Tag: Kim Smith


By Jim Dandeneau

Mason sanca karwoski new bedford

Ruben & Nick work together through the wind in New Bedford, courtesy of Scott Mason Photo.

History does repeat itself. 2011 New Bedford Half Marathon champions, Ruben Sança, Lowell, and Kim Smith, a New Zealand native and long time Providence, RI resident, dominated the 37th running of the New Bedford Half Marathon on a cold and breezy morning. Sança, who is returning to his 2011 form, pulled away from Whirlaway teammate and occasional training partner Nick Karwoski after 8.5 miles, cruising to victory in 1:05:50, just 24 seconds off his time from 3 years ago. Smith, a 3-time Olympian and New Zealand national record holder in the 3K, 5k, 10k, 1/2 marathon and marathon, utilized the race as a tempo effort, comfortably winning in 1:11:08.

Sança, 27, a 2012 Cape Verde Olympian in the 5000 meters, stated he felt “undertrained” leading into his prior race, the DH Jones 10 mile race in Amherst, MA and with the additional 3 weeks of preparation felt he made tremendous improvement. “I really like racing in New Bedford. While it’s only my second race here, I feel it is like running in Cape Verde with the large community there,” noted the University of Massachusetts-Lowell graduate who works full time at his alma mater as a business manager at Student Affairs who fits in workouts before and after work, usually totaling over 100 miles a week. “I’ve done some longer runs and longer tempo runs and been consistent…I’m only about 6 weeks into good solid training as opposed to 3 years ago where I had about 13 solid weeks. I really studied the course…I knew the first couple of miles and last few miles were going to be very windy” explained Sança who ran 30:08 (4:51/mile) in the 10K between 3.1 and 9.3 miles. “I’m going to speak with my coach” (UMass Lowell’s Gary Gardner) and decide upcoming training and perhaps an attack on the Olympic Marathon “B” standard of 2:18 as early as next month. “I’m really not sure, I have to do my homework,” cited the meticulous Sança.

Mason Smith New bedford

Smith was in a class by herself in New Bedford on Sunday, courtesy of Scott Mason Photo.

Smith, 32 a professional runner sponsored by New Balance, married 2009 New Bedford champion Pat Tarpy following the London Olympics, where she finished 15th in the marathon. A 4-time NCAA Division I NCAA champion while at Providence College, who is coached by legendary Friar guru Ray Treacy, is gearing up for next month’s London Marathon. In 2010, her initial 26.2 voyage in London, she ran 2:25:21. “I felt ok out there today, it was a bit breezier than when I ran here a few years ago. I had to do a tempo run and it’s easier to do with people, thus the reason for running….my coach wanted me to run between 1:11-1:12…” informed Smith who often meets up with professional runners Molly Huddle (who had a successful 1/2 marathon debut in New York City earlier the same day) and Amy Hastings.

Karwoski,  who recently moved to Brookline, was making his initial 13.1 jaunt, appeared satisfied with his performance. “I raced quite a bit indoors (4-3Ks and 2-5Ks) …I’ve worked out with Ruben enough where I know what kind of athlete he is,” noted the Dickinson College graduate. “The last 3 miles were pretty tough in the wind and up that hill. I’m going to Utah to do some skiing and then get ready for outdoors. I’ll do a few steeplechase races…hopefully Mt. Sac and perhaps Payton Jordan and see if I can qualify for USATF nationals in either the steeple and/or 5K.”

Dan Vassallo, 28,  who has shown tremendous consistency in New Bedford, finished 3rd  in 1:07:08 while Robert Gibson, 24, was 4th and pre-race favorite Eric Ashe, in the midst of a very heavy training block as he gears up for his Boston Marathon debut, finished 5th.

Andrea Walkonen, 27, a former Boston University All-American  ran a solid 1:13:12 (5:36 pace) to finish second while Hilary Dionne, 28, Cambridge, Ma, also gearing up for next month’s Boston Marathon, demolished her previous best in finishing in 1:14:52, was third. Erica Jesseman, 25, last year’s runner up and coming back from injury, was 4th while Katie Edwards, 31, was fifth.

