Tag: Zach Hine

.US champs

The .US National Road Racing Championships (results) were held back on November 17th in Alexandria, VA and several athletes with local ties did quite well there. A couple of them even did better than anybody had before. Ever.

Both Molly Huddle and Shalane Flanagan went under the 12k world record. Although Shalane was pushing the pace early it would be Molly who came out on top, running 37:49 compared to Shalane’s 37:57. It was a little confusing as to what record was broken and who held it, since some articles seemed to say American record, others that it was a world best. That led me to believe that Kastor held the world record, but she didn’t. Here is the nitty gritty:

Old world record: Lineth Chepkurui 38:10
Old American record: Deena Kastor 38:24

There’s a good piece over at Competitor (by David Monti) that explains it and summarizes the race.

The triple points earned in this race were enough to propel both Molly and Shalane past Mattie Suver, who had a strong grip on the top spot, for the season standings. was named the USATF athlete of the week. Huddle and Flanagan finished 1-2 with 60 and 51 points, respectively, while Suver dropped to third with 47 points. As if the week couldn’t get any better for Huddle, she was named the USATF Athlete of the Week.

A couple of other locals placed in the standings as well: Katie DiCamillo finished tied for 19th for the year with her 16 points, followed by Katie Matthews and Sheri Piers, who both scored 6 points and ended up tied for 39th place.

Speaking of Matthews, she did quite well at the 12k to wrap up the circuit. Katie finished 10th in 40:22 and was the youngest finisher in the top 20. Matthews responded to a couple of Level questions after the race:

Having debuted in the half not too long ago, did you have more confidence about your strength going into this 12k?

“I did have confidence regarding strength going in to the 12k after running the half marathon. The half marathon was so new for me though that I figured I would feel more comfortable in the 12k than I did in that half.”

How did things play out over the last couple of miles?

“In the last few miles the chase pack that I was with sort of strung out and I ended up being almost alone between the women, which made it tough. Dealing with being alone like that and still pushing when the race is at it’s hardest part is something that I need to work on. I think I lost track of my pace and let it slip a little more than I should have. Those miles are when I need to be picking up the pace and not slacking off!”

In the men’s race, it was Aaron Braun taking it in 34:27. Tim Ritchie continued to assert his presence at the front of these elite fields with another strong race, this time running 34:45 and finishing 6th. Tim went on the Level after and answered a couple of questions:

Not too much time between TCM and .US. For mere mortals that might not be enough time to recovery. Were you still feeling the marathon in your legs for this one?

“I had six weeks in between TCM and .US and had this 12k as the goal race all throughout the second half of the year. Therefore, the marathon was more of a step (granted a big step) along the way. That being the case, the approach to TCM was patient and controlled. In training, I was not going overboard so as to not be wiped out by the race, or unable to recover in time for the 12k, and in racing, I was relaxed and consistent throughout. Both of these were done consciously knowing that my season still had six weeks left. The course at TCM was favorable for recovery with minimal downhill and relative flat terrain for the first 20 miles. In the race I was able to run pretty even splits, negative splitting the second half. I think both the course layout and the whole ‘not-bonking’ thing really played well into the recovery. Had I gone into Twin Cities with the goal of winning or really tearing it up, I do not think I would have been able to bounce back as quickly. I took two weeks of light running after the marathon, followed by three weeks of normal mileage with a workout or two per week. In this last week, I rested up and cut things down to prep for the race on Sunday. I do not think I still had the marathon in my legs and I was ready on Sunday to give it my best.”

As you’ve said before, it usually comes down to one late move in these races. How were you able to respond this time?

