The Molly Huddle Show Rolls On With 31:21 Win At USATF Road 10K Champs In Boston

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By Jonathan Gault
October 12, 2015

BOSTON — Four was the number of the day on Boston Common this afternoon. When Molly Huddle crossed the finish line in a course-record time of 31:21, it represented her fourth title here at the Tufts Health Plan 10K for Women, which also doubled as this year’s USATF women’s 10k road championships. The victory was also her fourth in a row at a USATF Running Circuit Event in 2015 after wins at the 20k, 5k and 10-mile champs in recent weeks. And fourth, of course, was Huddle’s place in the 10,000 meters at August’s IAAF World Championships in Beijing, which preceded her recent run of dominance on the U.S. road circuit.

The top three Americans in Boston (from left to right), Sisson, Huddle and Conley

The top three Americans in Boston (from left to right), Sisson, Huddle and Conley

Huddle said that that result in the Bird’s Nest, where she missed out on a medal by just .09 of a second after a slight let-up allowed Emily Infeld to pass her at the line, has motivated her a little bit, but the main reason behind her American tour is that “it just feels good to run hard right now.” The final stop on the Huddle Express will come on November 15 at the .US National 12k Championships in Alexandria, Va., where Huddle will look to add her fifth U.S. road title of 2015. More impressively, a win in Alexandria would be her 12th consecutive in a U.S. road championship — she hasn’t lost one since Janet Cherobon-Bawcom defeated her in the 15k champs in March 2012.

Huddle wasted no time asserting her will on the field, hitting the mile mark in 5:00, right on goal pace as she attacked Shalane Flanagan‘s 31:03 U.S. road record. As Huddle ran onto the Harvard Bridge just after the mile, only Ethiopian Sentayehu Ejigu whom Huddle edged for the B.A.A. 5k title earlier this year in Boston — was still with her, but even Ejigu could not hang with Huddle for long once they crossed the Charles River into Cambridge.

At two miles (9:58), Huddle had a 10-meter lead and that quickly ballooned as Ejigu fell back and was caught by Emily Sisson in second. At that point, Huddle was forced to press alone along tree-lined Memorial Drive, and she knew any chance she had of eclipsing Flanagan’s record had evaporated.

“I knew I couldn’t do that alone,” Huddle said. “I was hoping if I was running 5:00 pace that there would be Sentayehu or someone to help, but once I got to two miles, I kind of knew it would be a big order to maintain that. So I just tried to run hard, as hard as I could…I usually need a race to get my best.”

With the win assured and the record unattainable (she passed 5k in 15:37), Huddle could have coasted in to the finish, but she elected to press on, wearing a determined expression as she chased the press truck back across the Harvard Bridge and into Boston’s Back Bay. Running along Commonwealth Avenue, Huddle had almost a full city block’s lead on Sisson in second, who in turn had a sizeable 100-meter gap on the rest of the field. Shortly thereafter, she made the turn onto Boston Common, breaking the tape on Charles Street in 31:21, 12 seconds under Ejigu’s course record set three years ago.

Rather than celebrate her victory, Huddle’s first action after crossing the finish line was to bend over in exhaustion. The conditions — 68 degrees and sunny, without a cloud in the sky — were perfect for spectating on a beautiful fall day in Boston, but a little too warm for running. Huddle was clearly uncomfortable before turning around to cheer on training partner Sisson, who also struggled with the heat, staggering around the finish area after taking second in 32:18. Ejigu held on for third, narrowly outkicking 2014 USATF 10,000 (track) champ Kim Conley, 32:37-32:38.

