Track Shorts 2015: Lap 23

Bridget Franek and Kimber Mattox (2nd and 3rd from left, respectively) after taking 1st and 2nd place at the Warrior Dash World Championship. Source @obstacleracingmedia


  1. a curved goat’s horn overflowing with fruit and ears of grain that is used as a decorative motif emblematic of abundance
  2. an inexhaustible store :  abundance

A great word for autumn.  Or in this case, the fall running calendar.  All kinds of venues and distances to discuss – from 5k to 50 miles and from good old roads to mud.

Marathons and More Marathons

Though it might not be the oldest, the NYC marathon has a certain cachet. Meb Keflezighi  added to his legend with another major marathon top 10, finishing 7th.  His USA Master’s record setting time of 2:13.52 also got him the top American placing.  Alana Hadley had a less satisfying day as she was forced to drop out due to an ankle injury.

Almost (just?) as venerable is the Chicago Marathon.  We’re going to need more superlatives besides ageless and work horse for AthleteBiz board member Deena Kastor.  Her 2:27 was good for 7th in the Windy City. Fellow ABer Sara Hall showed she can conquer the marathon (along with her confirmed star status at many other distances), running 2:31 for 10th.  And at the Hartford Marathon, Tyler Andrews put up a 2:19 to take 3rd

More Than 26.2

For some, a marathon is just too short.  That group definitely includes Camille Herron, who won the US 50 Mile Road Championships in Wisconsin.  Actually “won” doesn’t do the effort justice.  First of all, she won the women’s race by almost an hour and 45 minutes.  Second, she placed 4th overall.  And lastly, the time was a “Road Best.”  Camille does not get a World Record as the course was point-to-point, although ironically, the course is not a net downhill and there was a headwind for the whole race.  Details of her amazing effort are here.

Camille Breaking the Tape at the Fall 50.  Source

Camille Breaking the Tape at the Fall 50. Source

Does Your Mudder Know You’re Doing This?

With no steeplechase events in sight, Bridget Franek sought challenges elsewhere, like the Warrior Dash World Championships in Tennessee.  A sampling of the obstacles is included here.

Okay, more difficult than steeplechase barriers, but Bridget was able to negotiate the course faster than anyone else, winning in 32:22.  Second place went to fellow ABer, Kimber Mattox, herself no stranger to less than hospitable conditions for racing as the 2014 Champion in this event.  Yes, Track & Field elites are badass. Indeed, the most difficult part may have been getting the spelling of their last names correct on the tweet.

Continuing the off-road thread, the USATF Trail Half Marathon was held at Lake Padden, near Bellingham, WA on October 20th.  Perhaps finding the running easier without the added obstacles, Kimber took the women’s title, running 1:32.20 for the 13.1 miles.  Jamie Cheever was 7th in 1:38.58.  Defending champ Maria Dalzot had a rare off day and was 8th.

Roads and More Roads

For those with more traditional appetites, the road racing scene had plenty to offer.  In Pittsburgh, Tyler Pennel continued his fine season with a win at 10 miles, clocking 46:50.  Kaitlin Goodman was 6th in the women’s race with a 57:01 and Emily Gordon ducked under an hour (59:49) in 11th.


Tyler taking the win at the EQT Pittsburgh 10 Miler. Source

In a race near and dear to my heart, the Philly Half Marathon (in my hometown), Neely Gracey took 2nd, breaking 70 minutes with a good lean at the tape (69:59). Her time is the 3rd fastest by an American this year.

NYC Marathon weekend starts with a 5K, and one wonders if there was some home field advantage for Donn Cabral, Jake Hurysz and Ashley Higginson.  Cabral won the men’s race in 14:19 with Hurysz 6th; Higginson took third in the women’s race in 16:16.  Afterwards, Cabral noted, “winning as a pro is so much more difficult, so I really enjoy the opportunities to break the tape these days.”

Still to come this fall, the Moab Trail Marathon on November 7th, the USATF Running Circuit finale, the .US National 12k Race in Alexandria, VA on November 15th, and the USATF National Club Cross Country Championships on December 12th.

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