Saturday, April 27, 2024

Who Is Headed to the 2024 USATF Masters 10 Km Championships at the James Joyce Ramble?

April 25, 2024 The tenth running of the USATF Masters 10 Km Championships at the James Joyce Ramble in Dedham MA will be held this coming Sunday, April 28th in Dedham, MA, just outside of Boston. Some three hundred runners will pour in from across Massachusetts, New England and the rest of the country to compete. They are coming from the San Francisco Bay area, Southern California, the Rocky Mountains, the Great Lakes, across the south and the northeast. They are aiming to compete with the best of the best in Masters Long Distance Running. Local and national bragging rights are at stake. The course stretches out over the rolling hills of Dedham; it is not flat and fast but a number of American Age Division Records have been set here. Competition brings out the best.

The weather forecast for 11 AM Sunday is delightful for a 10K--55F under cloudy skies with moderate winds.

Some of the more illustrious runners entered this year include local wonders, Jan Holmquist and Nat Larson, as well as outstanding runners from across the country.

Nora Cary Morristown NJ broke into the ranks of American Record holders in 2021 when she ran a 51:09 12 Km at the National Masters Championships in Highland NJ. 

Nora Cary finishing off her 12 Km American 65-69 Record at the 12 Km Masters Championships in Highlands NJ in 2021 Photo credit: Jason Timochko

Jan Holmquist Needham MA, is a local legend who broke the American Women 75-79 10km American Record AR on this course last year with a 50:01. She also holds the 8 Km mark, not to mention that she still holds the 5 km, 8 Km, and 10 Km records for Women 70-74.

Jan Holmquist right with Race Director, Martin Hanley after last year's race Photo Credit: FitzFoto/New England Runner 

Perry Shoemaker Vienna VA broke her own 10 Mile AR for Women 50-54 by clocking 1:00:34 at the Credit Union Cherry Blossom Run in Washington DC. Shoemaker also holds the 12 and 20 Km AR's.

Perry Shoemaker finishing off her American Record-breaking 50-54 Run at the 2022 USATF Masters 12 Km Championships Photo Credit: Jason Timochko

Gene Dykes Bala Cynwyd PA, set the 70-74 Marathon AR at 2:55:22. He ran faster than the World Record at the Jacksonville Marathon in Florida on a certified course. But as the race had not sought a USATF sanction, Dykes's run could not be ratified by World Masters Athletics. Dykes also holds 70-74 AR's at distances including the 10Km. He ran 39:02 here in 2018.

Gene Dykes finishing off his new 70-74 American Record run at the 2018 USATF Masters 10 Km Championships Photo Credit: Michael Scott

Joseph Gray Colorado Springs CO, a 16-time national champion in Mountain Running is a 2016 and 2019 World Mountain Running Champion.

Joseph Gray at the 2019 USATF Mountain Running Championships Photo Credit: Michael Scott

Nat Larson Amherst MA, still holds the 5 Km AR for Men 55-59 of 15:54. A Bay Stater like Holmquist, Larson has gone on a tear since turning 60, setting new AR's for 60-64 at every distance from the 1 Mile to the Half Marathon. His 10 km record is 34:25, set here last year.

Nat Larson heads for the M55 win at age 59 at the 2022 USATF Masters 10 Km Championships Photo Credit: Michael Scott

Rick Lee Bayville NJ is running on a Masters Relay team this week at the Penn Relays. But he is better known for his Ultra Marathon exploits such as a multi-day race across the Sahara desert. He holds the 50 Km and 50 Mile Records for Men 60-64 at 3:31:44 and 6:27:30. Lee held the 12 Km 60-64 AR before Larson broke it last year.

Rick Lee finishing off his 60-64 American 12 Km Record-breaking Run at the 2021 USATF Masters 12 Km Championships Photo Credit: Jason Timochko

Roger Sayre Golden CO joined the ranks of reigning American Record holders by racing to a 1:40:41, at age 65, at the Amway River Bank Run last May. 

Roger Sayre left holds off Joe Mora in the 60-64 Division race at the 2021 USATF Masters 12 Km Championships in Highlands NJ Photo Credit: Jason Timochko

These and other runners may challenge American Records on Sunday. It is almost certain that some of the Age Division Course Records will fall. Five course records fell. The current list of Age Division Course Records is:


Here are the Overall and Age Division Masters 'Course Records', as compiled by me, from annual results since 2013. (2020 and 2021 excepted; Covid interrupted the championships for two years)



At the start of the 2022 USATF Masters 10 Km Championships, USATF-NE Course Marshalls ensured that the north one-third of the starting area was reserved for Women athletes. This gave them a clear path in front for the first several hundred meters.

Stephanie Pezzullo, a Steeplechase finalist at the 2011 USATF Outdoor Championships, will attempt to gain her first Masters national road racing championship. Pezzullo finished second at the Masters 5 Km Championships in Atlanta six weeks ago in 17:27. She prepped for this race with a strong winning Masters 10K effort of 35:17 at the Charlotte Racefest in North Carolina on April 6. Pezzullo will have to contend with a strong field. Beverly Antunes finished second here last year in 38:00. She has focused more on duathlon events recently. Elizabeth Camy comes across the country from Southern California. Last April she clocked a 36:41 10K at the Great Race of Agoura Hills. Camy offered recent evidence of her fitness with a 1:18:30 Half Marathon at Surf City, age grade equivalent to a 36:23. Jennifer Lutz captured the 2023 USATF-NE Masters 10 K Championships at the Lone Gull race last September in 36:47. Her 56:56 in the Nealon 15K Tune Up equates to a 37:14. Perry Shoemaker, who just broke the 50-54 American Record for Ten Miles at the Cherry Blossom Ten Miler with a 1:00:34, is a definite threat for the podium. That time equates, via age grading, to a 36:45 10K. She finished second overall at the Masters 12 Km Championships last fall. It seems that Antunes may not be as focused on this championship as she was last year. We shall find out. Among the others, Pezzullo looks to be the favorite but not by a large margin. After that it looks like a terrific battle over the rolling hills between Camy, Lutz and Shoemaker. I am not aware of any recent runs by Lutz over the Ramble course. But she is local and I will give her the edge on that basis. After that, it seems to be a tossup. I will give the edge to Camy and provide an incentive for Shoemaker to prove me wrong. That gives me Pezzullo-Lutz-Camy as the likely finishing order.

Podium picks in alphabetical order:

Elizabeth Camy     Jennifer Lutz     Stephanie Pezzullo


Three Hundred Meters into the Start of the 2022 USATF Masters 10 Km Championships in Dedham MA Photo Credit: Michael Scott

Mario Vazquez returns to defend his Men’s Overall championship. Vazquez won decisively last year with a winning margin of over a hundred meters in 31:50, setting a Masters Course Record. His recent performances at the Boston Tune Up 15K, 47:47, and the Greater Hartford Quarter Marathon, 33:34, show he is ready to go under 32:00 again! They equate via age grading to 31:10 and 31:45 respectively. Not only that, he cracked a sub-20 4miler at the Super Sunday race in February, finishing in 19:48! They called him ‘Super Mario’ last year; he seems just as super again this year. Joseph Gray won 16 national Mountain Running championships during his open career and was a World Mountain Running Champion in 2016 and 2019. Gray broke 1:05:30 at the Trials of Miles Project 13.1 last year; that is roughly equivalent to breaking 30 minutes in a 10K. If I have the right Joseph Gray and if his current fitness approaches his norm, even Super Mario will have his hands full. Justin Freeman, who finished second here last year, will attempt to reverse the 2023 finishing order with Vazquez. Freeman broke 32:00 at the USATF-NE 10 Km Championships in September and appears to have similar fitness heading into this season. Eric Blake ran 32:17 here in 2019; his performance at the Manchester Road Race [4.87 miles] last November, a 24:04 that equates to a 31:23, suggests he has not lost much. Ryan Irwin was 39 last year and ran in the Mass Participation race that starts shortly after the Masters Championship. He ran a time that would have been good enough for third place last year, just behind Freeman. His recent sub-20-minute performance at the USATF-NE 4 Mile Championships shows he has speed to burn. If he can keep it under control and surge over the final rolling uphill mile, he will be dangerous!

