-37 is not out of the question for a Hixson 5k. Humphrey ran a 55:11 at the Stockade-a-thon 15K last fall. That equates to a 35:56 10K. He won the division at the Masters Half Marathon Championships two weeks ago. His 1:22:07 would have been faster on a course less hilly and a day less warm. Even so, it equates to a 37:27. Taken together, something in the 36-37 minute range seems possible. Last year Nier was dealing with a hamstring issue, if I recall correctly, yet still ran 38:48 here. The 1:26:17 he was able to run at the Half Marathon Championships in Syracuse on a hilly course and a warm day, two weeks ago, suggest he may be able to run a bit faster this year.

Mike Nier sprinting for the Finish and valuable points for GVH at the 2022 USATF Masters 10 Km Championships, hosted by the James Joyce Ramble Photo Credit: Courtesy of Michael Scott

Stoeffler did not compete here last year, but he did run a 36:51 at the Middleton 10K and a 1:18:13 20K on Labor Day weekend in New Haven, equivalent1 to a 37:39 10K. He also ran 17:27 and 17:48 for 5K's in December and March. Lots of uncertainty but I go for Humphrey, Grandfield and Stoeffler to finish in that order, with the chance for Hixson or Nier to prove me wrong.

Top Projected Contenders in Alphabetical Order

Scott Grandfield     Scott Humphrey     Brett Stoeffler

60-64 Three of the fearsome four who took 1-4 at Club Cross, Nat Larson Amherst MA, Steve Schmidt Clarkston MI, and John Van Danacker Rockford MN, are here. The fourth, Rick Lee, after running 2:46:34 at Boston, ran one of the 4 x 400M relay legs for Shore AC at the Penn Relays, and is running the Big Sur Marathon this weekend. Larson has been breaking American Records left and right since turning 60 last year. He pocketed the 1 Mile 4:49, 5K 16:35, and 8K 28:07 records, and then added the 10 Mile record 57:24 at the Masters Ten Mile Championships in Sacramento earlier this month. 

Nat Larson capturing his final 55-59 10Km National Championships at the 2022 USATF Masters 10 Km Championships, hosted by the James Joyce Ramble Photo Credit: Courtesy of Michael Scott 

This is not the fastest 10 Km course, but with the added adrenaline of competition, Larson could lower this one if the weather changes and cooperates. Schmidt skipped Cross Nationals in Richmond; Larson took top honors but Van Danacker enjoyed a fine 2nd place run, finishing well ahead of Lee. Schmidt took 2nd to Larson's first at the Half Marathon two weeks ago. At the 5 Km Championships in Atlanta, which Larson misses because of an extended family gathering, it was Lee, Van Danacker, and Schmidt. How will they sort themselves this Sunday? The top division runner out of New England, Robert McCormack Foxboro, deserves mention as well. He is not competing much on the circuit so gets less press. At Club Cross in 2021 in Tallahassee, McCormack finished 4th in the division, behind Dan King and the top two Boulder runners, Tim Degrado and Roger Sayre, but ahead of Lee. In this race here last year, McCormack was 5th in 37:39. But I find few recent race results so current fitness is uncertain; he may be running for team points primarily. 

And there is another runner here this weekend who may morph the fearsome four into the fearsome five. Mark Zamek battled Nat Larson in 2019. He finished 2nd to Larson, 12 seconds back in Atlanta at the Masters 5 K that year and was able to nip him at the line in the 1 Mile Championship. During the enforced Covid break from racing, Larson had surgery, rehabbed, and was running at a high level already coming out of covid. Zamek ran well in early 2021, but just before the Masters Championships resumed in mid-September, Zamek had to shut it down. Since then, he has been taking care of a variety of foot and ankle issues. He is just starting to come out of that lengthy rehab process. He has given hints that his return to full fitness is not far off and may be here now. He has tested things with a 1:23:22 half marathon last October and ran in his first national masters championship in over three years in Atlanta. Still in M55, he finished 4th in 17:48. In terms of M60 he would also have been 4th, finishing 8 seconds behind Schmidt. His training has been going well. In terms of the podium finishing order, it looks like a replay of Atlanta, but with Larson leading the way, followed by Van Danacker and Schmidt. Could Zamek break up those three? You bet! But he will have to prove it on the course.

