Janet Bawcom Crushes Single-Sexed American Record By 76 Seconds, Runs 52:12 To Win US Title, Finishes Second To Ethiopian Mamitu Daska

By David Monti, @d9monti. Edits/additions by Letsrun.com.
(c) 2014 Race Results Weekly, all rights reserved

WASHINGTON, D.C. (06-Apr) — Olympian Janet Bawcom smashed her own single-sexed USA 10 mile record by 76 seconds by running 52:12 to retain her US 10-mile title at the 42nd Credit Union Cherry Blossom Ten Mile Run here this morning.  In the overall race, however, Bawcom was second, no match for 2:21 marathoner Mamitu Daska of Ethiopia who won in 52:05.

About 16,000 athletes competed in the race, known as the Runner’s Rite of Spring, on a clear, crisp and windless spring morning in the U.S. capital.

Bawcom, 35, who lives and trains in Flagstaff, Ariz., was looking for a fast time right from the gun.  Wearing a pink and black Nike racing uniform, she immediately took the lead of the all-women’s elite race, followed closely by two Ethiopians, Daska (31:44, 69:08, 2:21:59 PRs) and Makida Abdela (31:51 10k this year, 2:31:54 marathon last year), and former Wichita State star Aliphine Tuliamuk-Bolton of Kenya (15:18/32:07/69:16 pbs), and American compatriot Sara Hall, who had just returned from a training camp in Addis Ababa.  Hall, 30, who has spent most of her career running much shorter distances on the track, said she was feeling good and decided to be aggressive today.

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“I’m getting used to these longer races,” Hall explained to Race Results Weekly.  She continued: “There’s two different ways you can approach it: you can go with it or you can just focus on the USA’s.  And I was, like, I’m just going to go for it.”

Through three miles (15:55), Bawcom, Tuliamuk-Bolton and Daska kept the pace high, and soon both Abdela and Hall had drifted back and out of contention.  The trio hit 5 miles in a quick 26:04, and Daska was starting to get impatient.  Four minutes later, she upped the tempo, making a statement.

“I was leading, but at the same time I was expecting someone to come up,” she said through a translator.  “I waited, but now I knew I was in control.”

Aliphine Tuliamuk-Bolton, Mamitu Daska and Janet Bawcom lead field in the second mile of the 2014 Credit Union Cherry Blossom Ten Mile Run; Sara Hall and Makida Abdela are partially obscured behind them (photo by David Monti) Aliphine Tuliamuk-Bolton, Mamitu Daska and Janet Bawcom lead field in the second mile of the 2014 Credit Union Cherry Blossom Ten Mile Run; Sara Hall and Makida Abdela are partially obscured behind them (photo by David Monti)

Running alone, Daska left Tuliamuk-Bolton and Bawcom behind.  She put in one more strong surge just past the 7-mile mark, and both of her rivals quickly turned their attention to racing each other.  Bawcom knew she had the USA title well in hand, but hoped to double-up on her prize money (the race offered both open and American prize money) and collect an American record bonus.  With Daska too far ahead, she slowly caught Tuliamuk-Bolton and prepared herself for the final push to the finish. With 800 meters to go, Bawcom made a strong move into second place.

“I saw them fading back, so I just stayed behind her for a little bit to just compose myself,” Bawcom said.  “Then, I was like, I just have to put my head down and go.”

The final 400m has a short rise, then a slightly longer downhill to the finish, and Daska negotiated that section of the course easily.  She managed a 63-second final 400 to win in 52:05, the fastest winning time here since 2010, and became the first Ethiopian woman to win here in seven years. She said she didn’t take anything for granted in the final stage of the race.

“I looked behind, she no come,” Daska said in English of Bawcom.  “I think in my mind I’m number-one.”

Bawcom crossed next in 52:12, smashing her national all-women’s record from this race last year by 76 seconds.  Tuliamuk-Bolton got third in 52:16, and Hall finished fourth in 52:54, also under Bawcom’s previous record.  Hall was thrilled.

“I’m really happy I just stuck my neck in it,” Hall gushed.  “Being on American record pace in a race like that, I think that’s the first time I’ve been on it that long.  I’m real excited about just where I’m at right now.”

Daska won $8000 in prize money, while Bawcom earned a total of $12,000: $4500 for second place, $5000 for being the top American, and $2500 for breaking the USA record.

Top 10 American results appear below. After that you will see top 25 results as well as top 10 American results with prize money breakdowns.

Quick Take #1 by LetsRun.com: A good run by both Bawcom and Hall here but it’s worth pointing out that the mixed 10 mile American record by Deena Kastor is much faster. Kastor ran 51:31 in Berlin in 2003.

Top 10 Women’s 10 Mile Champs Results
1. Janet Bawcom 52:12
2. Sara Hall 52:54
3. Frances Koons 54:30
4. Susanna Sullivan 54:31
5. Brianne Nelson 54:33
6. Jen Rhines 54:38
7. Heather Cappello 54:40
8. Meghan Peyton 54:42
9. Sara Slattery 55:14
10. Blake Russell 55:26

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