In the men’s master’s division, Mike Galoob, 40, who appears to be everywhere, ran  1:10:44 to beat out last year’s runner up and fellow Rhode Islander Chris Magill, (who had raced the USA Masters Indoor national championship 2 days prior) by 31 seconds while in the women’s master’s division, new master runner Caroline Bjune of the BAA dominated the division running 1:25:10 over Whirlaway’s Christin Doneski.

The men’s team competition was won again by Western Mass Distance Project despite the absence of last year’s overall winner Kevin Johnson. Nicolai Naranjo, 25, ran a credible 1:07:59 for 6th overall while there was only a 23 second gap between their 2nd and 5th runners. On the women’s side, Dionne led the BAA women’s team to victory.

Also of note was Sarah Prescott  finishing her 100th consecutive grand prix race, quite an accomplishment. All seemed to go smoothly with tighter security in the Southeastern seaport.  In total, there were 2,846 finishers.

Big Weekend For New England

Lots happened this weekend, so let’s get right to it.

Gate River Run 15k

Served as the US 15k Road Championships. New England natives Shalane Flanagan and Ben True both stood atop the podium when the dust settled. Shalane set a new American record in the process. Just so happened to be working with her father Steve that day, and  I got the news from him first hand has he busted through the doors that morning proclaimed the news. It took forever for the official results to get posted so the makeshift sign isn’t exactly accurate, but it’s close. We think 47:03 will stand for some time.

Also Katie Dicamillo ran a 50:36 and finished 6th, and the BAA women’s team took second (led by Heather Cappello in 50:55).

For the men, Ben True ran a blazing 43:03 for the win, while fellow New Englanders Tim Ritchie (3rd, 43:24) and Chris Barnicle (6th, 44:26) also ran strong races and scored some series points. Ritchie’s BAA team also place second, as Ritchie was backed by strong races from fellow Unicorns Brian Harvey (24th, 46:17) and Sam Alexander (28th, 46:26).

NCAA Indoor Championships

The big story around here of course is Abbey D’Agostino. Abbey became the first woman to repeat the 3k/5k double, running 9:14.47 for 3k and 16:20.39 for 5k. Hope to have some more on this.

New Bedford Half Marathon

Ruben Sança and Kim Smith took the titles. LOTS to come on this one.

Olympic Athlete Joins New Bedford Field

Jim Dandeneau is proving to be the ultimate source! According to Jim, Kim Smith has decided to throw her hat into the ring in New Bedford this morning. The former PC standout (and Olympian) automatically becomes the favorite amongst the woman, and has some of the faster local men nervously looking over their shoulders.

Kim Smith ftr

Be sure to follow us on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram today as we’ll be getting live updates out as often as we can. We’ll be using Instagram for instant race video. Hopefully the cell service down there is up to task.

2013: A Look Back

by Jim Dandeneau

Outstanding Performances

a partial list

2013 was quite a year, especially here in New England. We saw outstanding performances on the track, road, cross-country, mountains and trails….. One of the most memorable moments for myself occurred January 26 at the Terrier Classic. It had been announced that 2012 Olympic silver medalist Galen Rupp would be running the mile and shooting for the American Record. After perfect pacing by his Nike Oregon Project training partner Dorian Ulrey, Rupp sailed home in 3:50.92…Not an American record but an amazing feat…..I don’t believe I’ve ever heard it so loud in there….

On same day, Abbey D’Agostino, running at the University of Washington Invitational showing of what was to come ran an outstanding 8:55.41 for 3000 meters….

Cain at the 2013 NB Indoor Games

In February, at the New Balance Indoor Games we saw 16 year old Mary Cain break the American Indoor 2 mile record in 9:38:68 and Henry Wynne of Staples, CT win the boys junior mile in 4:11.73 en route to an undefeated Indoor campaign.

March saw UMASS Amherst graduate Kevin Johnson run to a dominating victory at the New Bedford Half Marathon (1:06:04) following up his February win at the D.H. Jones 10 mile race. Bryant University cross-country and track & field coach won the women’s race as Steph Reilly pulled away in the last mile from Maine’s Erica Jesseman to win in 1:15:52. The Run Westfield downhill 5K proved a lightning fast course as the fastest ever 5K in New England was run by Kenya’s Simon Ndirangu in 13:16 with New Zealand’s Kim Smith running a blazing 14:48. Olympians Alistair Cragg (29:20) and Amy Hastings (33:31) won the 38th St. Patrick Road Race in Holyoke….And over at the World Cross-Country Championship in Bydgoszcz, Poland Hanover, New Hampshire’s Ben True ran one of the greatest races ever by a New England athlete finishing an incredible 6th in the snow/icy conditions to lead team USA to a silver medal.

