For the second year, the .US National 12K championships will be held in Alexandria, capping off the 2014 USA Running Circuit (USARC).
How it works: The USARC each year hosts national championships at distances ranging from one mile to the marathon. The first 10 U.S. runners at each race earn points, and also qualify for the 12K, which features $100,000 in prize money. Points are doubled at both the 12K and in the marathon.
Heading into tomorrow, Falls Church native Christo Landry, with 76 points, has an insurmountable lead in the men’s standing. Landry is entered; Tyler Pennel, second in the USARC standings, is not.
Pennel established himself on the national stage at last year’s 12k, finishing 3rd. In October, he won his first national title in his debut marathon.
For Landry, 2014 has been nothing less than a breakthrough year. In April, he won his first of three national championships on his home turf at the Cherry Blossom Ten Mile Run, prior to capturing titles at 10K and 25K. Five weeks ago, Landry was 13th in 2:14:30 at the Chicago Marathon. The result disappointed him.
Tomorrow, though, Landry, a graduate of Thomas Jefferson Science and Technology then William & Mary, who recently moved from Michigan to Charlotte, N.C., will give it his best shot, and, no matter the result, claim a USARC title and savor the opportunity to race in northern Virginia. “It’s just great to come home,” he said. “I grew up right nearby and anytime I get to come back to this area it just feels like coming home again, regardless of where I live at the moment.”
During a press conference today, Kevin Ullman of RunnerSpace pointed out that Landry and Molly Huddle have a shot at becoming the first runners to ever claim four USA titles in one year.
Landry, after noting how special that would be, said, “It’s more likely to be Molly’s chance to do it first than mine tomorrow.”
Huddle, the defending 12k champion and clear favorite, is just two points behind Sara Hall in the women’s USARC standings. Both will race tomorrow.
“That’s a pretty detailed stat,” said the understated Huddle, to Ullman’s question, “but I think it would be pretty special [to win four titles].”
Huddle has raced three USARC races and won as many times, claiming titles at 7 miles, 20K, and 5K. Last year, for Huddle, 12k, as a distance, seemed both strange and too long, even if she covered it in a national record time. This year, though, Huddle said she has a good “pace memory” for the distance and is focusing on winning a national championship. “Hopefully however fast we have to go I’m ready to do that,” she said.
Hall, throughout her career, has had tremendous success in the middle distances on the track, but said she has had fun – not to mention success – experimenting with longer distances this year. She was the second American finisher at the Cherry Blossom Ten Mile Run, which hosted the national championship, and won and set a course record at the EQT Pittsburgh 10 Miler last weekend.
Had it not been for a burst appendix in August, Hall, who is married to American marathoner Ryan Hall, planned to run her debut marathon earlier this fall. That plan has simply been postponed.
“After this race I’ll probably be turning the corner to more marathon specific training,” she said.
After many near misses, Aaron Braun won his first national title at last year’s 12k, “getting over the mountain,” he said.
Braun added: “Once I know that I’ve done something once, then I have a lot more belief that I can do it again.”
Braun’s 2014 has been up and down. His debut marathon didn’t go well. And in July, Braun, feeling overly fatigued, took a long break to recharge.
But Braun has since won the Great Cow Harbor 10K and San Jose Rock ‘n’ Roll Half Marathon, and is now focused on defending his 20K title. “I feel like I’m in as good of shape, if not better shape, than last year, so I should be able to pull it off again this year,” he said.
Believing gait inefficiencies contributed to his difficulties in the marathon, Braun worked on his form, starting with a visit to Mark Plaatjes, a former world marathon champion and physical therapist, for video analysis.
“As soon as I watched the video, I was kind of like, ‘Oh, gosh, that’s pretty bad.’ You always feel like you are the most beautiful runner, but when you actually see, actually critique yourself, it was kind of a good view into what was actually happening,” he said.
Braun has been doing strengthening drills and has been more conscientious of not leaning too far back while running.
“Hopefully it pays off tomorrow and in my future marathons,” he said.
A USATF spokeswoman said 1,300 runners will participate in tomorrow’s race. It will be run on a different, and out-and-back, course, but will start and finish in the same place, near Oronaco Bay Park. (See map.)
The elite women will start at 7:15 a.m. The elite men, masters, and open race will start at 7:25. To watch online, see the live stream.
Lucas Meyer, a lawyer living in Washington, D.C., is in the men’s elite field. See both elite fields.
RunWashington will cover both the elite men’s and women’s races. Follow @runwashington and @dicksonmercer for updates.
By Jim Hage
April 3, 2011
For the Washington Running Report
After nine miles of a back-and-forth battle with Allan Kiprono at the Credit Union Cherry Blossom Ten Mile Run, Lelisa Desisa (left) appeared headed for a second straight photo finish. Last year’s race came down to the wire and ended unhappily for Desisa when he was literally pushed aside by the winner, Stephen Tum, in a pell-mell sprint. Desisa finished second.
