We forgive you if you missed it amidst all of the high profile race action over the holiday weekend, but Eric Ashe was the top American at the über competitive BAA Half Marathon. Eric ran a 1:05:48 and placed 4th overall.
The winner of the race was Daniel Salel of Kenya in 1:00:56. Right behind him was another Kenyan, Stephen Sambu, in 1:01:18. With the win Salel cemented the BAA Distance Medley crown for 2015, and the phat $100,000 check that comes along with it.
Back to Ashe’s race, and from his training we got the following:
Initial goals were to try to break 65′ and compete for top American.
For first couple miles it was (Brian) Harvey, Ruben (Sança), and myself. Ruben dropped off then Harvey and I slowly caught up to 4th (Raji Assefa) around 10k. At that point I surged a little hoping he wouldn’t join us but he latched on and then I ended up doing most of the leading from there. Harvey dropped off a bit around 9mi and Assefa continued to sit on me until 11mi or so where he then made a couple small surges to try to drop me and we went back and forth a bit before he took the lead for most of last mile. We hit the track at 13mm and I had a strong kick to take 4th. Garmin had me at 4:00 pace for last .19mi! Pretty cool to outkick a 60/2:06 guy. Definitely happy with this for not doing specific training, where my fitness was at a month ago, and not an easy course.
Check out Eric’s impressive splits from the race:
:45 for .19mi
13.19mi in 65:48 (4:59/mi)
Brian Harvey finished 6th (2nd American) in 1:06:08, with Assefa finishing between him and Ashe. Whereas Eric had pretty specific goals, Brian’s were more general: “run with Eric and Ruben and race.” We can dig it. Here’s his take on how the action went down:
Started with Ruben and Eric with pack of four Africans in a pack ahead. We figured at least one would drop off and around 4 miles in we saw Raji Assefa (1:00:07/2:06:24 guy) fall back and we focused on gradually reeling him in. We caught him between miles 6 and 7 I believe and he latched onto us. They dropped me on the downhill before the 9 mile mark. Wish I would have gone with them there but easy to say that now. Maintained a similar distance behind them for next few miles – was still feeling relatively good but couldn’t the legs to move any quicker. Overall a pretty good and fun race. Feeling like we are in a good place with the Trials ~4 months away.
It looks like the big breaks between Eric and Brian were miles 9 and 13, where Brian ran 5:04 and 5:13 respectively. It shows you how competitive it was when a 5:04 mile means you’re falling behind.
Ruben Sança was 8th in 1:09:51, which at first seems pedestrian for the Olympian but once you learn what he was dealing with it starts to look much more impressive. From Ruben’s training log:
An awful result attributed to loss of training, left foot tendon pain and then straining my calf in the middle of the race. Had to stop, stretch and walk several times. Was glad that I was able to jog it in and hold on for top 10 but very disappointed with result.
Now that’s a gutsy race! It’s been a rough stretch for Ruben lately, one that saw his bid for a New England title derailed at the Seasons 20k in Acton by a quad issue. Although he recovered nicely for a fine race at the Lone Gull 10k, all these issues can’t be helping.
The women’s race was much closer than the men’s and also featured a couple of Kenyans battling it out to the finish. Mary Wacera just barely edged out Cynthia Limo, 1:10:21 to 1:10:22. As was the case for Salel, the win sealed the deal for Wacera’s Distance Medley title and accompanying big pay day.
Clara Santucci was the top American, 7th woman overall, in 1:14:23. Madeline Duhon of Somerville was the top local and the 8th woman overall in 1:17:22.
For the masters runners, Joseph Ekuom was tops in 1:16:19. Katy Kelly was the first masters woman in 1:28:49.
Senior runners Titus Mutinda and Evelyn Caron got top honors, with times of 1:17:49 and 1:29:07, respectively.