We also marveled at Dartmouth College’s Abbey D’Agostino’s distance double (3K and 5K) winning the NCAA Indoor Championships and Northeastern’s Eric Jenkins sensational apparent runner up finish in the 3000 meters only to be controversially disqualified. Jenkins ran a blazing 26.69 last 200 meters. April was a month no one will ever forget here in New England with the Boston bombings. As we continue to heal and move on from that horrific event, it’s important to not lose sight of the tremendous accomplishments from that weekend. In the BAA 5K Kim Smith ran a victorious 15:16 to begin her second straight distance medley (and 100K payday) while Ethiopian Dejen Grebremeskel held off a game Aaron Braun to win in 13:37 while in the mile New Zealand’s Nick Willis (4:03) and the United State’s Brenda Martinez (4:52) cruised to victory…..In the main event, Ethiopian Rita Jeptoo was tactically unmatched running 2:26:25 for her second BAA title and countryman Lelisa Desista too strong winning in 2:10:22 for his 5 second victory.

April 2103 closed out with Boston University’s Katie Matthews running the 5000 meters in 15:44 at the Payton Jordan Invitational in Palo Alto, Ca finishing just ahead of Amy Hastings while Ben True ran a lifetime best 13:14:44 in winning the men’s 5k from American steeplechase record holder Evan Jager. Eric Jenkins ran a 20 year old American best 13:18:57. In the 10k, Braintree, MA native Sean Quigley ran an outstanding 27:50.78 with Newton’s Chris Barnicle finishing in 28:56.28.

May saw the 3 (arguably) best female distance runners in New England competing in the 1st New Balance Twlight meet with Abbey D’Agostino winning the 800 meters, Molly Huddle winning the 3000 meters, and Kim Smith, the 5000 meters. Chris Zablocki’s 50 lb rock training comes in handy as he not only wins the Cox Marathon in Providence (2:28:32) but the Vermont City Marathon in 2:18:23 beating 4 time winner Matt Pelletier after a spectacular sub 5:00 minute last mile. Katie Moulton wins her debut in Providence (2:53:46) with Heidi Westover winning Vermont in 2:42:02 despite running 7 minute slower than her course record. Former Stanford star Louis Luchini won the Portland Sea Dog Mother’s Day race from Robert Gomez with Erica Jesseman taking the women’s title.

Outstanding Individual Performances

Sam Alexander running a little XC

Breakthrough Women’s Performance of the Year... Erica Jesseman Hartford Marathon 2:38:13

Men’s Breakthrough Performance of the Year… Pat Fullerton 3:58.8 High Street mile. This was another one of the most shocking moments of the year to me…I knew the guy had talent but did not realize he had THAT kind of ability…

I had considered many performances including Sam Alexander’s 9th place finish at National Club Cross Country and Tim Ritchie’s 4th place USATF National Half Marathon Championship 1:02:28. Speaking of Sam, that truly was a tremendous race.

Ben True ran 3000m in 7:36.59 in Rieti (ITA)on 08.09.2013 and 5000m in 13:11.59 in Heusden-Zolder (BEL) on 13.07.2013. Not to mention that he almost won Falmouth too.  His World Cross race was unreal……(.I love the way he races)….Peyton Jordan 5K was also awesome when he outkicked Evan Jager…

The most shocking to me was Northeastern (now Oregon) Eric Jenkins indoor NCAA 3K runner up finish…..(he was DQ’d…certainly controversially) but what guts he showed! Also, his outdoor 5000 at Peyton Jordan (13:18) was sick…

Master women Christen Doneski What a year she had! Road Hill…She does it all…

Men’s Master…Chris Magill…He ran a sollid mile…won New Bedford 1/2 Master Division, good cross-country season….