So this year the Ethiopian made his move with 800 meters to go, decisively dropping Kiprono and cruising alone to the tape as the undisputed champion in a event record 45 minutes 36 seconds – Ismael Kirui set the record of 45:38 in 1995.
Kiprono, from Kenya, finished second in 45:41.
“Last year I was happy,” said Lelisa Desisa, 21, whose claim of interference in 2010 was denied. “Today, I am more happy.”
Similarly, Julliah Tinega, the women’s runner-up last year, earned vindication with her one second win over fellow Kenyan Risper Gesabwa. Tinega’s time of 54:02 better reflected the cold and breezy conditions that made Desisa’s record even more impressive.
Tgist Tufa ran 54:13 to finish third in a truncated women’s-only field of just eight, who started 10 minutes before the men’s and open field. Three-time defending women’s champion Lineth Chepkurui was a late scratch.
Two-time men’s champion (2008 and ‘09) Ridouane Harroufi, 29, from Morocco, ran with the leaders until seven miles before losing contact and finishing third in 46:27. “Today is my first race this year,” Harroufi said. “The pace was very fast and my legs felt heavy. Maybe next race I feel better.”
Lucas Meyer, 27, a third-year law student at the University of Connecticut, ran 48:26 and finished 13th. As the first American, Meyer earned $1,000. Local (D.C.) resident David Nightingale, 25, was one place back in 48:39 and earned $500.
Claire Hallissey, 28, (left) a native of Britain who lives in Arlington, finished fifth among the women in 56:17, good for $1,000 in prize money. Late-blooming Kelly Jaske, 34, from Portland, Ore., was the first American, sixth in 57:06. Jaske, a criminal defense lawyer, has been running competitively for less than five years. She was fifth at last year’s race.
Nianxiang Xie, 83, from Rockville, was the oldest finisher in 1:58:26.
Ben Beach, 61, from Bethesda, ran 1:37:18 to extend his streak as the only runner to have completed every Cherry Blossom race. This year’s 39th edition featured a record 15,968 finishers.
Top 25 Finishers
Place Div /Tot Num Name Ag Hometown 5 Mile Gun Tim Net Tim Pace ===== =========== ====== ====================== == ==================== ======= ======= ======= ===== 1 1/398 3 Lelisa Desisa 21 Ethiopia 45:36 45:36 4:34 2 2/398 13 Allan Kiprono 21 Kenya 23:08 45:41 45:41 4:35 3 1/1466 5 Ridouane Harroufi 29 Morocco 23:10 46:27 46:27 4:39 4 3/398 17 Lani Kiplagat 22 Kenya 23:09 46:30 46:30 4:39 5 2/1466 27 Macdonard Ondara 26 Kenya 21:41 46:52 46:52 4:42 6 3/1466 29 Tesfaye Sendeku 28 Ethiopia 23:15 46:53 46:53 4:42 7 4/1466 21 Stephen Muange 29 Kenya 23:24 47:30 47:30 4:45 8 4/398 23 Simon Cheprot 21 Kenya 23:14 47:32 47:32 4:46 9 5/1466 31 Josphat Boit 27 Kenya 23:24 47:50 47:50 4:47 10 1/1075 25 Girma Tola 35 Ethiopia 23:27 47:56 47:56 4:48 11 5/398 47 Ezkyas Sisay 22 Ethiopia 23:34 47:58 47:58 4:48 12 6/1466 51 Tesfaye Assefa 27 Ethiopia 23:42 48:03 48:03 4:49 13 7/1466 33 Lucas Meyer 27 Ridgefield CT 24:06 48:26 48:26 4:51 14 8/1466 296 David Nightingale 25 Washington DC 24:10 48:39 48:39 4:52 15 9/1466 45 Augustus Maiyo 27 Colorado Springs CA 24:18 49:56 49:56 5:00 16 10/1466 107 Karl Dusen 28 N Bethesda MD 25:13 50:06 50:06 5:01 17 1/1326 105 Bert Rodriguez 31 Arlington VA 25:08 50:25 50:25 5:03 18 6/398 297 Sam Luff 24 Rockville MD 25:22 50:45 50:45 5:05 19 7/398 106 Jerry Greenlaw 23 Alexandria VA 25:19 50:55 50:55 5:06 20 11/1466 112 Brian Flynn 27 Weyers Cave VA 25:24 51:08 51:08 5:07 21 12/1466 49 Birhanu Alemu 28 Ethiopia 25:09 51:10 51:10 5:07 22 2/1075 20510 Michael Wardian 36 Arlington VA 25:20 51:16 51:16 5:08 23 13/1466 304 Joe Wiegner 29 Rockville MD 25:25 51:34 51:34 5:10 24 14/1466 109 Dirk De Heer 29 Silver Spring MD 25:44 51:40 51:40 5:10 25 15/1466 108 David Burnham 26 Arlington VA 25:37 51:49 51:46 5:11