It may be a mistake, but if all of the above candidates show up in good health and fitness, I have to go with Gray for first, Vazquez for second, and Freeman third. After that I would have to go with Irwin and then Blake.

Podium picks in alphabetical order:

Joseph Gray     Mario Vazquez     Justin Freeman



M40 The overall contest considered the chances of this division’s top athletes. Only one of the Overall favorites came from this division, Joseph Gray. If that pick is right, then Gray picks up this division gold medal along the way. I picked Ryan Irwin for fourth overall. If that is right, he picks up the Silver medal in this division. Ben Jarrett and Aaron Rowe are likely to battle for the final M40 podium spot. Jarrett ran a 34:20 10K at Lone Gull last September. This season he has a 20:46 in the Super Sunday 4 Miler that equates to a 32:45 10K, and a 51:20 15K at the Nealon Tune Up in March, equating to a 33:29. Rowe's most impressive credentials are 5K's, his fourth place finish in the 5 Km Masters Championships in Atlanta with a 16:09 and his 15:58 5K in Florida in January suggest a time in the 32:30 to 32:45 range is within his reach. Jarrett seems to race over longer distances like 10K to 15K more often than Rowe, at least in recent ears. On that basis, I will go with Jarrett over Rowe, That gives me a likely finishing order of Gray, Irwin, Jarrett.

Podium picks in alphabetical order:

Joseph Gray     Ryan Irwin     Ben Jarrett

2023 Overall Men's Winner at the USATF Masters 10 Km Championships Photo Credit: FitzFoto/New England Runner 

M45 The overall contest considered the chances of this division’s top athletes. The preview suggested the following finishing order would be appropriate: Vazquez, Freeman, Blake. 

They will experience a substantial challenge from: David Angell, Brendan Prindiville, and T.J. Unger. They finished third, fourth and fifth last year in times ranging from 33:15 to 33:49. Angell, the Overall winner here in 2017 and 2018, got off to a great start this year with an Overall win at the 5 Km Masters Championship in Atlanta in 16:03; that equates to a 32:36 10K. 

David Angell claims the Overall Win at the 2018 USATF Masters 10 Km Championships Photo Credit: Michael Scott

Prindiville turned in a 21:20 at the USATF-NE 4 Mile championship; this equates, on age grading, to a 33:27 10 Km. Unger finished four seconds ahead of Prindiville at the 4-Mile Championship. Any one of these three could break onto the podium on a good day. It looks likely to take a sub-33 10K to do so.

Podium picks in alphabetical order:

Eric Blake     Justin Freeman     Mario Vazquez

M50 Mark Andrews, Robbie Genzel, Michael McGrane, and Jesus Muniz are the prime contenders. Andrews finished 3rd in this division in 16:28 at the Masters 5 Km championship in Atlanta this year, after winning in 2023 with a 16:30. Andrews clocked 34:35 at the Race with Grace 10K last November. Projecting from the 5K's may be too optimistic; they suggest a 33:30 is within Andrews's reach. Genzel clocked 24:57 at a 7K race in Denver in 2022. Based on age grading and the likelihood of running a bit faster at sea level, that suggests it was equivalent to a sub-36 10K. McGrane finished the Lone Gull 10K last September in 37:21 and earlier this spring ran a 57:49 15K at the Nealon Tune-Up race. That is consistent with a sub-38 10K. Muniz ran 1:18:30 at the Clarksburg Half Marathon last year and a 59:00 at the Sactown 10 Miler in Sacramento earlier this month. Both are consistent with running a 35:30 or so 10K. This analysis suggests Andrews, the Overall winner in 2016, is the favorite for the division title this year. 

Mark Andrews pulls away from Peter Hammer to take the overall Win at the 2016 USATF Masters 10 Km Championships

After Andrews, it looks like an order of Muniz, Genzel, and McGrane is suggested by recent results.

Podium picks in alphabetical order:

Mark Andrews     Robbie Genzel     Jesus Muniz

M55 Jason Cakouros, Jeffrey Conston, Mark Hixson, Joseph Shairs, Scott Siriano, Brett Stoeffler, and Fred Weir will battle for the three podium spot sin this division. 

Cakouros finished third in this division last year in 36:29. His 23:16 at Super Sunday 4 Miler, equating to a 36:36 10K, suggests he enjoys the same fitness this spring. 

Conston finished 8th in this division last year in 37:51. More recently he finished 9th in Atlanta in 18:27, which equates via age grading to a 37:39. 

Hixson finished 5th here last year in this division with a 37:12. In September he ran a 17:48 5K at the Faxon Law 20K min New Haven. This March he clocked 18:19 in a 5K. Those two 5K's taken together suggest that another low 37 Ten K is within Hixson's grasp.

Mark Hixson finishes off his 5th place effort in 55-59 at the 2023 USATF masters 10 Km Championships Photo Credit: Pam Fales

Shairs is normally running in tandem with his teammate, Gregory Putnam. But Putnam is rehabbing an injury at the moment. And Shairs has moved up to M55 this year; he finished 5th last year in M50 with a 36:09 effort. His outings this spring at the Super Sunday 4 M in 22:57 and his 55:47 at the Tune Up 15K reinforce the notion that he can run close to 36 flat again this year. The 4-Miler equates to a 36:04 and the 15K to a 36:20. 

Siriano finished seventh here in M55 last year in 37:20 while quietly gathering 70 points toward his eventual first place M55 finish in the Masters National Grand Prix. His 18:26 at Atlanta was 23 seconds faster than his race the year before. If Atlanta’s new course is no faster than the old one, Siriano may crack 37:30 this year. 

Stoeffler finished second here last year in 36:20. His 36:37 at the Middletown 10K in CT earlier this month suggests a low 36 10K is within his reach again. 

Weir finished thirteen seconds ahead of Conston in Atlanta and then in early April ran 37:44 at the Cooper River Bridge 10K.

It is hard to go against Shairs as the favorite. He ran the fastest last year among this group's returning athletes. He has run well this spring. 

After that it looks very tight between Cakouros and Stoeffler. There sems no reason on paper to suggest that Stoeffler might not come in ahead of Cakouros again this year. That suggests a finishing order of Shairs, Stoeffler, and Cakouros, with Hixson, Weir, Conston and Siriano all pushing to prove me wrong and land on the podium.

Podium picks in alphabetical order:

Jason Cakouros     Joseph Shairs     Brett Stoeffler

M60 Nat Larson has owned this division since turning sixty, as indicated by the records he owns. Mark Zamek was able to stay with him at Club Cross last December for the first half of the race. And, at Richmond, Zamek took the more aggressive route, built a lead over the first six kilometers only to see Larson catch and pass in the final kilometer of their eight-kilometer race. Zamek trained well after that but a chronic PBT injury has slowed him down over the last few weeks. He has altered his goals. He will race this Sunday but indicates it will be just for team points; he does not expect to challenge for the win. With a runner as competitive as Zamek, you never know what will happen once the gun sounds, but that is the plan. Rick Lee and Henry Notaro tend to focus on longer races. Lee, the M60 50 Km and 50 Mile American Record holder, loves to race and does so at almost every distance; he is running on a relay team this week at the Penn Relays. Two years ago Lee finished second here at Dedham in 36:19. Both Lee and Notaro ran in the Boston Marathon on the 15th. Notaro has not raced in this championship before but he finished third at the 12 Km Championships last September in 44:15, roughly equivalent to a 36:19. 