Coach of the year: Eric Blake Central Connecticut. His cross-country squad defeated 40 other teams to win its first ever New England Collegiate Cross Country Championship *I believe this more surprising than Providence College Women’s cross-country team winning the NCAA Division I Championship

More on the year that was to come. Too much to contain in one post. Feel free to pass along anything on runners or races that we might’ve missed.

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.

BAA 10k & US Half Championship

Stephen Sambu and Mamitu Daska won the BAA 10k this past Sunday. The race was the second installment in the three part Distance Medley series.

In 2012, Geoffrey Mutai ran a blazing 27:29 and the first two runners broke 28:00. However, Sambu only needed a 28:06 to top Lelisa Desisa (28:15). The intense heat of the day just might have had a role in the slower times, as well. For a more in depth look at the race and the series, check out this excellent write up by Mike Keebler.

With that time, Sambu catapulted from 5th to 1st in the overall Distance Medley standings. Stephen now has a 26 second lead over second place Allan Kiprono. Nate Jenkins is the top area runner in the standings, currently sitting in 6th place.

Speaking of Nate, he continued on his comeback with another strong race, clocking 30:59 for ten kilometers. Nate was the fourth of a quartet of area guys that came in under 31 minutes. The group was led by Tadesse Biratu (Malden MA, 30:21), Mark Amirault (Walpole MA,  30:48), Dan Harper (Somerville MA, 30:55) and then Nate came in a few seconds later.

In the women’s race, someone beat Kim Smith! Mamitu Daska of Ethiopia ran a 31:45 and finished a whopping 1:49 ahead of Smith. Kim ran a 31:36 in winning the race last year, so it would seem that Smith possibly let Daska go and took it easy in the heat with her eyes on the bigger picture. It’s just speculation on our part, but Daska doesn’t even appear to be in the Medley standings and Smith is comfortably in first place still. After two events, Kim has a 71 second lead over second place Millicent Kuria of Kenya.

The top ten in the women’s race was chock full of locals. Besides Smith, who is based out of Providence these days, there was another five familiar faces putting up big races. They were:

4th place – Katie DiCamillo… 34:33
7th place – Mary Kate Champagne… 35:30
8th place – Hilary Dionne… 36:23
9th place – Aly Millett… 37:24
10th place – Kara Haas… 37:47

Kara Haas not only placed tenth overall, but she was also the top masters runner on the day. Not too shabby. Joseph Ekuom got top masters honors in the men’s race with his 33:21 effort.

Changing gears here a little bit, as some of you may know this entity known as Level Renner is almost two years old now. Naturally there are races that we’ve covered multiple times now and it’s interesting to see how much people have improved from year to year (including the video quality and the interview skills). One of the things that we especially love about it is getting an up close look at people as they try to make that leap to the next level.

Along that line, the US Half Marathon Championships were the day before the BAA 10k, and one local stud laid down an absolutely smoking time: Tim Ritchie.

Tim ran a 1:02:29 and placed 4th. That time put Tim a scant 67 seconds behind Meb (2nd place, 1:01:22) and 28 seconds ahead of Abdi (6th, 1:02:57). In 2012, Tim placed 5th with a 1:03:57 and Abdi won it all with his 1:02:46. Now Tim’s mixing it up with the Olympians a little more. That’s a lot of time to knock off in one year, and is no small feat.

Another guy with local ties, Chris Barnicle, ran an impressive 1:03:15 which got him into 10th place. That would’ve placed him much higher last year, so it’s obvious that this edition was much more competitive. The course was the same from year to year, which makes Tim leap even more impressive.

The race itself was one by Mo Trafeh in 61:17, but seeing the results from this race and then the BAA 10k results really made Tim’s achievement stand out. It was just last year that we interviewed Tim after he ran a 29:59 and placed 12th at the BAA 10k. Tim even wrote up a pretty good race report for the site.

Hatton, Harvey & Ritchie after the 2012 BAA 10k.

Hatton, Harvey & Ritchie after the 2012 BAA 10k.

After his marathon build up and then the sub-14 5k at Hollis, we were very interested in how he would do at the BAA 10k in 2013. Not realizing the timing of the two events, we were pleasantly surprised to see what he did for the half.