Top 20 results
 1. Molly Huddle, 31, Providence, RI           31:21 ER/CR/PB  $4300 + 7750a
2. Emily Sisson, 24, Providence, RI           32:18       2900 + 4750a
3. Sentayehu Ejigu, 30, ETH                   32:37       2500
4. Kim Conley, 29, W. Sacramento, CA          32:38       3750a
5. Brianne Nelson, 34, Golden, CO             32:48 PB    3200a
6. Monicah Ngige, 21, Lansing, MI (KEN)       32:52
7. Rochelle Kanuho, 25, Flagstaff, AZ         33:04       2950a
8. Hannah Davidson, 25, Saratoga Springs, NY  33:06 PB    2350a
9. Alisha Williams, 33, Golden, CO            33:08       1900a
10. Katie Matthews, 24, Brighton, MA           33:09       1700a
11. Kellyn Taylor, 29, Flagstaff, AZ           33:14       1600a
12. Liv Westphal, 21, Chestnut Hill, MA (FRA)  33:26
13. Mattie Suver, 28, Colorado Springs, CO     33:34       1500a
14. Rachel Johnson, 22, Waco, TX               33:34 DB
15. Sarah Pagano, 24, Brighton, MA             33:42
16. Emma Bates, 23, Brighton, MA               33:54 DB
17. Tara Welling, 26, Portland, OR             34:07
18. Gabi Anzalone, 21, Madison, WI             34:12
19. Alycia Cridebring, 23, Pleasant Hill, CA   34:26
20. Bridget Lyons, 27, Atlanta, GA             34:28
a = Earned American Championships prize money
m = Earned Masters prize money

Quick Take #1: Molly Huddle has made a very nice living in 2015

In one of LetsRun’s Week that Was articles last year, we pointed out how much prize money Huddle took down in 2014 — $128,000. Well after today, she’s on pace to break that in 2015.

DateRaceResultPrize Money
3/15/2015NYC Half Marathon1st (68:31)$20,000
4/18/2015B.A.A. 5K1st (14:50)$12,500*
6/25/2015USATF Outdoor Champs 10k1st (31:39)$7,000
7/25/2015Sainsbury’s Anniversary Games 5k2nd (14:57)$6,000
8/24/2015IAAF World Championships 10k4th (31:43)$15,000
9/7/2015USATF 20k Champs1st (66:26)$10,000
9/20/2015USATF 5k Champs1st (15:12)$7,000
10/4/2015USATF 10-Mile Champs1st (51:44)$22,000
10/12/2015USATF 10k Champs1st (31:21)$12,050
Year to date: $111,550

* T-Mobile CEO John Legere offered Huddle an additional $5,000 for breaking the American record after the B.A.A. 5k but we don’t know whether Huddle accepted it.

Huddle can take home an additional $20,000 for winning the .US 12k champs next month, plus a bonus of indeterminate amount for winning the USARC series (which she currently leads and will clinch with a win in Alexandria). Last year, that bonus was $25,000, so if Huddle wins the 12k champs, she could be looking at a total of $156,550 solely in prize money this year (plus another possible $5,000 from Legere). Of course, Huddle likely cost herself a significant amount in present/future sponsor bonuses by missing a medal in Beijing, but once you factor in the bonuses she did earn and her base salary, she’s got to be looking at somewhere in the $300k-plus range in 2015 earnings. Not bad at all.

How much did Huddle’s let up in Beijing cost her? Likely close to six figures. Most endorsement deals for top U.S. pros include bonus clauses for medals. One agent estimated Huddle’s might be $40,000. But that bonus rolls over into your base until the contract is over. So if she’s signed through 2016 (most deals end in Olympic years), you’re looking at $80,000 in endorsement income alone ($40,000 x 2) and there was a $5000 difference in prize money between third and fourth.

Quick Take #2: Huddle on the marathon: “If it were up to me, for sure, next year”

I caught up with Huddle after the race (interview below) but the most interesting thing I learned from her came later, off-camera. Many have suspected Huddle will make her marathon debut sometime in the near future, and she confirmed that the marathon is very much on her mind.

“Next fall would be great” for a debut, Huddle said, adding that there are still details to be ironed out before she can 100% commit to running a marathon. If she were to run one next year, Huddle said that she’d like to do it at an American race.

“New York has always had an allure,” Huddle said, adding “Chicago and Boston are great too.” Huddle has traveled to New York City in the past to watch training partner Kim Smith compete (Smith raced NYC in 2010, 2011 and 2013) and said she has always enjoyed the experience. Huddle also watched Chicago as a spectator while in college at nearby Notre Dame and has competed at the B.A.A. 5k over Boston Marathon weekend each of the past three years.

New York would be the obvious choice for Huddle to debut. She’d receive a huge appearance fee and the date (November 6) would allow her to run a track season and compete at the Olympics (the 10,000 final is on August 12) and still get in a solid buildup. Nothing is set as of yet, but it would not be a surprise to see Huddle on the start line in the Big Apple next November.