Rick Lee far left leads Nat Larson #106Henry Notaro behind Larson, and Joe Shairs 55-59; white singlet behind Notaro at the 1.1 Mile mark of the 2023 USATF Masters 12 Km Championships Photo Credit: Jason Timochko

If those two do not have too much marathon in their legs, they should go 2-3 behind Larson. Lester Dragstedt has been running very well lately. He won in Atlanta where the field did not include his main rivals. He finished fourth at the 12 Km last September in New Jersey but was well back from Notaro. Last year Dragstedt was seventh here in 38:43. Mark Reeder has run well here in the past, finishing third in 55-59 five years ago with a 36:45. But he has no recent results I can find that suggest he is in that kind of condition now. On paper it looks like Larson-Lee-Notaro is the likely order. Although if Zamek's competitive juices get flowing, his planned 'workout-level' run might go out the window. Then he could be on the podium even though it might set his full recovery back some. It will be fun to see whether Dragstedt has upped his game enough to break up those top three.

Podium picks in alphabetical order:

Nat Larson     Rick Lee     Henry Notaro

M65 David Westenberg cruised to a win last year in 39:22. Primarily a middle-distance runner on the track until a couple of years ago, has transformed himself into a nationally competitive runner at distances up to the Marathon. While training for Boston, he found time to run an 18:19 5K in March. He ran at Boston this year as part of a father-daughter pact. Whether it was due primarily to the heat or something else, it was a very tough outing. Thirteen days later, how will he fare? Roger Sayre surely becomes the favorite although Westenberg will battle. Sayre did not run in Dedham last year but did race in Atlanta this year, finishing second in 18:24 equivalent to a 37:46. As noted earlier, Sayre is the M65 AR holder at 1:40:39. Ken Youngers won here in 2022 with a 37:48 so he is a formidable opponent. At the most recent Masters championship, the 5 Km in Atlanta, Youngers finished third at 18:55, equivalent to a 38:51. 

Ken Youngers finishing off his 65-69 win at the 2022 USATF Masters 10 Km Championships Photo Credit: Michael Scott

Unless Westenberg has recovered fully from the Marathon, it seems a projected finishing order of Sayre-Youngers-Westenberg is reasonable. Should any of those three have an off day, John Blaser finished third last year in 42:01. Late breaking news! Roger Sayre's hamstring was acting up during an easy shakeout today (Saturday, Apr 27) and he has decided *not* to race on Sunday.

Podium picks in alphabetical order:

Roger Sayre     David Westenberg     Ken Youngers

M70 With Robert Qualls temporarily out of action and James Linn not entered, the race for the podium will have to go through John Barbour, Joe Reda, and Reno Stirrat. Both Barbour and Stirrat have had their ups and downs with injury over the last few years. But both appear ready to roll in their new age divisions. Reda tends to be uninvolved with national championships except in the year he enters a new age division. Five years ago, he competed strongly, winning the M65 Masters National Grand Prix. The finishing order that year at Dedham was Barbour-Reda-Stirrat. It would not be amazing if history were to repeat itself. Barbour finished fourth M65 here last year in 42:08. 

John Barbour finishing off his fourth place finish in 65-69 at the age of 69 at the 2023 USATF Masters 10 Km Championships Photo Credit: Pam Fales

His 1:06:14 at the Tune Up suggests he should be able to break 43 again this year. In February, Reda ran 1:31:06 at the Mesa Half Marathon. In early April he won the M70 division at the Carlsbad 5000 in 20:23. Both suggest that a sub-42 effort in Dedham should be possible. It is worth mentioning that both those races are flat and fast; the course at Dedham is a rolling hills course. Stirrat finished fifth in M65 last year with a 43:48. Rehabbing over the fall and winter, Stirrat appears to have returned to full fitness, just within the last couple of weeks. He ran 43:19 at the Cherry Blossom 10K in New Jersey on the 6th of April, and followed that with a 21:24 at the Capt. Zinn 5K in NJ last week. Those suggest a sub-44 is likely and a sub-43 possible, but perhaps a stretch too far. Who else is likely to break 44 minutes? Doug Bell ran 43:56 in Longmont CO, at altitude, last November. His 21:06 fourth place effort in Atlanta is also consistent with a sub-44, perhaps sub 43:30. Don Morrison finished fifth at Atlanta with a 21:25, age grade equivalent to a 43:37. His 35:47 at the Valley Forge 5-Miler earlier this month suggests some caution with expecting a sub-44; it equates to a 44:44. Bell and Morrison should be ready to step up if any of the three favorites has an off day. To be clear, I am going with an order of Barbour-Reda-Stirrat.

Podium picks in alphabetical order:

John Barbour     Joe Reda     Reno Stirrat

M75 As noted earlier, Gene Dykes still holds the American M70 Record for the 10K with the 39:02 he ran here in 2018. He has not competed at Dedham since that race and has had to negotiate some health issues. Nonetheless he appears to be the favorite. He won the 5 Km M70 championship in Atlanta with a 21:15 effort, age grade equivalent to a 43:13. When Dykes was not competing last year, Gary Ostwald was the runner to beat. In the 2023 Grand Prix season, Ostwald took the division crown at Club Cross and Cross Nationals and then on the roads at Ten Miles and 10 Km. His 10 Km winning time last year was 46:07. 

Gary Ostwald finishing off his 75-79 victory at the 2023 USATF Masters 10 Km Championships Photo Credit: Pam Fales 

When Dykes returned to competition in the fall of 2023, he took the 12 Km title ahead of Ostwald and the same was true at the January 2024 Cross Nationals in Richmond, VA. In 2022, Dave Glass was unbeatable in M75 at every distance from 10 Km up. Last year he won the title at the 5 Km in Atlanta and the Half Marathon in Syracuse. But Ostwald beat Glass at the 10 Mile, 10K and 12K. Towards the end of the year, Glass discovered that he had a heart problem and had a valve replacement in December. Glass hoped for a swift return to competitive fitness but it has been slower going this winter and spring than he hoped. Glass sent a message earlier this week noting that he has had three efforts, a 2.29 Miler in early March at 8:15 per mile pace, followed by a 5K at 8:37 pace, and then a 5 Miler at 8:34 pace. Almost anyone else would view that as terrific progress in returning from heart surgery. It means it is unlikely Glass will be able to contend for the podium at this race. Glass's teammate, Jerry Learned, appears to be in condition to run at or under 8:00 per mile pace. He finished third in Atlanta with a 23:35 that equates roughly to a 47:53. That equivalence may be too optimistic. A month later Learned ran a 51:07 10K at the Members 10K race in Georgia. That 51:07 is an 8:12 per mile pace. Allan Bates moves up from M70. Last year he finished 8th in M70 with a 48:23; this year he clocked 48:05 at the Holyoke St Pat's 10K. Those times are good enough for me to make him a favorite for the final podium spot. Marshall Randolph, also from the Greater Boston area, is new to these championships but also has a good credential heading into this race. He won the M75 division at the Tune Up 15 K with a 1:15:38, equating to a 49:03 10K. A week before this race in 2023, Randolph, aged 74 at the time, clocked 37:59 at the 5 Miler in Lexington MA. That converts to a 47:29. Both times suggest a sub-50 is within Randolph's grasp. It does not look like there is anyone else in the division that can stay with the runners listed above. I had high hopes heading into the late winter but my 25:41 at Atlanta leaves me off the pace needed. I had a local 5K in March at 25:01 but that was not a certified course. I went out to Carlsbad for the 5000 with high hopes of breaking 26. I came down with a mild cold which seemed to affect my breathing. Whether due to that or something else, my time was 26:01, too slow to suggest a competitive 10K time is likely. 

My projected order of finish is Dykes-Ostwald-Bates. Learned and Randolph should battle for fourth.

Podium picks in alphabetical order:

Allan Bates     Gene Dykes     Gary Ostwald

M80 Jan Frisby is the new kid on the block; he turned 80 this week! His 52:12 here last year netted him sixth place in M70. If he can come anywhere close to that this year, he will be a sure bet for the win. Frisby has been running well. He finished off his M75 career with two fourth place finishes. His 25:01 in the 5 Km at the Atlanta Championships equates to a 52:32. Frisby looks to be the favorite. 