If a runner’s going to miss a local race, well missing it for a national championship is probably the most satisfying reason out there. That’s the type of news we love to deliver and hope to see much more of in the future.

BAA 5k

Yeah, I know. It’s been a few weeks. I had to post this before the JJ Ramble stuff otherwise I just would’ve found excuses to keep putting it off. Race coverage kind of took a back seat to everything else for a while, but it’s time to start getting back into the flow of what we do.

Dejen Gebremeskel (13:37) and Kim Smith (15:16) were the big winners in this first race of the 2013 BAA Distance Medley. Smith picked up where she left off last year by winning the first race of the series she dominated in 2012. The men’s field had last year’s series champ (Allan Kiprono) but he was a distant 4th. What it was missing was the 5k champion from 2012, but Ben True has other racing plans this spring. Gebremeskel put up a championship worthy performance and even came in four seconds faster than True did in 2012 (despite the ridiculous amount of turns on the new course).

In the footage above, you can clearly see Alistair Cragg looking strong out in front about halfway through. However, Cragg said afterwards: “I never felt good today. Hurt my achilles mid-week and limped into this one.” To still end up running a 14:07 and placing 8th in that stacked field is pretty incredible. It was only a couple of weeks prior to this that he ran a 13:24 in Westfield. When asked to compare the two courses, he deferred to Kim Smith, saying her times were a better representation.

Of the course, Kim Smith said, “Lots of turns on the new course for sure. I’m not very good at turns so I found it tough. Definitely not like the blazing fast Westfield course.” As a point of comparison, Kim ran a 14:48 in Westfield. That’s obviously not a big enough sample size to make any meaningful conversion, but then you can look at a couple other speedsters that ran both:

Brian Harvey – 14:11 in Westfield vs 14:25 in Boston
David Chorney – 14:31 in Westfield vs 14:29 in Boston

So taking that into consideration…it’s chaos! Chorney actually ran faster on the tougher course, and Harvey’s time didn’t slow much at all (although Harvey admittedly didn’t have his ‘A’ game in Westfield). Westfield performances really don’t have anything to do with what happened at this race, but it was interesting to make that analysis since there was a lot of discussion about the Westfield course afterwards (mainly about it being short).

One last quote about the course, this one coming from Jon Stanton, who knocked his time down to 19:42 and improved by over two minutes in the process: “I really like that it follows more of the marathon route.  It does seem odd to me, and correct me if I’m wrong, that a 3.1 mile race has more turns in it than the 26.2 mile race the following day.  It is alot of 90′s for such a short distance.  They probably offset the speed that was gained when they removed the hill for the first mile.”

The comparison of the plethora of turns in the 5k to the dearth of turns in the marathon really made it seem more ridiculous. But hey, it’s just another challenge. Where’s the fun in it if they’re all straight, flat and fast. Bring on the twisting hills!

Next up in the series: the BAA 10k, in June.

Screen Shot 2013-04-18 at 11.32.06 AM

Run (Fast) Westfield

The organizers of the Run Westfield 5k really knew what they were doing when they set this up and must have gotten exactly what they wanted. Set up a fast course, offer a lucrative prize structure and then watch the talented runners flock to you and lay down big PR’s.

Harvey, Chorney, Rupprecht & Murphy, bask in the glow of a fast race.

Harvey, Chorney, Rupprecht & Murphy, bask in the glow of a fast race.

Per the results posted on the web, there were just over 1,100 finishers, but a whopping twenty-one of those went under fifteen minutes!

Bob Rosen helped us fill in some of the gaps in coverage and provided ample notes to us from his vantage point on the lead vehicle. Bob is very close to Philemon Terer (5th) and Benard Langat (9th) and really knows his stuff.

About the course: it loses 90 ft from start to finish, but there’s actually a slight elevation gain of about  20 ft in the first mile. From that point on it’s basically flat with a slight downhill over the last mile.

As far as the race itself, it went out fast. Obviously. They went through the first mile in 4:18, but again that’s a slight uphill. Temps were mild with a slight tailwind (ideal conditions). Lead pack for the first mile: Simon Ndirangu (eventual winner) was right up front with Terer alongside, slightly behind. Alistair Cragg was a second behind (maybe), and then there was about a half dozen guys within two seconds of them.

