Tag: BAA Half

Barnicle Gears Up For Frankfurt

Chris Barnicle just recently finished 12th overall and was the third American at the BAA Half Marathon, running a 1:04:29 and attaining the 2016 Olympic Trials marathon ‘B’ standard. Chris currently lives in Mammoth Lakes, CA and competes for the prestigious Mammoth Track Club.

Before running for the professional club, Chris competed for Coach McDonnell at both the University of Arkansas (undergrad) and University of New Mexico (grad school). If we go back even further, we’d see that Chris got his start at Newton North High School in Newton, MA. Ah, another local runner making a splash on the national scene. With Chris in town for the big race, we got in touch with him for a quick interview.

Chris lurks over an opponent's shoulder at the CVS 5k back in '08. Damn, we need to get more up to date photos. This one courtesy of Scott Mason Photo.

Chris lurks over an opponent’s shoulder at the CVS 5k back in ’08. Damn, we need to get more up to date photos. This one courtesy of Scott Mason Photo.

How had training been going and what was your PR coming into it?

My training had been going really well. I’m preparing for my first marathon and had a really good stretch where training was just perfect for a few weeks and my confidence was really high. But at the same time, I hadn’t really started a taper and was coming off a 110 mile week at 8,000 feet where I live in Mammoth Lakes, California and the Sunday before had hammered a 24 mile long run that was still in my legs a little bit on race day. My PR for the half marathon is 62:43 from the Philadelphia Rock and Roll in 2011, which is a blazing fast course compared to the BAA Half.

How did it feel to run so well on your home turf?

Coming back to Franklin Park to race for the first time since 2004 to race was incredible. The last time there was for the Class A Eastern Mass Cross Country Championships. The night before Boston got hit with a nearly a foot of snow and racing the next day in those conditions made things interesting for sure. My high school team, Newton North, came up with the win which gave us the confidence to win the next weekend at the state championship so coming in with that blissful memory made racing there even more enjoyable. With my legs a little tired from marathon training I didn’t know what to expect. It was a great moment when I came into White Stadium and the announcer told the crowd I was a Massachusetts Native. The crowd definitely carried me a little bit when they heard that which is always incredible.

How did the race progress for you?

Going into the race and knowing that my legs were a little tired and that the course was more challenging than other half marathons course I’ve raced on I just decided to go out on PR pace and hope my strength might carry me to the finish. Aaron Braun and I raced together clicking off about 4:45 pace through 7 or 8 miles. Around nine miles coming over some of the hills past Jamaica Pond the legs were definitely regretting those earlier quicker miles. I just did my best to hang on as much as possible after that. Coming back into Franklin Park Zoo my legs were really hurting. Some of the tight turns in there really stress the body after running 12 miles before, but I tried my best to keep strong and get to the finish. I’m still shocked out how fast Lelisa Desisa ran on that course. On a fast course I definitely feel like he could have challenged the world record.

How often do you come back to Boston to race?

I don’t come back home to Boston to race enough. Usually when I come home around Christmas time I jump in at least two BU mini meets. I’m not always in the best shape that time of year but the BU indoor track is faster than any other track in the country so it’s always fun to jump in a race there and see if the legs have any turnover. This coming April though I’ll be racing the Boston Marathon which is a dream I’ve had since I was fourteen and started running.

What’s coming up?

Coming up is the Frankfurt Marathon where I’ll make my debut at the distance. I’m going into the race with goals but also will walk away from the race with a new respect for the distance that I’ll carry with me to the 2014 Boston Marathon where I know the experience from Frankfurt will support me to a great performance back home in one of the most prestigious races in the world.

Blazing Debut For Matthews

The 13th Annual BAA Half Marathon was held back on October 13, 2013. With so many thirteens in that last sentence, it seems it would be an unlucky event. Not for Katie Matthews, who pretty much nailed it on her first attempt at the distance. Katie, who ran for BU and now runs for Saucony, ran a 1:14:29. That earned her a 6th place finish amongst the ultra competitive elite women’s field and also 28th overall. Most importantly, Katie earned the “B” standard for the 2016 Olympic Trials marathon.

What did you think of your first half marathon?