Jan Frisby white singlet #97 heading to the finish line and a 4th place Men's 75-79 finish at the 2022 USATF Masters 10 Km Championships Photo Credit: Michael Scott

Clayton 'Zeke' Zucker is probably the only other entrant in the division with a legitimate shot at a sub-1-hour 10K. He clocked 56:22 here last year in finishing 8th in M75. His 38:11 at the USATF-NE 4 Mile Championships at the Super Sunday race in February equates to a 59:38 10K. Teammates Richard Paulsen and David Pember should battle for the bronze medal. Paulsen finished 9th last year in M75 off of a 1:00:25. This year he clocked 51:35 at the Lexington 5 Miler. Pember did not compete here last year but has a 50:22 outing at the Irish Clover 5 Miler. It will be a tight race no doubt. I will give the edge to Pember based on his course experience at the Ramble and not knowing which of the two five milers is the more challenging course. My finishing order pick is Frisby-Zucker-Paulsen. But hold onto your hats, there could be some surprises!

Podium picks in alphabetical order:

Jan Frisby     Richard Paulsen     Zeke Zucker

M85 There are two entrants, Jerry LeVasseur and Ram Satyaprasad. LeVasseur won this division last year with a 1:39:35. This year he has a teammate and rival to contend with. Satyaprasad appears to be slightly fitter. Le Vasseur ran the Irish Clover 5K in 49:13. Satyaprasad ran the irish Clover 5 Mile in 1:17:04, age grade equivalent to a 1:36:03 10K. Satyaprasad ran a 3-miler this season, the Frozen Shamrock 3-Miler in 41:52, with a close equivalence to a 43:26 5K. Satyaprasad is the favorite with LeVasseur perhaps staying within striking distance. Projected order is Satyaprasad-LeVasseur.

Podium picks in alphabetical order:

Ram Satyaprasad     Jerry LeVasseur

M90 Lawrence Cole aged up from M85 this year. He has taken the M90 title in six races so far this year and this championship should be his seventh. Cole's latest triumph was the Cohasset Rotary Race by the Sea 10K in 1:38:21. He should be striding up East Street on Sunday, basking in the applauds from the well-wishers in the crowd and waltzing home the M90 winner.

Podium picks:

Lawrence Cole


W40 The Overall podium is predicted to emerge from division. The projected finishing order overall is Pezzullo-Lutz-Camy. See that section for the discussion. That is also, by necessity, my projected finishing order for this division.

Podium picks in alphabetical order:

Elizabeth Camy     Jennifer Lutz     Stephanie Pezzullo

Stephanie Pezzullo far right and April Lund white singlet leading the Women's field at the 2024 USATF Masters 5 Km Championships in Atlanta Photo Credit: Paul McPherson, Jr.

W45 The top contenders overall did not come from this division. Euleen Josiah-Tanner is one of the favorites. Josiah-Tanner finished fourth last year in the WMA Non-Stadia 10 Km championship race in Poland; her time was 39:27. She raced in the Indoor Championships in Chicago this March, winning the 3000M in 10:58.54 and finishing 2nd in the 1 Mile in 5:33.96. 

Euleen Josiah-Tanner finishing her Half Marathon Fourth Place Women's 45-49 at the 2023 WMA Indoor Championships Photo Credit: Todd Straka

Allyson Casey clocked 25:36 at the USATF-NE 4 Mile Championships and 1:00:32 at the USATF-NE 15K Championship. Those convert via age grading to a 40:23 and 39:34 10K respectively. Sanders ran 19:30 in the Gingerbread Dash 5K and clocked 40:11 at the O’Hartford 10K this spring. Based on her 26:59 at the New England 4-Mile Championships, Erin McVeigh, given her 26:59 at the Super Sunday 4-Miler, has the best chance, among the rest, of breaking onto the podium. Casey's 15K effort is impressive; she finished 2 and a half minutes ahead of Sanders. Because Josiah-Tanner has not recently been focused on the 10K or 10,000 meters, I will opt to give Casey the favorite's role, with Josiah-Tanner picked for silver and Sanders for bronze. McVeigh could move up if any of those three have an off day.

Podium picks in alphabetical order:

Allyson Casey     Euleen Josiah-Tanner     Sybil Sanders

W50 Karolyn Bowley, Abby Dean, Perry Shoemaker with Samantha Forde and Heather Webster. If all three are at full fitness, Bowley, Dean and Shoemaker would be strong favorites for the podium. Bowley and Shoemaker appear ready to roll. Dean is coming back from surgery over the winter. Her 20:22 5K at the Masters Championships in Atlanta was good for third this year. But her time in 2023 was a minute faster. That suggests she will have trouble matching the 38:15 that gained her fourth place overall last year. It is still likely that Dean will break 40 minutes, and, perhaps, 39? That should be enough to end the day on the podium.

Abby Dean finishes her bronze medal effort at the 2023 USATF Masters 10 Km Championships Photo Credit: Pam Fales

Shoemaker, judged to be a contender for the Overall Championships, is the strong favorite for the win, Bowley should be next. She finished 4 seconds behind Dean here last year in 38:19. Dean is likely to have a somewhat slower time this year due to her rehab. Bowley's times at the Super Sunday 4 Miler and the Tune Up 15K, 24:35 and 58:45 provide recent evidence of a fitness that should keep Bowley's time well under 39 minutes.

Samantha Forde finished sixteen seconds ahead of Dean at Atlanta on the 24th of February, but Dean’s fitness has likely increased enough to more than make up that difference. Forde’s 1:06:40 division win at Sactown suggests a similar expectation as the 5 Km in Atlanta. Forde is likely to break 41 but breaking 40 would be a stretch. Heather Webster finished second in the W45 division at this race in 2019. Her 26:46 at the Buffalo Subaru 4 Miler last July suggests Webster might be ready to break 43 minutes.

This review suggests a final finishing order of Shoemaker-Bowley-Dean, with Forde most likely to step up if any of those three have an off day.

Podium picks in alphabetical order:

Karolyn Bowley     Abby Dean     Perry Shoemaker

W55 Top contenders for the division podium include Susan Mix, Jody Dushay, Mimi Fallon, Hronn Gudmundsdottir, Lori Kingsley, and Kathleen Shaw. Mix is my pick for the win. Her 24:52 in the Super Sunday 4 Mile and her 1:29:23 at the New Bedford HM suggest a 10K time in the vicinity of 40 minutes. Dushay looks a good bet for a 42-minute 10K. She finished fourth in 42:30 here last year. Her 26:40 in the Super Sunday 4 Mile this February suggests she is ready for a similar effort this Sunday.

Jodi Dushay far right finishes off her fourth place finish in W55 at the 2023 USATF Masters 10 Km Championships Photo Credit: Pam Fales

Fallon finished third last year in 42:03. Her 1:05:25 in the Tune Up 15K in March and the 43:24 at the Cooper River Bridge Run suggests a sub-43 may be in the cards again this year. I find no recent 10K efforts for Gudmundsdottir. Her 2023 Sactown 10 Miler of 1:10:13 and her Atlanta 3rd place in 20:45 in February both project to something like a 42:30 10 K. Kingsley finished fifth in the 2022 12K Masters Championship at 52:03. This year she clocked a 1:31:21 at the Two Rivers HM. Both suggest a sub-43 minute 10K is within her current ability. Shaw claimed fifth here last year in 42:46 (16 sec behind Dushay] and her 33:10 at the Manchester Road Race last November reinforced that sub-43 potential. If Mix can indeed run close to 40 minutes, no one else from the division is likely to be close. Fallon was 27 seconds ahead of Dushay here last year. Even though Dushay's 4 Mile time suggests she may be faster, I will stick with Fallon until Dushay shows she can win head-to-head over 10 K. Shaw should be close to Dushay but finish behind her. What about Gudmundsdottir? From the above times it looks like Fallon might dominate Gudmundsdottir. But I did not report that Fallon finished a half minute behind Gudmundsdottir in the Masters 5 Km Championships at the end of February. It could be that the 10K is more Fallon's distance than the 5K with respect to Gudmundsdottir. It also might be argued that Fallon, coming out of a New England winter, enjoys a bigger bump to fitness from February to late April. But I still have to go with Gudmundsdottir based on that solid finish ahead of Fallon. That leaves me with a finishing order of Mix-Gudmundsdottir-Fallon.