Ndirangu asserted himself in the second mile and looked totally in control. Terer was with him, but they know each other from Kimbia. Knowing his opponent, and knowing that Terer isn’t a 5k guy must’ve given him more confidence. Cragg caught Terer just before mile two. Those two were back at it again only two weeks removed from their battle at the Holyoke St. Pat’s 10k, where Cragg took down Terer in the last mile. Ndirangu had 3 or 4 seconds on Cragg here. Two mile splits: Simon in the high 8:30’s, Cragg in 8:44ish, Terer in 8:46.

Over the last mile Ndirangu looked to be running away with it. Ndirangu kept kept his foot on the gas and put ten seconds on Cragg while Cragg opened up on Terer. Sang and Tefera overtook Terer in the last quarter mile, which is a huge loss for Terer. That drop in the results of only two spots cost him $1,500. Zach Hine had a huge PR and finished 6th, one spot out of the money.

For a little more about the course, we can find some good info from Rob Gomez’s race report:

I had scouted the course map a little before I arrived but during the warm up the potential for fast times really started to sink in. After cresting a small hill within the first quarter mile of the race, the course never went uphill again, instead dropping ever so gradually the first two miles and then more precipitously the last mile (although not so much as to cause a person to put on the brakes at any point). The one turn in the race comes in that same first quarter mile, and the wind (at least on this day) was fairly brisk and at our backs. Throw in perfect temps and a faster field than anything I’ve ever been a part of and… well, this happened:

Mile one: 4:33
Mile two: 4:34
Mile three: 4:43?, 29


That’s a PR of 44 seconds. In a 5k. It still doesn’t feel real.

That’s pretty crazy, but with a fast course and a tasty prize structure you’re bound to see things like that. Speaking of prizes, here’s how it broke down: $5k – 3k – 2k – 1k – 500 for both top five men and women. They also incredibly offered $500-400-300-200-100 to top five Westfield residents. When you see the WMDP boys celebrating in the video, you’ll know why. The three of them got a combine $1,200 for their troubles. That’s incredible.

Speaking of the WMDP boys, the Messer’s averaged 15:02. That’s unfair to say though, since then we’d be saying that Andrew Messer’s 15:20 was below average.

For the ladies, Kim Smith ran what appears to be the third fastest road 5k ever for a woman. We saw that and embedded in a good discussion here on Letsrun. Kim had an almost unbelievable 44 second cushion between her and her training partner Amy Hastings.

Shout out to the masters as well. Sheri Piers (of Dirigo RC & the top female American at Boston last year) and Kent Lemme (Greater Springfield Harriers) took home the titles there, running 16:29 and 15:13 respectively. Wow.

Here’s a look inside the numbers compared to other high level 5k’s around here:

4 guys broke 15:00 at Kerouac (14:46 won). This was held in September and was the USATF-NE 5k Championship.

29 broke fifteen at CVS (8 broke 14, winner was 13:52). Also held in September, this was the National Championship.

Here in Westfield, the top six broke 14, 21 total broke 15. Winner came in at 13:16, and the top six under Ben True’s winning time in September. Although

It might not have the challenges of a loop course, but it’s not without it’s merits. Without a doubt there’s going to be debate about the legitimacy of the course, but hopefully the course certification can put that to rest. It appears to be a legit length, and although it’s downhill, it’s not like running a down a ski slope. If this doesn’t excite you because it’s a downhill spectacle, maybe you just need to embrace it in the same way people embrace things like a home run derby. If anything it’s just fun to watch. Try telling anyone their Boston Marathon PR isn’t legit and see what they have to say about it. This race could very well be the next big thing around here. There’s not a lot of money in running so it’s good to see another race step up and offer some substantial prize money

Great course, excellent prize money, deep field. Can’t wait for 2014.

BAA 10k

I was out at the BAA 10k this past Sunday and put together an interview/highlights video. This was the first video project with my Mac, and although it wasn’t as effortless as I had hoped, it was definitely a marked improvement. With practice, hopefully things get better. I probably went through the entire cuss word dictionary throughout the process, and possibly even invented a few new ones. I’ll save the new vocab for a blog post on a slow news day. So here’s the video:

I basically was learning the iMovie software on my own as I did this, with help from some web searches, so it’s not bad for a beginner (I guess). However, I had a tutorial session at the Apple store this afternoon and I finally figured out how to do all the things I wanted to do with this video. Future videos should hopefully make this one look like a pile of puke.