My first impressions of the half marathon are that it is a lot more tiring and uses less strategy than a 10k and doesn’t really call up any speed like in a 5k…it basically felt like a tempo run that was never going to end but with really long hills in there too. It was fun though because it’s less “intense” than a shorter race and it draws on different aspects of training such as mental strength and sustained focus. I think that these longer distances are where my future in this sport will veer towards, but I still want to get in some fast 5ks, 10ks, and maybe another 3k even in the next few years. The B.A.A. Half was such a fun event and I loved being able to run my first one right here where I live and am familiar with the area…although I had no idea we ran through the dirt paths in the zoo at the end, that was a surprise!

Was a trials qualifier one of the goals? is the marathon next?

I didn’t know that runners could qualify for the marathon Olympic trials in a half marathon, nor did I know that I even had the qualifier until I read it on Twitter later that day.  So it wasn’t my goal at all. My goal was just to finish the race! (Only slightly kidding!) I missed one of my best friend’s birthday parties the night before the race so I was going to be really upset if I missed going out for nothing! I don’t have any marathons planned but hopefully in the future I will try one. The majority of the advice I have been given from my coach and experienced elite marathoners is to be patient in waiting a few years to tackle that beast. I think that I have a LOT of work to do before I could run a fast marathon and recover from it healthily.

How far into the race did the leaders start making moves?

If you consider Kim Smith’s 4:45ish first mile “moving” then the leaders started making moves in the first mile! I ran with Kristen for the first 6 miles are so, and we came through about 4:58 which was still fast. The leaders were a good bit ahead of us by mile 4 or so. At the 6th mile she told me she was going after the runner ahead of us so that is when I was more or less alone from the women and ran with a few of the guys around me which helped me out.

What do you feel you need to work on most after this race?

Finishing this race was a wake up call for just how much I still have to work on.  For example, I was hesitant to go with Kristen at that 6 mile mark because I didn’t know what the end of such a long race was going to feel like and how badly the hills would affect me. I am going to start introducing some longer workouts into my training and maybe some long runs. I decided to run the half marathon about 2 weeks before the race, so I did a few 13-14 mile runs/workouts in those weeks but I don’t typically run that many miles in one run. I don’t feel like I have that sustained strength yet that is so necessary in these races, I was so tired at the end! I want to be able to run the entire race at a faster pace and then still finish strongly and competitively. Also, I should run up more hills on a regular basis…those were killer.

Up next?

The .US champs in Alexandria, VA (12k Champs) and then the Manchester Road Race which I run every year since it is local to my home in CT.  Then I’m pretty sure I will be getting back on the indoor track come winter.

If you hadn’t seen it, this is the interview we did with Katie and Rich Peters after New England’s a couple of weeks ago, on the eve of her half debut:

Smith Cleans Up At BAA Half

Kim Smith captured yet another BAA Distance Medley championship (and $100,000 pay day) on Sunday. Kim took it out fast and then broke it open in the second half:

Together through 10 kilometers in 31:48.7, it appeared Smith and Kiros would race neck-and-neck through the final half of the contest. But moments before reaching the seven mile mark, Smith put any thoughts of a duel to rest. Pumping her arms ferociously, the three-time Olympian eased away from Kiros. A five second lead soon became ten seconds, then 34 seconds at the nine mile mark.

For more on the race itself, you can see the rest of the article (by Keebler/Lotsbom) on the BAA website.

Here’s a quick Q&A we did with the speedy New Zealander who now calls Providence home:

How did it feel to pull off the triple crown: won the race, set a course record and clinched the series again, all in one day?

It was a good day for me. It’s been a bit of a rough year with some injury setbacks so winning this race and the $100000 prize definitely helps make up for some of the disappointments I’ve had this year.

Did you have your sites set on the course record?

No I was really just focused on winning. I kind of just went for it the first half, dropped the other girls by half way and cruised in the last 4 or 5 miles. I feel like I could have gone quite a bit faster but with New York only three weeks away I decided to shut it down once I knew I had it.

How has training been going and who have you been running with?

My training has been going well the last couple of months. I was injured in May/June time and was kind of half training on the injuries thrn raced the Baa 10k while hurt, took two weeks off after that and since then things have gone pretty well. I’ve been doing a lot of my training with Amy Hastings Molly huddle and Katie d’camillo. It’s a great group to train with.

Any chance you’ll hop in a cross country race there this fall? What is your training focused on now that the Distance Medley is done for the year?

No chance, I hate cross country! I’m doing the NYC marathon.

Finally, a really serious one: which has the better Italian food, Federal Hill in Providence or the North End in Boston?

I have actually never had Italian food in the North End but I love federal Hill.

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