“This race was controlled the whole way by eventual winner Aaron Braun. He took the pace early and kept inching it up the whole way. There was a big move at 5 miles or so which separated the top 4 from everyone else – I was in 5th at that point. As that group pulled away, I towed along another 5 runners or so until most of them passed me in the 11th kilometer. Finding myself in a disappointing 9th with 600m to go I knew I had to dig really deep. I began a lengthy kick which put me back up into 5th before finally being beaten out to take 6th in the last 30m. It was tough to see the top 4 and the win disappear at 8k and hindsight always makes you wonder if you could have stuck with it. At this point, I think that reflection is not going to get me anywhere, so all I can do is look forward. Though I wanted the podium, I was pleased with 6th, it was consistent with my performances all year on the USA Running Circuit. The year 2013 was the year of scoring points. I hope 2014 will be the year of winning races!”

If Tim’s answers don’t motivate you, then you might want to consider taking up another sport. I’m finding it hard to resist the urge to go out and do a tempo run right now. How can you not root for a guy like that?

Tim wasn’t the only member of Level Legion to run well that day. Pat Fullerton ran a 37:09 and finished in 19th place. Abdi Abdirahman finished in 23rd, so although Pat wasn’t up with the leaders he still got a scalp. It looks like Abdi had an off day, to say the least, but you still have to be in pretty good shape to get a guy like Abdi even when he’s not at his best.

For the year, Tim finished in 5th place with 47 points. Other notable guys with local ties: Ben True (11th), Chris Barnicle (39th), Pat Fullerton (43rd), Zach Hine (47th) and Brian Gagnon (54th). Overall it was Shadrock Biwott, with the help of the 12k triple points, coming in ahead of Matt Tegenkamp by a score of 88 to 69.


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.

Cragg, Hastings Win in Holyoke

Some big names came out for the 38th running of the Holyoke St. Patrick’s Road Race, and they did not disappoint. Local speedster Zach Hine (of South Hadley, but currently located out in Boulder, CO) was back to defend his title. Zach had his work cut out for him right from the gun, as Philemon Terer was ready to avenge last year’s loss. Added to the mix this year was Alistair Cragg, a two time Olympian and Irish national record holder.

Hine led the way for the first couple of tactical miles. The front of the race thinned out pretty quickly and just after the first mile it was already down to a pack of four. Zach would hold that position through three miles, but Cragg and Terer were starting to pull away by the fourth mile.

With just about a mile to go, Cragg made a decisive move on a downhill and gained some separation on Terer. Terer was not able to cover it, and Cragg just seemed to glide in the rest of the way. Alistair ran 29:20 for the 10k, followed by Terer (29:25) and Hine (29:28). Hine actually ran nine seconds faster than he did en route to winning in 2012, but it was only good enough for a third place finish this time around.

In the women’s race, Olympian Amy Hastings was more of a clear favorite. The race was also missing that element of a reigning champ returning to defend the crown as last year’s champion Brielle Chabot was recovering from an injury and not competing. Amy ran a 33:32 and won by well over a minute (Colleen Hogan was 77 seconds back with a 34:49).

The masters race was won by Joseph Ekuom (32:55), followed by Eric Nedeau and Kent Lemme. For the ladies it was Dawn Roberts in 41:23, followed by Mary Guertin and Kim Handzel.

Below is a video including race footage taken from the back of one of the lead trucks, and an interview with Bob Rosen. Bob is quite involved in the running scene out in Amherst, and he and his family have become very close with Philemon Terer. Also included are the pre-race thoughts of Sam Alexander:

For more on the race, including results and summaries, visit the race website.

Negative Splits: The Zach Hine Session

It doesn’t matter whether he’s based out of South Hadley, MA or Boulder, Co…Zach Hine is a beast who keeps putting up the quality performances out there on the roads. Zach’s name kept jumping out at me from the race results throughout 2011. In big races he was putting up big time performances in the area, such as:

  • Boston Marathon – 2:16:54 (16th place)
  • Falmouth Road Race – 33:42 (20th place)
  • CVS Downtown 5k – 14:18 (19th place, race doubled as the US 5k Road Race National Championships)

Zach’s spectacular performance in Boston was his meal ticket to the Olympic Trials marathon, where he ran another blazing 2:16:40 (good for 31st place). I didn’t know much about Zach, but I want to change that so he was one of the first people I reached out to regarding this workout series. It really was the perfect opportunity to not only give myself an introduction to his training, but also for Level Legion as well.

