December 19, 2014
SAN JOSE, Calif. – Alexa Efraimson, 17, shattered the previous U.S. 5K road record for Junior women (ages 19-and-under) with a time of 16 minutes and 8 seconds at the 10th Annual Applied Materials “Silicon Valley Turkey Trot” in San Jose, Calif. on November 27, 2014 (Thanksgiving Day). Competing in the elite women’s section of the 5-kilometer race, the high school senior from Camas, Wash. placed ninth overall. The previous Junior record of 16:23 was set by U.S. standout Molly Huddle in 2002.
USA Track & Field has officially approved (ratified) Efraimson’s mark as a new U.S. Junior record. The magnitude of Efraimson’s performance is reflected in the fact that Huddle is a two-time U.S. women’s outdoor 5,000 meter record holder. The 30-year-old Huddle set her current U.S. record of 14:42.64 this past July at a track meet in Monaco.
Efraimson’s Junior record-setting road 5K performance in San Jose would have been even faster, by approximately 8 to 10 seconds, had she not stumbled and briefly fell as she approached the Turkey Trot finish line.
“Breaking the record actually surprised me,” Efraimson said. “I’ve met Molly Huddle and she’s just an incredible competitor and person. So, I’m really honored to break the record of such a respected athlete.
“I was really proud about how I raced up until about the last 800 meters or so,” said Efraimson (where she shared second place with women’s runner-up Emily Infeld behind Ethiopia’s Buze Diriba, the eventual winner). Then my legs started getting really heavy. It’s happened before. I’m still pretty new to the 5K distance.”
As a Junior at Camas (Washington) High School, Efraimson ran American high school records of 9:00.16 for 3,000 meters indoors and 4:33.29 for 1,600 meters. She earned a bronze medal in the 1,500 meters at the 2013 IAAF World Youth Track and Field Championships and won the 2013 Nike Cross Country Nationals high school championship meet.
Last August, Efraimson announced that she had signed a professional running contract with Nike and would forego the remainder of her high school athletic eligibility. She has her sights on beginning collegiate studies at Oregon State University or the University of Portland in the fall while continuing her pro running career.
“The Turkey Trot was probably the first time that I’ve really gone all out and raced hard from the beginning,” Efraimson said. “So, it was a really good experience and I learned a lot from it. Although I’m a little disappointed with the final result, it was still fun to get out there and run against great competitors.”
Efraimson’s mom, Chantel, a triathlete and marathoner, and her coach, Mike Hickey, were present at the Turkey Trot to witness Efraimson’s performance. Hickey has coached Efraimson through high school. The teenager hopes to work out with elite athletes at the Nike Oregon Project, who are guided by famed distance runner and coach Alberto Salazer, as her school schedule allows.
The overall winners of the elite 5K races at the 2014 Applied Materials Silicon Valley Turkey Trot were Garrett Heath (Seattle, Wash.) in 13:52and Ethiopia’s Buze Diriba in 15:33. The all-time race records are held by Kenya’s Stephen Sambu (13:28, 2012) and U.S. Olympian Kim Conley (15:29, 2013). With 26,129 entrants in all races, the Silicon Valley Turkey Trot grew once again. Plus, this year’s event raised over $900,000 for the local charity organizations that are beneficiaries of our event. This brings the ten year total raised by the Turkey Trot for these charities to well over $5 million.
# # #
About the Applied Materials Silicon Valley Turkey Trot
The Silicon Valley Leadership Group Foundation founded and produces the Applied Materials “Silicon Valley Turkey Trot” 5K and 10K family fun runs and competitive races on Thanksgiving morning in downtown San Jose. Proceeds from the Turkey Trot benefit the Second Harvest Food Bank of Santa Clara and San Mateo Counties, the Housing Trust Silicon Valley, Healthier Kids Foundation Santa Clara County, Second Harvest Food Bank Santa Cruz County, and The Health Trust.Visit the Applied Materials Silicon Valley Turkey Trot web site athttp://svturkeytrot.com/