Where Your Dreams Become Reality
Hopefully, USATF lets runnerspace and/or flotrack put up the video of the end of this race, as it was a great race (see the final 4:36 of the women's 10k in the middle of this article). The expected coronation of Shalane Flanagan ended up being a great battle between her and Amy Yoder Begley.
The first final on the track began at 8:00 in the evening with a fairly large field of 23 athletes. Although the wind was slightly strong on the track, the temperature seemed great for a 10k. One lap into the race, the runners had already strung out and separated into two main packs.
Flanagan led the race through 800 in 2:30.3 and through 1,000 in 3:08. The 3,000 meter mark was passed in 9:29 and we were already down to 4 main players. The lead pack consisted of Flanagan, Begley, Katie McGregor and Magdalena Lewy-Boulet. At this point, the chase pack was already about 20 meters back and was being led by Providence-based Molly Huddle, who was one of just 3 women in the field (Flanagan and Yoder Begley were the others) to possess the Olympic A standard of 31:45.
The 4,000-meter mark was passed in 12:40.7, so 3:11 for that 1k. Thus far, Flanagan and Begley had been sharing the work, switching off the lead methodically almost every lap.
Four Together At 5k
The next 1k was passed in 3:10, leading to a 19:01 6k. Twenty minutes into the race, Begley and Flanagan decided it was time to get serious and they upped the ante with a 72.37 lap which instantly dropped McGregor. McGregor dropped to about 10 meters back. At this point, it was pretty clear who the World Championships team was going to be - Flanagan, Yoder Begley and McGregor, as McGregor already had the Olympic B standard and would go to Berlin as long as she didn't totally fall apart and give up her roughly 100-meter lead on Lewy-Boulet.
The question was who would win and who would finish 2nd. The pace then slowed as Flanagan and Begley seemingly rested for a furious finish. They'd hit 22:05.09 at 7k, which meant their 7th kilometer of 3:04.8 was the fastest up to that point of the night, before running the 8th k in 3:11.5 (25:16) and 9th k in approximately 3:08-mid. The last 1k would obviously be the fastest of the night, but the real fireworks didn't happen until the last lap.
The leaders next to last lap was a 73.08 and Yoder Begley had the lead as she'd taken it from Flanagan on the 21st lap and hadn't given it back. Their alternating of the lead roughly every 800 was a thing of the past. It was time to race.
Begley Surprises At Finish
Would we see another? Most probably thought yes but shockingly the answer was no. The BIG upset was going to happen. Amy Yoder Begley - 2009 USATF 10k champ. How does that sound?
Yoder Begley blitzed the final 400 in 67.19 to set a new stadium record of 31:22.69 to Flanagan's 31:23.43 (67.72 last lap).
Last 4 Minutes Of Women's 10k
Yet another victory for an Alberto Salazar-coached athlete. Alberto's athletes are on fire in 2009.
In Begley's post race interview, she commentated on her race and the rest of the track season: " I love being part of the OTC and Shalane and I just worked together ...We have seven more weeks to keep training hard ... I think this year is going to continue to be an amazing year."
She also told the Oregonian that she almost gave up when she was passed by Flanagan. "I almost gave up with 200 meters to go," Yoder Begley said.
Finals 1 Amy Begley Nike 31:22.69S 2 Shalane Flanagan Nike 31:23.43S 3 Katie McGregor Reebok 32:08.04 4 Magdalena Lewy Boulet unattached 32:20.45 5 Molly Huddle unattached 32:43.11 6 Amy Hastings adidas 32:56.20 7 Serena Burla RIADHA 32:56.40 8 Melissa Cook New Balance 33:02.90 9 Sally Meyerhoff unattached 33:03.19 10 Allison Grace ZAP Fitness 33:12.34 11 Katherine Newberry N Y A C 33:21.56 12 Jill Steffens New Balance 33:27.43 13 Kara Storage RUNOHIO R T 33:27.75 14 Melissa White Hansons-Brooks D P 33:34.64 15 Erin Nehus unattached 33:37.76 16 Tara Storage RUNOHIO R T 33:39.57 17 Danielle Domenichelli unattached 33:41.72 18 Catherine White Arkansas 33:42.55 19 Mattie Bridgmon Oregon 34:10.51 20 Clara Grandt West Virginia 34:13.76 21 Alissa McKaig ZAP Fitness 35:41.80 22 Aileen Conlon Nike Central Pk 35:51.52 -- Wendi Robinson Indiana DNF -- Lisa Koll Iowa State DNS -- Denise Bargiachi Arkansas DNS