If you recall, Zack previously appeared on The Level in a weekend race report regarding a nasty 10k (29:37 on the roads). For his second appearance here, Zack will go in depth with us on this gem of a workout he did back on Monday, May 1st:

The workout: 4x 2km @ 73, 72, 72, 71 followed by 1km at 64

(That’s coming through the mile in 4:52, 4:48, 4:48, and 4:44)

6:03 – 72 mid
5:58 – 71 mid
5:56 – 71 low
5:53 – 70 high

2:40 – 64

It’s been a little over a month since I packed up and moved out to Boulder to begin working with Brad Hudson. I chose to come out here for several reasons. I had been training primarily alone in my hometown in Massachusetts and felt like I had gone stagnant. I had also been being coached over the phone and via email and while I enjoyed working with my old college coach, it was hard going about it that way. I wanted more interaction with my coach and I wanted some training partners.

I was also interested in experimenting with altitude as I had always trained at sea level locations and never really experienced any altitude. Since many of the best runners in the world train at altitude, I figured it was something I needed to check out. Brad had just started up a new group called Hudson Training Systems, which is a coaching service started up in Boulder that coaches people of all abilities, from recreational runners to elites. The elite group had been getting stronger every day, and was the top performing group at the Olympic Trials marathon. It was an easy decision to move out to Colorado and hop in with them. It wasn’t the easiest adjustment at first as it took a couple weeks to acclimate to the lack of oxygen up here. It’s hard to get dropped on workouts, especially when you thought you were fit, but I was able to survive those first few weeks and things have been going great since.

I picked this workout because it’s Brad’s signature workout leading up to a 10k and it’s a great predictor of fitness (even though my next race was a 25k rather than 10k). One of Brad’s strengths as a coach is being able to accurately assess where his athletes are in training and what they can run in competition, so I thought this one was appropriate

2k: For the first 2k repeat, the goal was to go out in 73 and come through the mile in around 4:52. Although I wasn’t feeling great on the warm up and drills, I ended up coming through the first 200 in around 35 and the first quarter in around 71. It’s always a good sign for me if I’m fast for the first segment of the first rep. It usually means the legs are feeling good and ready to run fast. I came through the first mile around 4:50 and ran a relaxed 73 to finish in 6:03. The next few repeats were similar in the execution. I was a second or two fast through the mile and was able to not have to push too hard on the last lap to hit the splits.

1k: The 1k, as Brad described it, was to be run simply “fast”. It’s a test of your aerobic engine, to see how hard you can run after already running what is considered a taxing workout. He had written 64-second quarter pace (although found out after he didn’t really expect me to run that, he just wanted me to go after it). I had done some strides around 32 second 200 pace before the workout began and they felt pretty fast so I thought I would really need to go out hard to hit that split. Apparently I underestimated the effects of warming up and getting into a rhythm as I came through the first 200 in 29 high, which I was unprepared for. I immediately backed off but still came through in 62. The next quarter I started to tighten up bad as I ran a 66 to hit the 800 in 2:08 (which ironically was right on pace). I somehow picked it up a bit to close in 32 and run right on pace at 2:40.

Overall, this was a great workout for me, especially at altitude. I felt like if I found the right track race I could have possibly hit the Olympic Trials standard. Although I haven’t figured out if I’ll go for the standard this season, it’s a confidence builder to know I could run this workout and I’m definitely in personal best shape. It’s just a matter of proving it in my next race, the USA 25k Championships. I think I’ve finally found the right training situation for me and look forward to seeing what the future holds.

The US 25k championships were run on May 12th, so we already know that Zach finished in 4th(!!!) place with an impressive 1:16:39. It sounds like the move to altitude is paying off big already, and the Level is excited to see how much Zach will improve with more time out there. He’s representing New England quite well and with workouts like that he’s clearly On The Level.

Contact Form Powered By : XYZScripts.com