5 Takeaways from the 2014 BAA 5k: Molly surprises herself, top Africans say True can break 13:00 and Abdi will run 2:08
April 18, 2014
We’ve got recap of the races here. Analysis below.
1) Molly Huddle surprised herself with today’s win – for good reason.
Based on what the others in the field had recently done, Molly Huddle thought anywhere from 3rd to 5th coming in to today’s race would be a good result for herself. She went out conservative but gained on the field as the fast-starters started to fade, as she made the final turn just before the 3 mile mark, she realized she had a shot for victory and gunned down Mamitu Daska to get the win – one of the biggest of her pro career.
Huddle had good reason not to expect victory today based on the career credentials/recent races of her competitors. Here are some of the credentials/recent results of the people she beat;
Mamitu Daska – ETH – 2:21:59 marathoner, 52:05 win at Cherry Blossom 10 miler on April 6.
Sentayehu Ejigu – ETH- 14:28 5000 (2010), 33:06 8th place at World’s Best 10k in Feb.
Betsy Saina – KEN -15:21 /31:15 pbs, 2013 NCAA 10,000 champ.
Linet Masai KEN – 2009 world 10,000 champ, 3rd at World’s Best 10k in 32:13 in Feb.
Julia Bleasdale – GBR- 15:06 win at Carlbad. (15:02/30:55 pbs)
2) Dejen Gebremeskel says Ben True can break 13:00
After the race, we caught up with 2012 Olympic silver medallist Dejen Gebremeskel, who was pleased to get a narrow victory by the tiniest of margins over Ben True. Gebremeskel wasn’t stunned that True gave him a challenge as he remembered True as an up and comer from last year’s race.
Gebremeskel, who has several strong results this winter/spring (Bronze at World Indoors in 3000, domination of Carlbad 5k over Bernard Lagat), confirmed that he’s happy with his current fitness.
“It’s a good season for me. The whole (winter) season has been good for me. I’m in good shape,” said Gebremeskel, who said the goal outdoors is to really go for a fast one in Paris, hopefully a pb.
Hearing his glowing comments about his fitness, we asked Gebremeskel, who has a 12:46 track pb, if he could break 13:00 on the track right now. He almost seemed surprised by the question.
“Of course, on the track twelve fifty something for sure,” said the personable Gebremeskel.
Since he’d barely beaten True, we asked Gebremeskel if he thought True could ultimately break 13:00.
“Yeah, why not? He’s running 13:26 in cold weather, in the morning. When he runs on the track, imagine how (fast) he can run. I imagine (12)56 to 58,” said the 24-year old.
Once we heard that, we went back to True and told him that. True was obviously happy to hear it but joked along the lines, “Can I get that as a guarantee?”
One more think about Gebremeskel, who has run a lot over the years in Boston, both at the BAA 5k and in the 3000 at the New Balance Indoor Grand Prix. He’s great with the crowd and gave a nice speech when accepting his award about how special it was to win in Boston this year.
“I run a lot if races around d the world but there is no place like Boston,” said Gebremeskel to the delight of the crowd.
3) Stephen Sambu, Abdi Abdirahman’s training partner, expects big things from Abid on Monday in the marathon – definitely 2:10, likely 2:08, maybe even faster.
Former Arizona star Stephen Sambu, who won the Cherry Blossom 10 miler in 45:29 two weeks ago and was 3rd at the 2014 NYC Half in 61:08 last month, was happy with his third place showing today as 5k is a short distance for him. A marathon in 2015 may be in the works for Sambu.
As for Abdi Sambu said, “He’s in good shape. He will do good this year. I’m pulling for him…. 2:07? 2:08? Maybe even faster than that. 2:08 is a number I think he can do that. (Definitely) under 2:10.”
4) True was happy with the way his hamstring felt today but said the key thing will be to see how it feels in the next few days.
His plan is to recover for a few days, hopefully get a tempo workout in on Tuesday and then one last hard session at the end of the week before preparing to taper for Stanford.
5) Former Foot Locker and HS phenom Melody Fairchild is now 40 and still running strong.
Hard to believe Fairchild is now 40 but she was in today’s elite race and produced a 16:49.