Podium picks in alphabetical order:

Mimi Fallon     Hronn Gudmundsdottir     Susan Mix     

W60 Since turning 60 last year, Suzanne La Burt has enjoyed the edge over Mary Cass. At this race last year, La Burt was competing in the 55-59 division, finishing second in 41:09. That was over half a minute faster than Cass's winning W60 time of 41:43. Cass continues to run well but La Burt is, so far, just a bit faster. Cass ran a sparkling 20:41 at the 5 Km championships in Atlanta, but La Burt won in 19:53. Cass had a fine outing at the Tune Up 15K in March; her 1:04:32 equates roughly to a 41:57 10K. But La Burt countered with a 40:35 at New Jersey's Cherry Blossom 10K in early April. 

Suzanne La Burt  finishing her 2nd place Women 55-59 Effort at the 2023 USATF Masters 10 Km Championships Photo Credit: Pam Fales

Trish Bourne and Beth Stalker will vie for the bronze medal. Bourne finished sixth here last year in W55 at 43:08. Her 35:10 at the Bobby Doyle 5 Miiler in August equates roughly to a 44:05. Stalker has not competed in these championships in recent years. Her chance for a bronze is based on two races last November. Her 1:08:31 at the Tune Up 15K equates to a 44:32 10K. The following week she ran a 43:42 10K at the Troy Turkey Trot. I will go with Bourne, in part for her experience on this course. That gives me La Burt-Cass-Bourne. Stalker would most likely be the one to step up if any of the favorites has an off day.

Podium picks in alphabetical order:

Trish Bourne     Mary Cass     Suzanne La Burt

W65 Ordinarily Nora Cary would be the favorite to take this division crown, even in her last year in the division. She does not compete here often. The last time was five years ago when she was in her last year of the 60-64 division; she finished third. Cary holds the 12 Km American Record for 65-69 at 51:09. She won this division at Club Cross in Tallahassee last December and at Cross Nationals in Richmond this past January. But on Sunday she will go against Stella Gibbs, a newly minted 65-year-old. Gibbs did not compete here last year, but in 2022, she won the 60-64 division with a sterling 42:24. This February at the 5 Km championships, Gibbs scored another win with her 21:14. 

Stella Gibbs left pulls away from Lorraine Jasper to claim the 60-64 win at the 2022 USATF Masters 10 Km Championships Photo Credit: Michael Scott

Cary ran 45:44 at the Giralda Farms 10k last November. Gibbs and Cary are most likely to go 1-2. Will any other entrants produce a sub-50 time? Liz Champagne seems likely to go under 50 minutes. Champagne won 65-69 here last year in 49:25. Her 1:16:12 at the Tune Up 15K equates to a 49:25 10K; that strongly suggests the time is within her grasp again. Liz Perry could press Champagne for the bronze. She ran a 50:11 10K in Middletown CT on April 7th. I am opting for a finish order of Gibbs-Cary-Champagne.

Podium picks in alphabetical order:

Nora Cary     Liz Champagne     Stella Gibbs

W70 Francoise Levinson, Alice Miller and Denise Piekos are entered. Levinson appears to be the favorite. She ran 28:50 at the Jerome Scales 5k in January of 2022. Adjusting that for distance and years of age, we get a 10K-equivalent of 1:00:21. A year later, Levinson ran the virtual 5 Mile at the Jerome Scales race. Adjusting that for distance and age gives us 1:01:33. It seems unlikely that Miller can match Levinson. Levinson ran in the mass participation race at the James Joyce Ramble last year, clocking 1:02:05. That is not far off Levinson's times. But this spring Miller ran 1:06:15 at the Rotary Cohasset 10K. Miller seems to have the edge on Piekos, who ran 1:07:48 in these championships last year, finishing second in W70. Her 53:19 in the Irish Clover 5 Miler this March suggest an equivalent 10K time of 1:06;59. I opt for Levinson-Miller-Piekos.

Podium picks in alphabetical order:

Francoise Levinson     Alice Miller     Denise Piekos

Starting Out in 2022--Shahdokt Reeder #225, Liz Champagne #187, Leslie Nowicki Shore AC t-shirt, Marcia Rullie #239, and Barbara Kendall #140 at the USATF Masters 10 Km Championships Photo Credit: Michael Scott

W75 Jan Holmquist, Andrea McCarter, and Joan Tremberth are entered.

Holmquist is the American Record holder at this distance, at 50:01, set last year, and is the defending champion! Enough said! It is pretty much a toss-up between McCarter and Tremberth for the silver and bronze. McCarter ran 34:38 to finish second at the 5 km Championships in Atlanta. Tremberth ran 34:30 at the Irish Road Rover 5K in March. Eight seconds does not mean much, especially in 5a 5K. But Tremberth finished 2nd in this division here in Dedham in 2022, clocking 1:09:04. Based on that experience and running in her home region, I will opt for an order of Holmquist-Tremberth-McCarter.

Podium picks in alphabetical order:

Jan Holmquist     Andrea McCarter     Joan Tremberth

W80 Margaret Stewart is the sole entrant in this division. She typically runs 5K's in the 43 to 47 minute range. She clocked 1:44:16 at Peachtree last July so we know she is up to a challenge. 

Podium picks:

Margaret Stewart

W85 Barbara Belanger gives Joyce Hodges-Hite a rare opponent in this year's 10K championships. Belanger ran a 37:45 5K last November; she ran 39:43 in January. Hodges-Hite won the 5 Km Championships for 85-89 with a 50:08. Belanger should be able to take the win with that kind of margin in a 5K. We shall find out on Sunday.

Podium picks in alphabetical order:

Barbara Belanger     Joyce Hodges-Hite

W90 Edna Hyer celebrates her 90th birthday on Saturday. On Sunday she goes for the win in the 90-94 division. There is currently no American record for the Women's 90-94 division. If Hyer finishes, she establishes a new AR, subject to ratification. [That should be a formality; the course is pre-verified.] There seems little doubt that Hyer will finish. This March, Hyer has run 44:09 in the Bunny Hop 5K and 1:11:29 in the Shamrock 8K. It will definitely be a challenge to finish a 10K at the age of 90. Hyer's last 10K was at these championships just two years ago when, at 87, she won the 85-89 division at 1:25:12.

Edna Hyer Far Left, Checkers AC sets off on the road to 85-89 victory in 2022 at the USATF Masters 10 Km Championships Photo Credit: Michael Scott

It will take her a bit longer at age 90, but I expect Hyer to be the new American Record holder at the end of the day (subject to ratification).

Podium picks:

Edna Hyer

Best of luck to all the competitors and thanks to all who make it happen!

Monday, April 22, 2024

2024 Carlsbad 5000-Kicked that Bucket!-Report on Masters Performances on the New Course

 April 21, 2024 What runner does not have the Carlsbad 5000 on their 'Bucket' list? I have never heard anyone say they have no interest in it. What's not to like? It is flat and fast; and the weather almost always cooperates with sunshine and moderate winds. It is rare to race outside the 45 to 65-degree range. Billed as 'The World's Fastest 5K', it can boast that 16 World Records have been set there. The race now takes place on the first Sunday in April; they introduced a new course this year. It solves one problem the old course had; it used to finish across a set of railroad tracks. They could usually plan around train schedules, but they definitely had to keep their race series tightly on schedule at all times. The Carlsbad 5000 is not just a single race, it is truly a festival of races. If you think you've seen the last race, hold onto your hat. There is almost always at least one more coming. That means logistics are critical; the organizers do an incredible job of keeping things on track!