Back to the race…I was working solo this one, just one man and his (er, his wife’s) camera. I still feel ridiculous conducting business with a pocket sized digital camera, but it gets the job done. As usual, I was a few minutes behind schedule leaving the apartment this morning so I decided to do a walk/jog combo to cover the two miles over to the start line at Boston Common. Not a good idea! My hip was killing me the rest of the day. When I was at church a few hours later, I was asked to help with the collections. To do so, you need to walk to the front and genuflect (basically the same move as a Tebow), and that just so happens to be the one thing that ignites my pain like no other (just my luck!). I almost couldn’t get up. I can’t even Tebow…this sucks.

Once at the race, I got a good position at the start and had some decent footage of the leaders making the turn onto Beacon St. Unfortunately I couldn’t get out to any other points, so I had to wait around for the action to come back to me.

I stopped by the Marathon Sports tent and caught up with the guys over there. It was a good time…too good, in fact; I completely lost track of time and just barely got to the finish area in time. I screwed myself over and was stuck on the wrong side. If I had given myself some more time I totally would’ve grabbed a spot on the other side of the street. Most of the time I was holding the camera up high over the crowd and hoping I had the right angle. Between the crowd and the solar glare, I was operating blind. Looking at the finishing footage though, I think I did alright.

Mutai looked like an absolute beast coming down Charles. That guys is just amazing, and it’s a shame he won’t be running in the Olympics. The rest of the field started coming along, and I stuck around long enough to catch the guys I knew up front and also to see the women’s leaders. After that I had to hustle (in a limping fashion) to find some people for post-race interviews before they scattered for their cool downs, etc.

When I finally did track down some people, they were on the other side of the dreaded security fence. Being an underground establishment, we typically don’t have media passes so I didn’t even bother asking her because I figured she’d say no anyway. Wrong! She wouldn’t even let me stand near the waist high barrier. I know she was just a volunteer doing her job, but come on! It’s not like she’s protecting POTUS, or even watching a gate at the Super Bowl. I was a little surprised by that.

Luckily for me, within seconds I was talking to Jenkins and Sança (still separated by the barrier), and the volunteer let me be after realizing I wasn’t a groupie. After about five minutes or so I happened to see Mike Pieroni come by and he let me in. I can’t thank that guy enough; he’s always been very nice and has helped me out a few times over the years.

Once inside the “VIP” area, it was time to get down to business. Business required me to pull out the aforementioned spy camera, which got more than a few odd looks from the people there with the serious equipment.

I decided to go with the roundtable discussion for the local crew for a couple of reasons: I didn’t think  I had enough time to get to all of them individually and I also didn’t think I’d have the time or the patience to edit that many interviews. The audio didn’t come out great, so lesson learned. It was a fun couple of minutes, and I just wish I could’ve included everything. There was an interesting discussion about BU and the area surrounding it, but it was left on the cutting room floor.

By the time I got to Kim Smith, Landon Peacock and Cole Atkins, I was starting to feel as unprepared as I actually was. It was a bit of a last minute decision to go down to the race at all, then add in allergies and my post-honeymoon funk and I was feeling like I just had a lobotomy.

Still, I was trying to fake it until I made it (as Jon Gugala advised me just that day through Twitter), but alas it wasn’t meant to be. Camera battery gave out on me as I was wrapping up with Cole and Landon. Nice…real nice. I must’ve made one heck of an impression on those guys!

All in all, it was good to be back on the racing scene and promoting the Level. It was worth the trip just to see the look on the faces of Ritchie/Harvey/Hatton as they received their Level shirts…like kids on Christmas! Can you blame them? It’s a sharp looking shirt!

Can’t complain about a day like that, not at all. Watching elite athletes compete, hanging out/talking shop with good people, meeting new people and doing it all in great weather…sign me up!

2011 New Bedford Winners Video

Just a little something to get you ready for tomorrow.

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