November 16, 2013
The first annual .US National Road Racing Championships is tomorrow in Old Towne Alexandria (just outside DC). You can watch the race live on USATF.tv at 7 am ET. The race is the championship and final race of the 2013 USA Running Circuit (USARC) and a huge payday – $125,000 will be on the line. $20,000 goes to the winner and $10,000 for second so there will be a big incentive to win this one.
We quickly tell you what to look for below and will be there live to cover it ourselves.
1) The race prize money is the key thing to focus on here as it’s huge – $100,000 overall and $20,000 for first.
The race prize money is as follows:
Money talks and $20,000 is why Molly Huddle and Shalane Flanagan are racing here. The USA Running Circuit Overall Prize ($6000 for first) is much less important.
2) Molly Huddle, Emily Infeld, Shalane Flanagan Rematch on Women’s Side
On the women’s side, the three favorites are the American record holder at 5000m, Molly Huddle, the American record holder Shalane Flanagan, and the up and coming Emily Infeld (who is Flanagan’s training partner). All three raced two weeks ago at the 2013 NYRR Dash to the Finishline 5k in New York with Huddle edging Infeld in 15:27 to 15:27 while Flanagan was 13 seconds back.
Flanagan may have been beaten convincingly two weeks ago, but she is by far the better 10,000m runner of the three (she won Olympic bronze in 2008), and she is just coming back after a break after the 10,000m at Worlds in Moscow in August. An extra two weeks of training and the bump in distance should help her.
Infeld has never won a 10,000m on the track but she did run an impressive 31:47 at the Tufts 10k on the road last month. The 12k distance should be a stretch from her but she has been one of the bigger surprised in 2013.
Huddle comes in having beaten Infeld twice in a row at 5k on the roads this fall. Huddle is better at 5k than 10k, but has run 31:27 on the track.
Janet Bawcom is also in the field and likely the series winner.
Run this race a month from now and we’re pretty certain Shalane Flanagan wins it. However, now it’s a matter of who is in the best form. We’ll still give Flanagan the edge as two weeks more of training and the bump in distance should help her.
3) Men’s Field is Wide Open: Teg, Solinsky, Abdi, Aaron Braun
The men have even more names in Matt Tegenkamp, Chris Solinsky, Shadrack Biwott, Aaron Braun, Abdi Abdirahman, Nick Arciniaga, Josphat Boit and others.
Chris Solinsky ran horribly at the NYRR Dash to the Finishline 5k and afterwards said, “It’s Embarrassing”, “It Was Really Bad”, and it was “A Shit Performance”.
Aaron Braun enters with the best form having been third at the NYRR Dash to the Finishline two weeks ago.
The man to watch may be Abdi Abdirahman. Abdi wanted to run the New York City Marathon but didn’t get the appearance fee he wanted. He presumably has been training with this as a focus and has the motivation to win here and not only pick up $20,000, but to show he’s still one of America’s best.
Shadrack Biwott beat Abdi for second place at the US 20k Champs on Labor Day.
We’re a bit surprised a guy like Ben True might come and run here just for the money, but maybe he’s taking a break after an incredible 2013.
Predictions: This one is hard to predict. Does Biwott surprise?
Full elite fields are as follows:
4) The series prize money is less important than the actual race prize money ($25,000 = $12,500 per gender) and is harder to understand.
First place in the series gets $6,000, second $4,000 and third $2,500. (Some people were under the assumption the series winner won $25,000 but that is incorrect) Triple points are on the line so you get 45 points for first, 36 for second, 30 for third and then 21, 18, 15, 12, 9, 6, 3.
You can see the entire series point total on a great runnerspace page here but we give you the top 10 in the standing below. Those with a strike through their name aren’t running the race. The standings will look much different afterward with the big points on the line but it would surprise us if Matt Tegenkamp and Janet Bawcom weren’t the series champs. Mattie Suver leads the women’s standings but she just ran the ING New York City Marathon two weeks ago so we’d be very surprised if she is the winner.
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