By Chris Lotsbom, @ChrisLotsbom
(c) 2013 Race Results Weekly, all rights reserved
CAPE ELIZABETH, MAINE (03-Aug) — Running his first race since finishing second in the 2013 Boston marathon, Kenya’s Micah Kogo won his second TD Beach to Beacon 10-K title in three years thanks to his 28:03.2 clocking.
“I feel very good, a fabulous and fantastic moment for me to win for the second time at the Beach to Beacon race,” said a smiling Kogo, the 2008 Olympic bronze medalist at 10,000m.
Seconds after ceremonial starter Karen Rand –a victim of the 2013 Boston Marathon bombings– began the race, a lead pack of ten men found themselves in front of the 6,000-plus field. Doing the leading duties was American Meb Keflezighi.
Running aggressively like he had at last week’s Quad City Times Bix 7 Road Race in Iowa, Keflezighi pushed the pace with all the pre-race contenders in his slipstream. Among them were Kenyans Emmanuel Mutai, Kogo, Silas Kipruto and Stephen Kipkosgei-Kibet. Americans Ryan Hall and Elliot Krause tucked in behind towards the back of the group.
Shortly after reaching two miles in 9:14, the pack had dwindled down to six, as both Hall and the Wisconsin alum Krause were among those to have fallen off the back. Getting antsy behind Keflezighi, the East Africans took turns coming up on his shoulder, then fading back a step or two. Eventually, about a minute and 30 seconds after passing five kilometers in 14:13, a move was made by Kogo.
“Before 5-K we were still with a big group. After five kilometers I wanted to see if I could push the pace a little bit higher. When I see some hills down the road I tried to push more,” he said.
Winding their way through the rolling course, the Kenyan contingent of four began to break apart. First it was Mutai fading, then Kipkosgei Kibet. Eventually the lone American remaining, Keflezighi, fell victim to Kogo’s surge. The only one to match the 27-year-old wound up being Kipruto.
With rain beginning to fall, Kogo and Kipruto passed the five mile mark, then approached the entrance to Fort Williams Park for the twisting and narrow finish. That’s when Kogo began to separate from his compatriot, breaking the tape in 28:03.3. Kogo became the third athlete in race history to earn multiple event titles, joining compatriots Edward Muge (2) and Gilbert Okari (3).
“I was just hoping to win because due to my last race at the Boston Marathon [where he finished second], I wasn’t thinking I still have speed,” admitted Kogo. “It surprised me because I see I can do 10-K, half-marathon, and still have more speed.”
Though his time was slower than his 2011 winning mark of 27:46.9, Kogo was just as happy.
“I love this course,” he said. “I know the course, I know where I can put more here, I like this course and the crowd and the family who supports me when I stay here.”
In the race’s 16-year history, Kenyan men have been victorious 13 times.
Kipruto finished just over five seconds behind in second, timing 28:08.5. Mutai came back from fifth in the race’s latter stages to take third (28:22.0) ahead of Kipkosgei Kibet (28:27.1), while the top American, Keflezighi, rounded out the top five in 28:37.2.
“I feel strong and the best way for me to get back and better is to push it,” said Keflezighi, noting that he has only recently run 65 to 75 miles a week, all in single sessions. “I said I’d run 28:00 to 28:30. I missed it by six seconds… I’m very realistic, but I’m happy that I was competitive for a bit.”
The surprise of the day came from American Krause, who picked off athletes one by one after reaching five kilometers. Among those who fell victim to Krause were Ryan Hall and Ethiopian Dino Sefir, the latter of whom was in the front pack early on.
Hall had a disappointing showing, taking tenth in 29:43.6. He told Race Results Weekly that his legs simply were tired from the early miles.
“I went out too hard, went out like an idiot,” said Hall, who wound up as the fourth American behind Keflezighi, Krause, and Gabe Proctor (Proctor, the NCAA Division II 5000m and 10,000m champion on the track this year, was ninth in 29:27.4.) “It’s fun to be up there with those guys for a bit but it wasn’t the best way to run.
“I was slowly dying, like a two-mile time trial and a four-mile –I don’t know what you’d call it– a jog.”
Unofficial Top 10 Results *Full Results Here
1. Micah Kogo KEN 28:03.2
2. Silas Kipruto KEN 28:08.5
3. Emmanual Mutai KEN 28:21.9
4. Stephen Kipkosgei-Kibet KEN 28:27.0
5. Meb Keflezighi USA 28:37.2
6. Elliot Krause USA 29:13.8
7. Dino Sefir ETH 29:21.2
8. Mykola Labovskyy UKR 29:25.1
9. Gabriel Proctor USA 29:27.4
10. Ryan Hall USA 29:43.6