The most dominating American women on the roads is Molly Huddle. Watching her dominate the race yesterday, this viewer was once again convinced of Molly Huddle's talent and focus. In the cold and win, Molly Huddle won, with fourteen seconds margin! Next race for the winner of twenty-one U.S. championships: Molly Huddle is racing the 5,000 meters on the track in Eugene, OR on May 27. We present a fine story on the B.A.A. 5K by Barbara Huebner for the Boston Athletic Association:
www.baa.orgFor the first five years of the B.A.A. 5K, which was run for the first time in 2009, the women's race saw five different champions. But for the past three, the top step of the podium has been the sole province of Molly Huddle.
Although any chance of breaking the American record she set here last year was, literally, gone with the wind on a gusty, sunny spring morning in Boston, the 31-year-old Huddle easily captured her third-consecutive B.A.A. 5K win when she crossed the finish line in 15 minutes and 14 seconds, 14 seconds ahead of runner-up Buze Diriba (15:28) of Ethiopia. Finishing third was Caroline Chepkoech of Kenya (15:35).
"It was definitely a lot breezier and chillier this year," said Huddle, who took home $7,500 for the victory. "I think people wanted to stay closer together."
"That's what makes racing so much fun," declared Diane Nukuri of Burundi, who finished fourth (15:43). "You get to deal with everything."
The B.A.A. 5K course, considered one of the fastest in the country if not the world, begins and ends on Charles Street between the historic Boston Common and Public Garden, running up Commonwealth Avenue before making a U-turn and passing the Boston Marathon finish line as the final mile runs down Boylston Street.
In 2015, the torrid early pace of the leaders dragged Huddle to a 4:42 first mile, despite being in sixth place. This year, she led a pack of seven through the mile in 4:52, and soon thereafter began pulling away. That did not, however, mean that she had any desire to brave the wind alone.
"I was just trying to chase a few of the men from here," said the 21-time national champion and 2012 Olympian at 5000 meters. "But the guys in front of me were just a little too far ahead, so I was trying to reel them in and use them as a target." She went through two miles in 9:45.
Huddle said that she felt a little bad about tucking behind "a tall guy" on Boylston Street to escape the wind, but described him blowing her away in the last 200 meters.
"He beat me," she said, "so it's OK."
Next month, Huddle will head to Flagstaff, AZ, for a stint of altitude training before her next race, a 5000 meters at the Prefontaine Classic on May 27 where, she acknowledged, she has an eye on chasing her 5000-meter American record.
Finishing sixth was the last woman not named Huddle to win this race: Kim Smith, a three-time New Zealand Olympian who trains with Huddle under coach Ray Treacy in Providence, RI. Smith, 34, was competing for just the second time after missing most of the last two years after foot surgery, childbirth, and pulmonary emboli that landed her in intensive care weeks after the birth of Violet, now 10 months old.
Smith is also a two-time winner of the B.A.A. Distance Medley.
"I had to come and put myself out there and run hard," she said. "It's good to test yourself."
In a magnificent comeback of her own, Adrianne Haslet-Davis finished the race in 54:28. A dancer, Haslet-Davis, 35, lost part of her left leg in the 2013 bombings at the finish line.
But it's not the only race she has on her immediate agenda. When she encountered the Marathon finish line yesterday in the final mile, the winner of the 2016 Boston Athletic Association's Patriots' Award asked a running companion to carry her over it, preserving the emotional moment of crossing it under her own power for when she finishes the Boston Marathon on Monday afternoon.
ABOUT THE BOSTON ATHLETIC ASSOCIATION (B.A.A.)
Established in 1887, the Boston Athletic Association is a non-profit organization with a mission of promoting a healthy lifestyle through sports, especially running. The B.A.A.'s Boston Marathon is the world's oldest annual marathon, and the organization manages other local events and supports comprehensive charity, youth, and year-round running programs. Since 1986, the principal sponsor of the Boston Marathon has been John Hancock Financial. The Boston Marathon is part of the Abbott World Marathon Majors, along with international marathons in Tokyo, London, Berlin, Chicago, and New York City. More than 60,000 runners will participate in B.A.A. events in 2016. The 120th Boston Marathon will be held on Monday, April 18, 2016. For more information on the B.A.A., please visit www.baa.org.