USA Track & Field has officially approved (ratified) Efraimsonâ€™s mark as a new U.S. Junior record.
The magnitude of Efraimsonâ€™s performance is reflected in the fact that Huddle is a two-time U.S. womenâ€™s outdoor 5,000 meter record holder. The 30-year-old Huddle set her current U.S. record of 14:42.64 this past July at a track meet in Monaco.
Efraimsonâ€™s Junior record-setting road 5K performance in San Jose would have been even faster, by approximately 8 to 10 seconds, had she not stumbled and briefly fell as she approached the Turkey Trot finish line.
â€śBreaking the record actually surprised me,â€ť Efraimson said. â€śIâ€™ve met Molly Huddle and sheâ€™s just an incredible competitor and person. So, Iâ€™m really honored to break the record of such a respected athlete.
â€śI was really proud about how I raced up until about the last 800 meters or so,â€ť said Efraimson (where she shared second place with womenâ€™s runner-up Emily Infeld behind Ethiopiaâ€™s Buze Diriba, the eventual winner). Then my legs started getting really heavy. Itâ€™s happened before. Iâ€™m still pretty new to the 5K distance.â€ť
As a Junior at Camas (Washington) High School, Efraimson ran American high school records of 9:00.16 for 3,000 meters indoors and 4:33.29 for 1,600 meters. She earned a bronze medal in the 1,500 meters at the 2013 IAAF World Youth Track and Field Championships and won the 2013 Nike Cross Country Nationals high school championship meet.
Last August, Efraimson announced that she had signed a professional running contract with Nike and would forego the remainder of her high school athletic eligibility. She has her sights on beginning collegiate studies at Oregon State University or the University of Portland in the fall while continuing her pro running career.
â€śThe Turkey Trot was probably the first time that Iâ€™ve really gone all out and raced hard from the beginning,â€ť Efraimson said. â€śSo, it was a really good experience and I learned a lot from it. Although Iâ€™m a little disappointed with the final result, it was still fun to get out there and run against great competitors.â€ť
Efraimsonâ€™s mom, Chantel, a triathlete and marathoner, and her coach, Mike Hickey, were present at the Turkey Trot to witness Efraimsonâ€™s performance. Hickey has coached Efraimson through high school. The teenager hopes to work out with elite athletes at the Nike Oregon Project, who are guided by famed distance runner and coach Alberto Salazer, as her school schedule allows.
The overall winners of the elite 5K races at the 2014 Applied Materials Silicon Valley Turkey Trot were Garrett Heath (Seattle, Wash.) in 13:52 and Ethiopiaâ€™s Buze Diriba in 15:33. The all-time race records are held by Kenyaâ€™s Stephen Sambu (13:28, 2012) and U.S. Olympian Kim Conley (15:29, 2013). With 26,129 entrants in all races, the Silicon Valley Turkey Trot grew once again. Plus, this yearâ€™s event raised over $900,000 for the local charity organizations that are beneficiaries of our event. This brings the ten year total raised by the Turkey Trot for these charities to well over $5 million.
The Silicon Valley Leadership Group Foundation founded and produces the Applied Materials â€śSilicon Valley Turkey Trotâ€ť 5K and 10K family fun runs and competitive races on Thanksgiving morning in downtown San Jose. Proceeds from the Turkey Trot benefit the Second Harvest Food Bank of Santa Clara and San Mateo Counties, the Housing Trust Silicon Valley, Healthier Kids Foundation Santa Clara County, Second Harvest Food Bank Santa Cruz County, and The Health Trust.
Visit the Applied Materials Silicon Valley Turkey Trot web site at http://svturkeytrot.com/