Looking at our favorite running websites, we see that the college kids are taking up almost all the bandwidth with their cross country season. Ah, youth. But there are some “adult” activities as well, including two more in the USATF road racing series, the World Mountain Running Championships, and some other high quality road races.
What Must Go Up
Betws-y-Coed, Wales was the site of the 31st World Mountain Championships. AB was well-represented by Joe Gray and Kimber Mattox. Gray took 5th, running 51:16 for the 13k course and leading the US to 4th place in the team competition. Mattox was 6th individually, first for the US, which took 2nd in the team competition. Hopefully the pictures give you a sense of the terrain…as Dr. Brown said in Back to the Future “where they’re going, they don’t need roads.”
Joe loves this stuff so much, he couldn’t even wait a week to try another. So there he was in Manitou Springs, Colorado to tackle the Manitou Incline, a quad-busting. lung-searing .9 mile track with an average 40.9 percent grade. Did pretty well too. He won with a time of 17:45, setting the FKT (fastest known time) for the course (more on the FKT trend here).
USATF Road Racing Championships
Two more events down in the series. September 20 was the 5k championships held in Providence, RI. Tyler Pennel was 6th in 14:12, 16 seconds behind winner David Torrence. Gabe Grunewald picked up 4th in the women’s race. Two weeks later the scene shifted to Minneapolis and the distance was increased to 10 miles. Okay by Tyler Pennel; this time he was 2nd, edged out by a second by Sam Chelanga. USATF Running Circuit standings leader Jared Ward was 8th (full standings list here).
On the women’s side Molly Huddle ran away from a very strong field but ABer Neely Gracey got an impressive 2nd place in 55:03, moving her up to 4th in the standings. ABers Kaitlin Goodman ran aggressively and ended up 15th with a PR, with Meghan Peyton close behind in 17th. Next up in the circuit for women is the 10k race on October 12 in Boston. Both the men’s and women’s circuit close with the 12k championships on November 15 in Alexandria. If I have the rules and scoring right, I think Jared Ward has actually clinched the title, even though the points at the 12k event count double – three wins and a second place in prior events will give you that kind of lead.
Ageless in San Jose
Clearly 40 is just a number to Meb Keflezighi. He tried gamely to shake the much younger Jordan Chipangama at the San Jose Half Marathon. In the end he couldn’t but he still took 2nd in 1:03:02, just two seconds back of Chipangama. He did get the Master’s Record, shaving 21 seconds off the previous mark. Fellow ABer Olivia Mickle ran a solid 1:15:25 for 6th in the women’s race; the only bad news there is that she missed the OT B standard by just 25 seconds.
Similarly, 41 is just a number to AB board member Deena Kastor. She equaled the Masters 5k record with a 15:48 in San Jose. The next day, she served as the pacer for the half marathon. She now holds every Masters record from 5k to the half marathon. Can you spell l-e-g-e-n-d?
Q: Why is Berlin the ideal place to run a marathon?
A: Because you can’t hit the wall there anymore.
Sorry. Actually Matt Llano did slow a bit in towards the end in his 2:12:28 which was good for 13th in the Berlin Marathon and a sweet 4 minute PR. He had rattled off seven straight 5k splits between 15:12 and 15:39 before slipping to 16:33 between 35k and 40k. Yes, Matt would have won your town’s 5k race over and over and over. A solid effort that burnishes his credentials as a player at next year’s Olympic Trials.