Quick Take #3: Emily Sisson celebrated her 24th birthday with a runner-up finish today

Sisson said that the race felt a bit harder than she expected it to as she underestimated the heat, but was pleased overall with her result. Sisson knew she had a very small chance of beating Huddle today but hopes to one day reach her level by making consistent yearly progress, just as Huddle has.

“Molly’s just on another level,” Sisson said. “I’m happy to see her have success and I’m proud to finish second to her.”

Sisson has now run two great races in a row (she was third at the U.S. 5k champs last month behind Huddle and Flanagan) and she said that’s the result of a much-needed break she took after the London DL meet in July.

“[The NCAA season] is a long season. I was talking to a lot of the girls, we all needed a break after that I think. It helped us, I think, a lot to get healthy and feel fresh coming into our pro careers.”

Next up for Sisson is the .US 12k champs and then the Manchester Road Race on November 26.

Quick Take #4: A “good intermediate step” for Kim Conley

Conley, who preceded Huddle as USA 10,000 champ on the track last year, opened up 2015 by winning the U.S. Half Marathon champs in January but missed the entire track season due to injury. She was pleased with her result today after she was fifth in the 5k champs last month, but it was clear that Conley is itching to return to her 2014 form that saw her PR in every event from the mile to the 10k.

“I struggled a little bit with the patience of coming back to the same level that I was at before the injury,” Conley said. “This was much better than CVS just a few weeks ago so I have to take that and look ahead and be happy with moving forward but I still want more.”

Conley has some options heading into the 2016 Olympic year. She made the 2012 team at 5,000 in dramatic fashion and then made the World Champs team at the same distance the following year before stepping up and winning her first national title on the track at 10,000 in 2014. And her victory at the U.S. Half Marathon champs shows that her range extends even farther than 10k.

Conley said the plan as of now is to run the Olympic standards for both 5,000 and 10,000 and then she’ll make a decision in June/July about what event to run given the competition she’ll face at the national and international level.

Quick Take #5: Joanie ran this one

58-year-old Joan Benoit Samuelson agonized over the weekend about whether she should run the Bank of America Chicago Marathon after a vicious stomach virus caused her to lose a lot of strength. She ultimately decided not to but was able to run the shorter 10k here today. She ran 39:02.

Being entered in both the Tufts 10k and Chicago Marathon isn’t unusual for Samuelson. Back in 1985, she actually raced this race (the first year that Tufts Health sponsored it) and won in it on a Monday in 31:49, before setting her 2:21:21 American record in Chicago on Sunday.

Discuss this race in our forum: *MB: Molly Huddle does it again – She just dominated Tufts Health Plan 10k for Women – 31:21 FTW!