The Mass Participation part of the Carlsbad 5000- Runners Heading Out as Other Runners are Heading Back All Photos courtesy of the Carlsbad 5000

In addition to solving the train tracks problem, they straightened out the course, eliminating one 90-degree turn and one 180-degree turn. That tends to make the course less technical, so slightly faster. But to accomplish that, they had to stretch the course out further south of the village. That introduced more of a drop on the way out and more of a rise on the way back. That tended to offset the gains. Either way it is still a very fast course! 

My Race. Before I get into the general recap, I came in off a 5th place Men's 75-79 finish at the USATF Masters 5 Km national Championships in Atlanta on February 25th. I ran 25:35 there. That course has over 160 feet of elevation change, not bad by Atlanta standards but definitely not flat and fast! In between that race and this, I ran a local 5 km in Holland, Michigan in 25:07. That course was not as hilly as Atlanta but not as flat as Carlsbad, plus it was a double-digit wind day. Of course, that course is uncertified, so the course could be short. Still, I had high hopes of breaking 25:00 on the fast course in Carlsbad. Unfortunately, I picked up a mild cold about a week before Carlsbad. I thought I would shake it and almost did, but then the travel, with my lowered resistance, allowed it to come back. Not horrible but maybe that made a difference. In any case, I did not have the race I hoped for. I ran 26:01 and finished 7th in the age division. It was disappointing. But, on the other hand, it gives me a reason to come back. I did have a great time chilling with my son who came down from San Fran. 

Matt and Me, enjoying the San Diego Botanic Gardens the Day Before the Race

I also met a few folks I knew either directly, through Strava, or through blogging about them on this site. Somehow, I managed to miss all my Cal Coast comrades in arms--not sure how that happened! I also got to have a short talk with Tracy Sundlun, who is organizing the World Road Racing Championships (of World Athletics) for September 26 to 28, 2025 in San Diego. Sundlun introduced me to John SmithEndurance Sports, the organizer of this outstanding day of races who was, of course, hard at work at the finish line!

Lots of folks had great races! The Masters Women have their own race which went off at 7 AM. They were followed fifty minutes later by the Masters Men. Meriah Earle Escondido CA topped the field of Masters Women in 17:21. Roosevelt Cook Hesperia CA led the way for the Men's field in 15:15. The top age grading performances were turned in by Kris Clark Salida CO in the Women's race; her 19:27 at age 61 graded at a nifty 96.26%. Kevin Ostenberg Newcastle CA headed the Men's list; his 17:25 at age 63 earned a 93.56%. Both were well up into the World Class range.

[Age Grade scores map an individual's time for a given distance into a percentage that represents how close they came to a projected World's Best time for that individual's age and sex. The scores are called Performance Level Percentages, PLP's for short, with numbers closer to 100.00% being better. PLP's 90% and above are called 'World Class', with PLP's 80% and above called 'National Class.']

Top Five Age Grade Scores/PLP's:


Kris Clark 61 19:27 96.26

Kristine Clark winner of Women's 60-64 and top Age Grade Score

Susan Evans 64 20:32 94.70

Leslie Cohen 68 22:10 92.46

Amy Halseth 54 18:44 92.01

Meriah Earle 45 17:21 90.36


Kevin Ostenberg 63 17:25 93.56

Kevin Ostenberg on his way to the Men's 60-64 Win and the Top Age Grade score

Emmet Hogan 55 16:37 91.56

Roosevelt Cook 44 15:15 91.43

Todd Rose 50 16:13 90.08

Dick Robinson 62 18:03 89.48

Detailed recaps follow for the overall Masters Championships and for Age Group podiums.


WOMEN Meriah Earle Escondido CA was a strong favorite for the Overall win. Her most recent appearance at a Masters National Championship was at Club Cross in San Francisco in December 2022. She took the overall win there by twenty seconds over Maggie Shearer Newbury Park CA. More recently, Earle finished 61st out of 116 in the Olympic Marathon Trials in Orlando, clocking 2:39:46 on that very warm day in Orlando. Shearer was in the field at Carlsbad. But she was injured shortly after San Francisco and missed racing for much of 2023. Her first race after emerging from rehab was the Dana Point Turkey Trot last Thanksgiving where she clocked 19:19. That looks pretty good until one recalls that in 2022 at the same race, she chose the 10K and clocked 36:41! By the end of February, Shearer was able to win the Brea 8K in 30:33, roughly equivalent to an 18:54 5K. Clearly making progress but it would be too early in the comeback to contest for the win. Other top contenders included Karla Khalifa San Diego CA and Jennifer Santa Maria San Diego CA. Khalifa ran 17:32 here last year in her last year before becoming a Masters runner. A recent demonstration of her fitness was the Kook Run on February 24, where Khalifa ran a 37:06 10K. On Independence Day last year, Santa Maria ran a 38:58 10K and on Thanksgiving last year, she clocked 19:51 on Thanksgiving Day. 

When the gun sounded, Earle moved away confidently. By the end of the first Mile, Earle had a lead of over a hundred meters on the field. Shearer was leading the chase, a good sign. As her Coach observed to me at Club Cross Country in 2023, "Maggie is a gamer!" Shearer had about 25 meters on Khalifa, with Santa Maria ten meters further back. Earle had no problem the rest of the way, adding substantially to her lead with each passing mile. Earle took the win in 17:21 with over 200 meters to spare, a handsome effort! 

Meriah Earle wins the Women's Masters Race

As the chasers moved further south on Carlsbad Boulevard and swung around the 180-degree turn, Khalifa began to creep up on Shearer. When they hit the 2-mile mark where the incline starts to bite, Khalifa was just ten meters behind Shearer, who hit the 2 Mile in 11:44. Santa Maria was still over 3 meter behind Shearer. That stretch from mile 2.0 to 2.5 was a tough one. Khalifa was able to close and then pass Shearer, finishing in 18:18 in 2nd place. 

Karla Khalifa finishing second in the Masters Women's Race

Shearer gave it all she had but could not hold off Santa Maria, who closed hard to take third in 18:24. 

Jennifer Santa Maria nails the final overall podium spot with an 18:24 effort.

Shearer was fourth in 18:32.

Meriah Earle 17:21     Karla Khalifa 18:18     Jennifer Santa Maria 18:24

MEN As with the Women, there was a clear favorite. Since the race started up with in person racing after Covid, Roosevelt Cook has finished either first or second in the Masters race. Two years ago he won by almost half a minute in 15:08. Last year Cook finished 2nd to Sergio Reyes (not entered this year) in 15:12. The main challengers appeared to be Randy Arriola Scottsdale AZ, James Horman Appleton, GBR, Glenn Racz Temecula CA, and Jake Stout Brush Prairie WA. A 1:08 Half Marathoner pre-covid, Arriola apparently took a break from racing. This past year he raced to a 1:15:24 at the Mesa Half Marathon and a 2:50:07 at the Buckeye Marathon, both in Arizona. Horman ran the 2023 London Marathon in 2:28:49. Primarily engaged in Spartan/Obstacle events, Racz finished 3rd in this Masters race last year in 15:58. Stout was first Masters at the 8 Km Shamrock Run in Portland OR in 25:15. That equates roughly to a 15:38 5K. Cook, the top 40-44 runner for the Cal Coast Track Club, gradually moved to the front in the first mile, which he covered in 4:47. Arriola was a couple of strides back with Stout and Horman in close sequence behind him. Racz started more cautiously and was twenty meters behind Horman. By the time he hit the beginning of the incline at Mile 2 in 9:43, Cook had 25 meters on the field. Arriola and Stout were running in tandem, vying for second and third, with Horman ten meters behind them. Racz was fifty meters behind Horman and would not contest the podium this year. The incline slowed everyone's pace relative to the first and second miles but Cook slowed the least. His 5:02 pace for the final 1.1 miles brought him home in 15:15, three seconds off his winning time from last year. It was a dominant win! 

Roosevelt Cook soars across the finish line in first place overall in the Men's Masters Race at 15:15!

Stout was just able to keep Horman at bay, finishing in second place, eighteen seconds after Cook crossed the line. 