Top Projected Contenders in Alphabetical Order

Nat Larson     John Van Danacker     Steve Schmidt

65-69 I have sometimes referred to David Westenberg Wellesley MA as a middle distance runner. That is not wrong. He broke the 60-64 Indoor 1500-meter record last December. But he did run a couple of 5K's last fall in the 17:45 to 18:15 range. Furthermore, he did run a 38:12 here last year to finish 6th in M60, behind McCormack. This year he has the fastest 2022 time among the returning athletes in this division. Westenberg, whose main focus is on the track, may well gather in his first road racing championship at a distance further than the mile. He took the honors at the Masters Road Mile Championships in Flint in this division with a 5:13 in 2019. 

David Westenberg closing off a fine 38:12 10K in his last year in 60-64 at the 2022 USATF Masters 10 Km Championships, hosted by the James Joyce Ramble Photo Credit: Courtesy of Michael Scott  

Five gentlemen who are likely to run in the low 40's will make sure Westenberg earns it. John Barbour West Roxbury MA won this division four years ago with a 38:37. Last year was an off year, when he ran 43 and change. This year, his 1:03:54 at the Tune Up 15K suggests a sub-42 is more likely this year. John Blaser finished 4th in this division last year in 41:59; he took 2nd behind Sayre at the half marathon in Syracuse. Kevin Dollard finished 2nd in the division last year in 41:05. He has been listed for Shore's B team so I am guessing that means he has something preventing him from running at 100%. Timothy Riccardi finished 11th in M60 last year but his 40:28 time makes him 2nd fastest among returnees. He ran 42:09 at the WMA Non Stadia event in Poland so he is ready to roll. Reno Stirrat will again be a wild card. If his piriformis behaves, he could be in the thick of it. If not he will still give it everything he has got and score well for his team. His time at the Half Marathon in Syracuse was well off his norm, but he was just off the podium in 4th! Westenberg, if he is running all out, should win it. After that, I go for Riccardi and then Barbour. Blaser or Stirat could upset that applecart though.

Top Projected Contenders in Alphabetical Order

John Barbour     Timothy Riccardi     David Westenberg

70-74 Robert Qualls  has owned this division since he went off to Finland last summer for the WMA Championships in Tampere, Finland. He ret1urned form those world championships with multiple gold medals. Since that time he has collected M70 Gold at the 12 km Championships, the 5 km Masters XC,  Club Cross, Cross Nationals and the 5 Km in Atlanta. And then at the Non Stadia events at the World Indoor Championships in Poland, Qualls picked up a silver medal in XC and a gold in the 10 Km, clocking 41:12. He missed the 10 Mile Championships in Sacramento and did not compete in Syracuse at the half marathon. 

Robert Qualls Left-white cap racing with 50's and 60's runners on his way to another 70-74 win, this time at the 2023 USATF Cross Country Championships in Richmond VA Photo Credit: Courtesy of Michael Scott 

He is a strong favorite to take top honors in Dedham tomorrow. Eugene Myers and Kirk Larson are likely to be his top rivals and the only ones with a chance to staying close. Larson finished 2nd in the division last year in 43:58. Eugene Myers  ran faster at 43:14 but was in 65-69, finishing 6th. Jerry Learned, who finished 3rd in M70 at 44:30 has been struggling this year. Allan Bates, with a 47:04 last year in this race and a 47:30 in March; Paul Funch, who clocked 44:14 at a 10K this March and ran 1:10:29 at the Tune Up 15K. I am expecting an order of Qualls-Myers-Larson. If any of those top 3 are off, one of these two, Funch, or perhaps Bates, is likely to step up and find themselves on the podium.