Deeper Results via Race Results Weekly
1. Molly Huddle, 31, Providence, RI           31:21 ER/CR/PB*  $4300 + 7750a
2. Emily Sisson, 24, Providence, RI           32:18       2900 + 4750
3. Sentayehu Ejigu, 30, ETH                   32:37       2500
4. Kim Conley, 29, W. Sacramento, CA          32:38       3750a
5. Brianne Nelson, 34, Golden, CO             32:48 PB    3200a
6. Monicah Ngige, 21, Lansing, MI (KEN)       32:52
7. Rochelle Kanuho, 25, Flagstaff, AZ         33:04       2950a
8. Hannah Davidson, 25, Saratoga Springs, NY  33:06 PB    2350a
9. Alisha Williams, 33, Golden, CO            33:08       1900a
10. Katie Matthews, 24, Brighton, MA           33:09       1700a
11. Kellyn Taylor, 29, Flagstaff, AZ           33:14       1600a
12. Liv Westphal, 21, Chestnut Hill, MA (FRA)  33:26
13. Mattie Suver, 28, Colorado Springs, CO     33:34       1500a
14. Rachel Johnson, 22, Waco, TX               33:34 DB
15. Sarah Pagano, 24, Brighton, MA             33:42
16. Emma Bates, 23, Brighton, MA               33:54 DB
17. Tara Welling, 26, Portland, OR             34:07
18. Gabi Anzalone, 21, Madison, WI             34:12
19. Alycia Cridebring, 23, Pleasant Hill, CA   34:26
20. Bridget Lyons, 27, Atlanta, GA             34:28
21. Meghan Peyton, 29, Minneapolis, MN         34:29
22. Nicole Dimercurio, 24, Greenville, SC      34:34
23. Lianne Farber, 23, Sacramento, CA          34:36
24. Dot McMahan, 38, Rochester, MI             34:42
25. Brittni Hutton, 26, Alamosa, CO            34:42
26. Cally Macumber, 25, Rochester, MI          34:44
27. Laura Batternik, 30, Evanston, IL          34:45
28. Alicia Nelson, 24, Alamosa, CO             34:56
29. Wendy Thomas, 36, Windsor, CO              34:58
30. Dani Miller, 23, Rochester, MI             34:59
31. Maor Tiyouri, 25, Concord, MA              35:04
32. Rachel Mitchell, 24, Sacramento, CA        35:12
33. Megan Goethals, 23, Minneapolis, MN        35:14
34. Katie Dicamillo, 28, Providence, RI        35:17
35. Keely Maguire, 25, Newmarket, NH           35:18
36. Jen Rock, 25, Macomb, MI                   35:18
37. Alison Parris, 27, Greenville, SC          35:20
38. Melissa Johnson-White, 34, Lake Orion, MI  35:21
39. Mara Olson, 22, Boulder, CO                35:22
40. Katy Moen, 23, S. Saint Paul, MN           35:47
41. Weynshet Weldetsadik, ETH                  35:48
42. Katie Kellner, 24, Rochester, MI           35:58
43. Janel Blancett, 27, Atlanta, GA            35:52
44. Gina Valgoi, 24, Saint Paul, MN            35:56
45. Melanie Brender, 23, Rochester, MI         35:58
46. Lauren Sara, 23, Atlanta, GA               36:15
47. Whitney Bevins, 34, Boulder, CO            36:17
48. Taylor Bickford, 22, Cambridge, MA         36:29
49. Erin Dietz, 18, Bedford, MA                36:34
50. Sinead Haughey, 22, Blowing Rock, NC       36:40
51. Morgan Vangorder, 25, Atlanta, GA          36:46
52. Tansey Lystad, 22, Boise, ID               36:49
53. Kim Webster, 39, Framingham, MA            36:57
54. Caroline Williams, 23, Westfield, NJ       37:05
55. Erin Dromgoole, 36, Newton Center, MA      37:09
56. Brianna Castrogivanni, 23, Bridgeport, CT  37:15
40+ Joan Benoit Samuelson, 58, Boston, MA      39:02   1050m
a = Earned American Championships prize money
m = Earned Masters prize money
*Event Record; previous 31:33, Sentayehu Ejigu, 2013. Also Championships Record; previous 31:46, Marla Runyan, 2002

Team Results:
1.  Boston Athletic Association                $800
33:09   33:42   33:54  =  1:40:45
Katie Matthews, Sarah Pagano, Emma Bates
2.  adidas Rocky Mountain Elite                $600
32:47   33:08   34:56 (35:22) = 1:40:51
Brianne Nelson, Alisha Williams, Alicia Nelson, Mara Olson
3.  New Balance NorCal                         $500
32:38   34:26   34:36 (35:12) = 1:41:40
Kim Conley, Alycia Cridebring, Lianne Farber, Rachel Mitchell
4.  Hansons-Brooks Distance Project A          $400
34:42   34:44   35:18 (37:46) = 1:44:44
Dot McMahon, Cally Macumber, Jen Rock, Bethany Sachtleban
5.  Team USA Minnesota                         $350
34:28   35:14   35:47 (35:56) = 1:45:29
Meghan Peyton, Megan Goethals, Katy Moen, Gina Valgoi
6.  Hansons-Brooks Distance Project B
34:59   35:20   35:50 (35:58) = 1:46:09
Dani Miller, Melissa Johnson-White, Katie Kellner, Melanie Brender
7.  Atlanta Track Club Elite
34:28   35:52   36:15 (36:46) (38:13) = 1:46:35
Bridget Lyons, Janel Blancett, Lauren Sara, Morgan Vangorder, Allison Moore


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