Jake Stout and James Horman finishing 2-3 Overall in the Men's Masters race at the 2024 Carlsbad 5000

Horman closed at 5:08/mile pace, missing second by just three seconds! Arriola was fourth in 15:47, with Racz running a strong last mile to finish six seconds behind Arriola in fifth.

Roosevelt Cook 15:15     Jake Stout 15:33     James Horman 15:36


M40 Arriola and Racz went 1-2. 

Randy Arriola, fourth overall, claims the win in Men's 45-49 with a nifty 15:47!

Jose Delgado Tucson AZ closed strong, passing Michael DeForest Missoula MT in the last mile to claim third with six seconds to spare. He closed to within two seconds of Racz!

Randy Arriola 15:47     Glenn Racz 15:53     Jose Delgado 15:55

F40 Rebecca Paten Santa Cruz CA led from wire to wire, hitting the 1 Mile in 5:56 with a fourteen second lead. Paten went on to win the group in 18:44, with 25 seconds to spare. 

Rebecca Paten wins the Women's 40-44 Division in 18:44!

Amanda Lankford Simi Valley CA moved past Joy Shen Lakewood CA  in the middle mile, pulling away to take second place, 88 meters ahead of Shen. 

Rebecca Paten 18:44     Amanda Lankford 19:09     Joy Shen 19:31

M45 Jeremy Deere Canada was fastest off the mark, setting a 5:02 pace for the first mile. Neville Davey Palo Alto CA was right on his heels at 5:04. Tim Hebert Ft. Collins CO followed, fifteen meters astern, with Dan Lesser San Diego CA another ten meters back. 

Neville Davey leading Dan Lesser and Tim Hebert as they approach the turn-around at the halfway point

Dan Lesser striding ahead of Tim Hebert, heading for the win in 16:18

Davey fell off the pace in the second mile but Lesser pulled even with Hebert as they both still trailed Deer by a good 25 meters. Hebert and lesser gradually closed over the final mile. Lesser had the best kick, taking the win in 16:18, with Hebert nipping Deere at the finish line! Davey finished fourth.

Dan Lesser 16:18     Tim Hebert 16:22     Jeremy Deere 16:22

F45 Maggie Shearer Newbury Park who was in the mix for the overall win, led this division wire to wire. Shearer won with 50 meters to spare. 

Maggie Shearer clipping along towards an 18:32, good for the win in Women's 45-49

Lorna Vargas Fonseca Costa Rica and Angela Moll San Diego CA matched paces for the first mile, passing the clock at 5:55. Fonseca moved ahead of Moll over the next mile, enjoying a 20-meter lead as they headed into the final mile. Fonseca finished second, building a hundred meters additional lead. Moll enjoyed third place; Christy Peterson Rolling Hills Estates CA finished strong to claim fourth place in 19:41.

M50 Todd Rose San Francisco CA, a mainstay of the powerful West Valley Track Club was coming off a top 20 overall finish in the Masters 40+ race at the USATF Club Cross Country (national) Championships in Tallahassee FL. Rose pulled the M45 group through the first mile at 5:01; he had a lead of over 45 meters on his own M50 field. John Gardiner Rancho Santa Margarita CA, is a longtime mainstay of one of the archrivals of West Valley, the Cal Coast Track Club. He knows what Rose is capable of. Too savvy to get drawn into that fast a pace, Gardiner adopted a more measured 5:10 pace for the first mile, leaving him with a twenty-five-meter lead on Marcelo Mejia Perez Goleta CA, and a forty-five-meter lead on Todd Booth Santa Barbara CA. That first mile set the tone for the rest of the race; the order did not change, just the size of the gaps between the athletes. Rose enjoyed the victory with a fine 16:13. 

Todd Rose sprints across the finish line, taking the Men's 50-54 Win in 16:13!

Gardiner finished a hundred meters back in second place, with a 150-meter lead over Mejia Perez. Booth finished fourth at 17:32.

Todd Rose 16:13     John Gardiner 16:36     Marcel Mejia Perez 17:13

F50 Amy Halseth La Jolla CA, who finished fifth overall, led this division out in 6:11. Valerie Swafford San Diego CA gave Halseth plenty to worry about in the first mile; she was just one second behind at the 1 Mile timing mat. Hometown runner, Michellie Jones Carlsbad CA, was twenty-five meters behind the leading duo. Swafford continued to battle through the 180-degree turn and onto the end of the second mile. She was a mere two seconds back from Halseth. Jones was still within thirty meters of Swafford. But the final mile proved the difference. Once Halseth threw in a sustained surge to stay with thee lead pack in the third mile, Swafford was done. Halseth pulled away to win by over 200 meters in 18:44. 

Amy Halseth #1707 heads out from Carlsbad Village at the front of the Masters field on her way to a 5th place finish overall and first in the 50-54 Division

Swafford took second, forty meters ahead of Jones.

Amy Halseth 18:44     Valerie Swafford 19:45     Michellie Jones 19:55

M55 A sub-four-minute miler in his day and a regular at the prestige international track meets, Christian Cushing-Murray Orange CA is no stranger to the podium. The winner of this Masters race at Carlsbad just eight years ago in 15:11, Cushing-Murray, known to most of the track world as 'Cush', claimed the Road Mile American M55 Record in Indianapolis last year in 4:47! But Cush is also no stranger to having to come back from injury; this was one of those years. He was also going up against a Club Northwest buzzsaw, Emmet Hogan Issaquah WA. Injured or not, it is tough for anyone in his age group to take it out faster than Cush. He hit the mile marker with a slim three-second lead on Hogan. Once they made the 180-degree turn, it was all Hogan, who enjoyed a good fifty-meter lead on Cush by the time they hit the two-mile mark. 

Emmet Hogan on his way to the win in the Men's 55-59 Division at Carlsbad

Hogan brought home the win in 16:37, with Cush well over a hundred meters back in second. 

Christian Cushing-Murray bringing it home in Second Place in the Men's 55-59 Division

Thomas Tayeri Palo Alto CA ran an evenly paced 17:41 to claim third place.

Emmet Hogan 16:37     Christian Cushing-Murray 17:10     Thomas Tayeri 17:51

F55 Elizabeth Guerrini Long Beach CA dominated this division. Guerrini passed the 1 Mile marker in 6:04. Local rivals, Margi Bell Carlsbad CA and Lan Clayton Carlsbad CA, passed it in tandem at 6:18. Guerrini stretched her lead to well over a hundred meters by the time she crossed the finish line with the win in 19:27! 

Elizabeth Guerrini claims the Women's 55-59 Win with No Rivals in Sight at the Carlsbad 5000

Clayton had a slight edge on Bell at the two-mile mark. But Bell closed stronger to take second place in 19:59, a good thirty meters ahead of Clayton. Tina Gini Larter finished fourth in 20:45, with Tania Fischer in fifth, ten seconds back.

Elizabeth Guerrini 19:27     Margi Bell 19:59     Lan Clayton 20:07

M60 Kevin Ostenberg Newcastle CA, a strong cross country runner for the HOKA Aggies team of northern California made the trip to So Cal worthwhile. Ostenberg, the fourth place finisher at the Men's 60 and up race at the 2023 edition of Club Cross, laid down a 5:28 for the first mile! That left his division rivals over fifty meters back. Dick Robinson San Diego CA led the chase pack at 5:23. Bob Brisco Santa Monica CA was two strides back, with Run Minnesota's Patrick Billig Roseville MN on his shoulder. Ostenberg's lead had grown to a hundred meters by the two-mile mark. Ostenberg claimed the win with a half minute to spare in 17:25. 

Kevin Ostenberg wins Men's 60-64 at the 2024 Carlsbad 5000

Robinson continued to lead the rest, with Brisco and Billig within striking distance. Billig surged past Brisco in the final mile and closed on Robinson. Though they were given the same time, Robinson held Billig off at the finish line. Brisco finished fifth behind Alejandro Gacia Tucson AZ.