Top Projected Contenders in Alphabetical Order

Kirk Larson     Eugene Myers     Robert Qualls     

75-79 This should be another Dave Glass vs. Gary Ostwald duel. Until the Ten Mile Championships in Sacramento, it was Glass wining on the roads, especially at distances from 10 Km and up, with Ostwald tending to have the edge on the turf. Ostwald came on over the winter. Glass actually beat Ostwald in Boulder at the 5 Km XC. That seemed unlikely. But then Ostwald was able to run the table with wins at Clubs in San Francisco and at Cross Nationals. To my surprise, and perhaps his, Ostwald was able to pull away convincingly in the 2nd half the Ten Mile Championships in Sacramento, enjoying a win with a margin of over a minute. I wonder if Glass's Achilles issue that he had right before the Ten Mile Championships had an effect on Glass at that race.  Glass says no, giving full credit to Ostwald for a fine win. Glass has largely shrugged off the Achilles issue, praising his chiropractor for getting very effective treatment. 

Gary Ostwald finishes off his winning 75-79 Kick to the Tape at the 2023 USATF Cross Country Championships in Richmond VA Photo Credit: Courtesy of Rick Lee 

Glass won at Syracuse in the half marathon, in Ostwald's absence. His time was two minutes slower than the previous year but that was true of most runners. The temperatures were in the 70's by the latter third of the race. It should be a doozy of a rematch. Keith Yeates took 2nd at both Atlanta and Syracuse. He is not entered here. His teammates, Jim May, who finished 3rd at Atlanta, and Tony Gingello, who won here in 2017, are entered, along with yours truly, Paul Carlin, who finished 3rd at Atlanta and Syracuse, but 4th at Sacramento, and Jan Frisby who was a few steps behind me at both races. By the standards that you are the favorite until someone beats you, May is the favorite to take the bronze medal behind Glass and Ostwald. He took 4th behind Yeates at Cross Nationals in Richmond; I was 5th, with Frisby behind me. If last year's race means something, it was May in 48:41, Frisby in 49:01 and me in 50:02. But I have been able, so far, to beat my last year's times by a minute or two. Last year I was coming back from 6 months away from serious training on the roads due to a persistent Achilles injury. Ostwald gets the favorite's role or, as athletes often put it, the target on their back. We can see if Glass can start a new streak of being the fastest M75 male runner at distances 10 Km and over. After that we will opt of May, but Frisby and I should push him. Frisby has many national championships in his pocket. If he is healthy,0 he is a tiger! Gingello's most recent efforts suggest he is a little off and is primarily running for team points. But I could be mistaken, as I was in 2017, when he came roaring by me in the last 200 meters to take the gold medal. Latee flash! I bumped into Gingello and he reported t1hat0 he had broken some bones in his foot but that he was training again. He did not feel he would be competitive until he could get some speed work in later this spring.

Top Projected Contenders in Alphabetical Order

Dave Glass     Jim May     Gary Ostwald

80-84 Hal Bennett, who won here last year in 54:11 should take top honors again. He ran a 25:53 5K in March and a 43:59 at the Frostbite 5 Miler. 

Hal Bennett finishing off his winning 80-84 race at the 2022 USATF Masters 10 Km Championships, hosted by the James Joyce Ramble Photo Credit: Courtesy of Michael Scott 

George Gilder finished 2nd in 58:03; more recen65tly he clocked 1:04:22 in Poland at the WMA 10K road race. He will get a challenge from Ed Bligh who finished 2nd in this division's 5K at Atlanta in 28:31. They should be able to hold Denny LeBlanc at bay; he finished 5th here last year in 1:06L21. I will opt for an order of Bennett-Bligh-Gilder. I view the race between Bligh and Gilder as close to a toss-up. Gilder could well reverse the order.

