Women’s Race: Rowbury Caps a Great 2009 Season
last year--when Rose Kosgei blazed through the uphill first half-mile
in 2:11--the women’s race began conservatively this year.
Erin Donahue took a tight pack through the quarter-mile in 1:06, and then the halfway point in 2:15. During
the third quarter, Sarah Hall, Lisa Dobriskey, Christin Wurth-Thomas
and Rowbury emerged in front as Donahue faded. They passed the
three-quarter mark in 3:20.
200 meters left, Dobriskey attacked. She gained a slight edge, but
Rowbury overtook her around the 1500-meter mark. And in a reverse of
last year’s race, Rowbury crossed the line first with Dobriskey as
runner-up. But Hall and Wurth-Thomas had pulled even with Dobriskey in
the closing steps, and the three finished in a jumble that took
photographs to sort out. They were separated by just two hundredths of
Rowbury, who won the bronze at 1500 meters in Berlin and who has spent
the past two months outside of London, it was the perfect way to end
the season. “To come home in front of the home crowd and win, it was
just so much fun,” she said. “I’ve had some great races lately, but I
haven’t got to win. I knew that I have a kick and I wanted to use it.”
is planning a weeklong trip to Mexico for some downtime. Dobriskey is
planning for her wedding, which takes place in December.
Hall's season is not finished. She’s been training in Mammoth Lakes,
California and was surprised to find herself up front. “I’ve been
grinding it out with marathoners,” she said, smiling. “My vision was
sort of fogging there at the end. But I was glad to place a little
higher than I maybe should have.” She said she'll be racing in the 10k
road championships this fall.
1 Shannon Rowbury, USA, 4:23.30
2 Lisa Dobriskey, GBR, 4:23.94
3 Sara Hall, USA, 4:23.94
4 Christin Wurth-Thomas, USA, 4:23.96
5 Hannah England, GBR, 4:25.49
6 Erin Donohue, USA, 4:27.05
7 Mestawot Tadesse, ETH, 4:27.73
8 Amy Mortimer, USA, 4:29.62
9 Barbara Parker, GBR, 4:35.23
10 Sara Vaughn, USA, 4:37.18
Men’s Race: Baddeley Times it Perfectly
the men's race, Bernard Lagat and Boaz Lalang led the pack through
opening splits of 0:58 and 1:58. Matt Tegenkamp and Baddeley moved up
on the left side of the pair in the third quarter. The foursome hit
the three-quarter mark in 2:55. Then, with 200 meters left, Lagat
struck. He surged briefly into the lead, but Lalang countered with a
stronger move. The 20-year-old Kenyan dropped Lagat and moved ahead
through the 1500 mark. Manzano gave chase, passing Lagat and inching
closer to Lalang from the street's right lane. For a moment, it appeared to be a two-man race.
But it was Baddeley who timed his kick the best. The
Brit, who holds a master's degree in aerospace engineering from
Cambridge, had quietly positioned himself on the left shoulder of the
group. With fewer than 50 meters remaining, he stormed past Manzano
and then past Lalang, and by the time he crossed the finish line he was
a full stride's length ahead.
were lots of good finishers in the field," he said afterwards. "But
it's a bit too early with 200 meters to go." Even on a track, he said,
one can't sprint full out the entire last half-lap of a race. He’d run
the course early in the morning, he said, and decided to launch his
kick from the fire lane—the left side of the street—because that’s
where the camber of the road is flattest. The strategy worked and surprised the others.
saw Bernard and Boaz make their move with 200 meters to go," Manzano
said. "But then, next thing I know, Andy’s flying by.”
was with 20 yards to go," Lalang said, nodding towards Baddeley at the
press table. "I didn't see him till he passed me." Lalang is in junior
college at Rend Lake in Ina, Illinois.
the race, Lagat discussed his strategy: "I was feeling great at
three-quarters. I thought, 'Let me try to push from here, but Boaz
pushed harder. I couldn't even pass him. Then suddenly Manzano came
past me. And then Baddeley, of course...Finishing fourth was not
something I wanted. I came here to win. I came close last year and I'm
not going to stop till I do. This just fuels my hunger for next year."
his plans for the upcoming weeks, Lagat reached for his midsection.
"Gain some weight," he joked. "And we're going to go to San Fransisco
for Fleet Week. My son, Miika, he wants to be an F-16 pilot."
Miika, who was swinging around a pole in the press tent and playing with his stuffed dog, declined to comment.
1 Andy Baddeley, GBR, 3:51.87
2 Boaz Lalang, KEN, 3:52.07
3 Leonel Manzano, USA, 3:52.24
4 Bernard Lagat, USA, 3:52.74
5 Haron Lagat, USA, 3:53.86
6 Collis Birmingham, GBR, 3:53.98
7 Matt Tegenkamp, USA, 3:54.20
8 Chris Solinsky, USA, 3:54.51
9 Daniel Huling, USA, 3:55.06
10 David Torrence, USA, 3:56.14
New York City avenues are roughly twenty blocks to the mile. The
Fifth Avenue course spans the stretch from E. 80th Street to E. 60th
Street along the eastern edge of Central Park. Things kick off a block
south of the Metropolitan Museum of Art with tourists and fans snapping
photographs behind barricades that line both sides of the street. The
first four blocks are flat. Then the road bends upwards and climbs
gradually for almost a quarter-mile to 71st Street. There, it's a flat
block past the Frick Art Collection to the half-mile mark, which
affords runners a tantalizing glimpse of the finish line, still 800
meters away. The course then descends into a long tunnel of stoplights,
tree limbs, and hanging traffic signs that bring racers, ever
gradually, to the "200 Meters to Go" sign. The remaining stretch is
pancake flat. The wide road and screaming fans seems to almost
guarantee an exciting finish.
race began in 1981 with Sydney Maree gapping by two seconds a field
that included Mike Boit, Eamonn Coghlan, Steve Scott, Steve Cram, Ray
Flynn and John Walker. His time, 3:47.52, remains the course record.
"It was all of our first road mile," Flynn said on Saturday. "We started kicking from the half-way mark."
*Message Board Thread on Race