Kevin Ostenberg 17:25     Dick Robinson 18:03     Patrick Billig 18:03

F60 Kris Clark Salida CO, who trains at 7,000 feet, surprised many by taking first place in the Women's 60-64 division at the 2023 USATF 5 Km Championships. A month later, injury sidelined her plans to go after a second national championship over ten miles in Sacramento. The injury is a thing of the past and she showed it! Clark would eventually win big, but Linda Ostenberg Newcastle CA gave her something to think about! Ostenberg pulled the field through the mile in 6:17, with Clark right on her shoulder. Clark ran her second mile faster than the first; Ostenberg could not match that surge in pace, falling over a hundred meters back by the two-mile split. Despite losing contact with Clark, Ostenberg still had a big lead over Susan Evans Penticton, Canada. But Ostenberg had expended too much energy in that first mile. When Evans close and passed, Ostenberg had nothing in the tank. Evans finished second, over a minute behind Clark, but five seconds ahead of Ostenberg. 

Susan Evans on her way to a second place finish in Women's 60-64 Division

Clark had her big win and the highest Age Grade PLP on the day!

Kris Clark 19:27     Susan Evans 20:32     Linda Ostenberg 20:37

M65 Scott McEntee Encenitas CA took the field out hard, covering the first mile in 6:02; Michael Lebold San Diego CA was right on his heels! Mark Core Irvine CA was laying off the pace about fifty meters back. Lebold found the gap up to McEntee grow to twenty meters as they approached the 2-mile mat. Core was able to lessen his gap to Lebold by ten meters. McEntee had no trouble the rest of the way, taking the win in 19:39. 

Scott McEntee claims the win in Men's 65-69 at the 2024 Carlsbad 5000!

Core gradually closed on Lebold and surprised him at the finish line, edging him for second place by a single second!

Scott McEntee 19:39     Mark Core 19:56     Michael Lebold 19:57

F65 Leslie Cohen Santa Monica CA enjoyed a wire-to-wire win in this division. She led the field by over a hundred meters at the 1 Mile mat. Cohen. added to it the rest of the way, winning in 22:10 with a lead of over two hundred meters! 

Leslie Cohen closing in on the Finish Line and her win in the Women's 65-69 Division at the Carlsbad 5000

At the one-mile mark, Linda Powers San Diego CA enjoyed a four second lead over Carol Sexton Woodinville WA in the race for second place. Sexton reversed that advantage in the second mile and pulled away in the final stretches. Sexton finished second with over forty seconds to spare.

Leslie Cohen 22:10     Carol Sexton 23:38     Linda Powers 24:25

M70 Five years ago, in the last full season before Covid disrupted road racing, Joe Reda DeForest WI battled Reno Stirrat for M65 national championships on the roads. Successful more often than not, Reda captured the USATF Masters National Grand Prix that year, with Stirrat second. He was going up against Wayne Chick Austin TX. Reda covered the first mile in 6:27; Chick was fifteen meters back. They stayed in that position down out of the village and around the 180-degree turn. The gap was unchanged when they crossed the two-mile mat. Reda's better fitness kicked in at that point; he added another eleven seconds to his lead in that last 1.1 miles. Reda's 20:23 brought him the win! 

Joe Reda #2441 finishes off his 20:23 winning effort in the Men's 70-74 Division at the 2024 Carlsbad 5000

Chick was almost fifty meters back in second but well ahead of Rick Pfeiffer Carlsbad CA. Pfeiffer is, arguably, more at home on the turf than the roads. He finished second and third in M70 at the highly competitive Club Cross Country races in 2021 at Tallahassee and in 2022 in San Francisco.

Joe Reda 20:23     Wayne Chick 20:38     Rick Pfeiffer 21:20

F70 It was no contest in this division. Ernestina Martin Chula Vista CA clocked 7:14 for the first mile and enjoyed the better part of a minute lead on the field. Martin went on to win in 23:41 with well over two minutes to spare. 

Ernestina Martin crosses the Finish Line in 23:41 to take the win int he Women's 70-74 Division at the 2024 Carlsbad 5000

Kathi Guiney Mission Viejo CA could not keep pace with Martin but kept Sandy Robbins-Sydner Apple Valley CA at bay. After leading Robbins-Sydner by almost a hundred meters with a mile to go, Guiney's lead was almost halved at the finish.

Ernestina Martin 23:41     Kathi Guiney 26:27     Sandy Robbins-Sydner 26:39

M75 Ron Wells Alpine CA sped off at the start, weaving between younger runners who were not up to his pace. Wells covered that first mile in 7:02, enjoying a lead of over eighty meters on the field. Wells, the 2021 M75 champion at the national Club Cross Country championships in Tallahassee FL, added to his lead throughout the race. Glenn Alder San Clemente CA crossed the 1-mile timing mat in 7:26, with John Combs Loomis CA thirty meters back. Alder stretched his lead to seventy-five meters by the two-mile mark. Combs cut into that lead substantially in the final stretch but could not catch Alder. Combs made sure that Peter Kerklaan Delta Canada finished a good thirty meters behind him. 

Ron Wells heads for the Finish Line where his 22:50 will enable him to win the Men's 75-79 Crown with plenty to spare

Wells enjoyed a dominant win with well over a minute to spare.

Ron Wells 22:50     Glenn Alder 24:18     John Combs 24:32

F75 Jan Kerklaan Delta Canada led the field out with a 10:49. Grace Hanover Lake Elsinore CA was just fifteen meters back in second place. Kerklaan maintained her pace through the second mile; that was enough to grow her lead to over seventy meters. Kerklaan won the division at 34:23 with over a minute to spare. 

Jan Kerklaan #1912 closes in on the Finish Line and her 34:23 winning time in Women's 75-79 at the 2024 Carlsbad 5000

Hanover placed second, a good half minute ahead of Emily Smith Collierville TN.

Jan Kerklaan 34:23     Grace Hanover 35:26     Emily Smith 36:02

M80 James Callaway Coronado CA, M80 winner at Club Cross in San Francisco, led the field out in 8:03. He enjoyed a twenty-five meter lead over John Phillips Seattle WA. Callaway grew that lead to over sixty meters by the two-mile mat and cruised home in 25:33, with twenty-seven seconds to spare. 

Jim Callaway #1253-right finishes off his winning 25:33 effort in winning the Men's 80-84 Division Bill Sumner #2708-left finished 6th in M75

Phillips was well clear of the third-place finisher, Jim Metts San Diego CA.

Jim Callaway 25:33     John Phillips 26:05     Jim Metts 30:25

F80 Kathryn Carpenter Ramona CA was the fittest runner in this division, covering the first mile in 11:07. At that point she was already well over a minute ahead of the second-place runner, Sherry Braheny La Mesa CA. Carpenter kept Braheny eighty seconds back the rest of the way, earning the win with a 36:23 effort. 

Kathryn Carpenter #1283 closes in on the Finish Line; her 36:23 enabled her to win the Women's 80-84 Division at the Carlsbad 5000 

Braheny enjoyed her second-place finish, a good three minutes ahead of Nancy Linck La Jolla CA.

Kathryn Carpenter 36:23     Sherry Braheny 37:46     Nancy Linck 41:26

Linck, at 82, was the oldest to ascend the Women's podium this day, with Carpenter the oldest winner at 81.

M85 Michel Ribet La Jolla CA took the field out in 11:22, with a 90-meter lead on Richard Williams Coronado CA, in second. Ribet stretched the lead over the final 2.1 miles, winning by an even minute over Williams. 

Michel Ribet cap crosses the finish line in 36:22 (chip time) to claim the Men's 85-89 Win at the 2024 Carlsbad 5000

Tracy Hightower Halton City TX was well back in third place.

Michel Ribet 36:22     Richard Williams 37:22     Tracy Hightower 49:10

Williams was the oldest podium finisher on the day at 88, Ribet the oldest winner at 86! 

It was another beautiful day for a race in Carlsbad. The organizers did a terrific job and so did the athletes. There were some close races, lots of PR's and plenty of things, in addition to the Masters contests to celebrate!

Men's Elite: 

Women's Elite

Celebrities: Kip & Meb