Top Projected Contenders in Alphabetical Order

Hal Bennett     Ed Bligh     George Gilder

85-89 Jerry LeVasseur is the sole entrant. he finished 6th in M80 last year, but it is a new year and a new age division for LeVasseur.

Top Projected Contenders in Alphabetical Order

Jerry LeVasseur


40-44 If the overall projection proves accurate, Beverly Antunes takes this division as well as being on the overall podium, perhaps as the winner. Brett Ely and Christina Campbell look good for 2nd and

Brett Ely finishes off her 37:27 5th place overall effort at the 2022 USATF Masters 10 Km Championships, hosted by the James Joyce Ramble Photo Credit: Courtesy of Michael Scott 

 3rd, respectively in this division. See discussion in overall for details.

Top Projected Contenders in Alphabetical Order

Beverly Antunes     Christina Campbell   Brett Ely

45-49 Melissa Hardesty out of this division is one of my podium picks for overall. So, she is my pick for the 45-49 win. Diana Bowser, who ran 41:59 at Lone Gull last year and clocked 1:02:48 at the Tune Up 15K looks good for a sub-42 and could wind up under 41. Ginger Reiner, who won here in 2017, finished two seconds ahead of Bowser at Lone Gull and 13 seconds behind her at the Tune Up 15K.

Ginger Reiner winning the Women's Overall Championship at the 2017 USATF Masters 10 Km Championships, hosted by the James Joyce Ramble Photo Credit: Courtesy of Michael Scott 

 Time for a rematch! Sybil Sanders, who ran 41:29 at the Middletown 10K in early April and an 18:46 5K last weekend seems primed for a good race. Hardesty should be ahead of those three, but it will be a dandy race for the rest of the podium. It looks to me as if Sanders can come in ahewad of Bowser and Reiner. As Bowser defeated Reiner in the most recent matchup I can find, I opt for Hardesty-Sanders-Bowser, but Reiner could easily prove me wrong. Both margins were close between the two. 

Top Projected Contenders in Alphabetical Order

Diana Bowser     Melissa Hardesty     Sybil Sanders

50-54 I picked Karolyn Bowley for the overall podium; that places her name at the top of the 50-54 division. See the overall discussion above for details. The division competition is strong. Abby Dean was also included in the discussion of top overall runners. She won here last year in 38:01. So far this year, she has been just a few ticks behind her 2022 performances. Bowley is likely to break 38; Dean is likely to break 39. 

Karolyn Bowley finishes off a W50 win at the 2021 USATF Masters 5 Km Cross Country Championships at Franklin Park in Boston Photo Credit: Courtesy of Michael Scott 

Hortencia Aliaga and Amanda Zarle will battle for the final podium spot. Aliaga finished 2nd at the Masters 5 Km National Championships in Atlanta with a 19:26. Last November she ran a 42:13 at the Giralda Farms 10K. This spring she clocked 1:02:46 at the Spring Distance Classic 15K, equating to a 40:56 10K. Zale ran 42:07 at the Boston 10K for Women last October., and followed it with a 1:32:11 at the Baystate HM, equating to a 42:25. Alexandra Marzulla finished 3rd here last year in 42:55. Her most recent effort is a 2nd place finish at the Half marathon Championships in Syracuse. Even if one thinks her 1:41:27 was 2-3 minutes slower than if the weather had been good or the uphills less frequent, it seems she is just off where she needs to be to compete evenly with Aliaga and Zarle. I look for a finishing order of Bowley-Aliaga-Zarle.

Top Projected Contenders in Alphabetical Order

Hortencia Aliaga     Karolyn Bowley     Amanda Zarle

55-59 It is not often that a 55-59 runner gets mentioned as an overall contender. But with 4th place overall finishes at the 10 Mile and Half marathon Masters Championships earlier this month, Fiona Bayly has earned it! It is no surprise then that Bayly is the favorite to win this division. She is likely to break 40 minutes. See the overall discussion above for details. Suzanne La Burt won this division last year with a 40:05. She ran a 41:31 at the Essex County Cherry Blossom 10K in April after running 1:03:46 at the Spring Distance Classic in March. She seems poised to run close to 40 again and take the silver medal. 

Suzanne La Burt finishes off her 55-59 silver medal effort at the 2022 USATF Masters 12 Km Championships hosted by USATF-NJ in Highlands NJ Photo Credit: Courtesy of Jason Timochko

Jody Dushay and Mimi Fallon  went 2-3 last year behind LaBurt in 41:26 and 42:22. Fallon bested Dushay at the Tune Up 15K in early April, 1:04:39 to 1:06:37. That suggests Fallon has the edge for this race, equating to a 42:05 10K. Trish Bourne was 4th last year in 43:27. Her 1:08:00 at the Tune Up suggests she is still behind Fallon and Dushay, as well as Bayly, but may be ahead of everyone else again. Jacalyn Lembo and Kathleen Shaw are also likely to factor into the race. La Burt-Fallon-Dushay looks good to me as a likely order of finish.

Top Projected Contenders in Alphabetical Order

Jody Dushay     Mimi Fallon     Suzanne La Burt

60-64 Among returning runners, Mary Swan has the fastest time from last year. She and Mary Cass went 4-5 last year in 43:35 and 43:48 respectively. But Cass has kicked it up a notch this season. She took the overall win the 60-64 division at Club Cross and then came in ahead of Swan's teammate, Doreen McCoubrie, at both the 5K, in 20:12, and Half Marathon championships. Swan and Cass have not met this season, but there have been few times in past years when Swan has been able to beat McCoubrie. Swan ran a 22:21 5K in February and, apparently, a 1:41:29 in the Lake Effect Half Marathon. That, and a slow, by her standards, 4-mile effort at the Tipperary Hill Shamrock Run in March makes me worried that she may have some injury issues. If so, all bets are off. That suggests Cass is the one to beat this year. 

Mary Cass finishes off her winning 60-64 Half Marathon at the 2023 2023 USATF Masters Half Marathon Championships Photo courtesy of Syracuse Half Marathon 

I pick Swan picked for 2nd, with hopes that whatever slowed her down in March was transitory. Lauren Leslie, Cass's teammate, finished 4th at Atlanta in 21:33 and ran 42:36 at Lone Gull last year. She seems likely to finish 3rd to Cass and Swan. Victoria Bok, Debbie Brathwaite, and Kerry Monahan-Gaughan have recent performances suggesting they should come in well under 50 minutes but perhaps not down in the sub-45 range likely to be needed to make the podium. If Cass, Swan or Leslie are off their best for any reason, one of them will likely mount the podium.

Top Projected Contenders in Alphabetical Order

Mary Cass     Lauren Leslie     Mary Swan

65-69 Anne Shreffler and Susan Stirrat, the 2022 Masters Grand Prix winner in 65-69, are the top returning runners from this division last year. 

Anne Shreffler heading for the finish line and a well-earned 65-69 bronze medal at the 2022 USATF Masters 10 Km Championships, hosted by the James Joyce Ramble Photo Credit: Courtesy of Michael Scott

They finished third and fourth respectively in 51:37 and 52:15. Liz Champagne ran in the 60-64 division last year, finishing 8th. Her time, 49:01, topped that of Shreffler and Stirrat. This spring, Champagne outpaced Shreffler 1:17:47 to 1:21:31 in the Tune Up 15K in early April. Stirrat ran in a different 15K two weeks earlier; she clocked 1:25:36. In late March, Helene Myers ran 1:20:00 in the Non-Stadia 10K in Poland. The projected order of finish is Champagne-Shreffler-Stirrat.

Top Projected Contenders in Alphabetical Order

Liz Champagne     Anne Shreffler     Susan Stirrat

70-74 Jessica Wheeler finished 2nd last year in 52:43. She ran 53:23 at the Middletown 10K on April 2nd this year so she appears to be ready to run a similar time this year. She is the favorite. Her one opponent is Denise Piekos who ran 53:17 in the Irish Clover 5 Miler this March, equating roughly to a 1:06:56 10K. It should be Wheeler followed by Piekos.

Top Projected Contenders in Alphabetical Order

Jessica Wheeler     Denise Piekos

75-79 Barbara Sauer finished 4th in 70-74 with a 56:57. Sauer is one of our strongest 70's runners. Aging up should mean an almost automatic gold medal. But she has to contend with Jan Holmquist, who set the 70-74 10K record at 45:19 in 2015 at this very race. 

Jan Holmquist heads for the finish line and a 50:01 at age 74, achieving the top age grade score overall that year with a 95.81% at the 2019 USATF Masters 10 Km Championships, hosted by the James Joyce Ramble Photo Credit: Courtesy of Michael Scott

That was 8 years ago. Surely, Holmquist can no longer break 50 minutes, or can she? Holmquist clocked 50:36 at Lone Gull last September. She ran 39:43 at the Irish Clover 5 Miler in March, equating to a 49:33 10K age grade. See the discussion below of her chances of breaking the 75-79 American Record, at the age of 78, and of breaking the James Joyce Ramble 70-74 Course Record. It looks like Holmquist followed by Sauer.

Top Projected Contenders in Alphabetical Order

Jan Holmquist     Barbara Sauer


This is not an easy course to set an American Record on, but it has been done. Three such efforts still stand as the American Record. Women's 60-64 was set by Christine Kennedy at 39:24 in 2015. That same year, Jan Holmquist set the 70-74 Women's record at 45:19. In 2018, Gene Dykes set the Men's 70-74 American Record at 39:02. There appear to be two runners in the field who could have a chance at an American record. But everything has to line up including the weather. If it is wet and windy that makes it harder. Right now the forecast is for light rain and low double-digit winds out of the east. But the east wind is mostly a cross wind so not as bothersome as a headwind. The only extended stretch heading directly to the east is along High Street before heading out to the Noble and Greenough School.


60-64Jim O'Neil(60)34:27Run For Parks, Alameda, CA08/04/1998

Nat Larson ran 34:20 net time, on this course, at this championship, last year, when he was 59. If he can, then he has the 60-64 American 10K record and he could add it to his sack which already has the 1 Mile, 5K, 8K and 10 Mile American records. The age grade equivalent of 59 year old Nat Larson's 34:22 is 34:39 for the 60-year-old Larson; he has his work cut out for him. More likely, Larson has his eye on an upcoming flatter, faster 10K that is record eligible.


75-79Nancy Rollins(75)*50:04Lincolnwood, Lincolnwood, IL11/21/2021
75-79Libby James(75)50:11Boulder Bolder, Boulder, CO05/28/2012

Jan Holmquist ran 50:36 at the Lone Gull 10K in September of 2022 and 39:43 at the Irish Clover 5 Miler this March. The 5-Miler equates via age grading to a 49:33 but it is not a certified course. She has set American Records on this course before, she could do it on the 30th, but everything has to line up just so.


One thing is clear. Jan Holmquist should have no problem taking down the 55:18 course record of Carrie Parsi and replacing it. Other Women's course records at risk include Marisa Sutera Strange's 38:35.

Among Men, Jesse Davis's 32:07 40-44 record could be taken down by either Vazquez or Freeman, depending on conditions and how the race unfolds. Tim Degrado's 60-64 record should succumb to the racing shoes of Nat Larson. It would not be impossible for Dave Glass to break his own 75-79 record, but his recent times have suggested that the 44:38 might be a little bit out of reach.

That's it for now. I hope to post a discussion of Age Grading and/or Teams yet, but we shall see.

Best of luck to everyone tomorrow. May we all run like the wind!


  1. Your prediction was correct! Thanks for the coverage!

  2. I always enjoy your analysis, and again you were spot on with your predictions.