Mary Cain Is Officially Back on the Track As She Races the Men and a Former World Junior Champ

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By LetsRun.com
January 9, 2020

NEW YORK — 1,273 days later, Mary Cain is officially back.

Thursday night at the NYRR Night at the Races #2 at the Armory, Cain, running in heat 2 of the men’s 3,000m race, finished in 10th place in 9:25.50 to finish her first track race since she placed 2nd in the 1500 at the NACAC Under-23 Championships on July 15, 2016.

Cain, 23, wearing a nondescript yellow outfit, went out conservatively. She was in last place on the first lap, hit 1600 in 5:00.5 and would slow slightly over the second half, but move up through the field.

Cain in the yellow chasing the men

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Believe it or not, Cain wasn’t the only former world junior champion in her race. The West Side Runners’ Nuhamin Bogale, who won the 2010 world junior 1500m title for Ethiopia as Tizita Bogale and has a 4:03 pb, is also trying to come back from injury and raced the men like Cain. Bogale, 26, and Cain were close through the mile, then Bogale began to pull away from Cain and Bogale finished in 9:19.78.

Afterwards we spoke to Cain, who was all smiles. Cain compared the experience to a “middle school race” because she spent much of it in lane 2 passing other runners. Cain was glad to be back finishing a track race and she said she had to start somewhere and the plan is to try and improve each time out. Cain said she has just started with track workouts and the fastest 800 she has done was in her 3,000 tonight. She and her coach John Henwood would not commit to a distance for Mary and said they’ll see how her training and racing goes.

Cain confirmed her next race will be in a little over two weeks (January 25) at the Dr. Sander Invite, also in the 3000, at the Armory, where she will face some pros, and current high school start Katelyn Tuohy. (see: It’s official: Mary Cain’s next race is at Dr. Sander Invite vs current high school star Katelyn Tuohy )

Quick Take analysis

QT#1: Cain’s return to the track had to start somewhere and it was smart that she started in a low-key affair at the Armory (versus showing up in Europe like she did a few years ago) and it was only fitting that there was another world junior champion in this race, as there are definitely no guarantees Cain gets back to the top. Her run today was equivalent to 4:24.55 for 1500, 16:33 for 5000, and 21:31 for 4 miles (she most recently ran 21:43 for 4 miles on New Year’s), according to the McMillan calculator. 

QT #2: Showing you never know who will show up at the NYRR Night at the Races, journalists Chris Chavez and Dennis Young also raced, as did Scott Anderson, the man who was wearing the LetsRun.com singlet when Alan Webb sent sub-4 in the mile for the first time. Update: Martin Fritz Huber of Outside Magazine was also in Cain’s race.

Talk about Cain our fan forum:

Results below finishing video

Click for splits (the results list Cain in the women’s race even though she was 10th in the men’s B race)

Discuss: Mary Cain running a 3000 tonight at the armory in NYC (1/9)
*It’s official: Mary Cain’s next race is at Dr. Sander Invite vs current high school star Katelyn Tuohy

Cain on the start

Cain in the yellow chasing Bogale

Discuss: Mary Cain running a 3000 tonight at the armory in NYC (1/9)
*It’s official: Mary Cain’s next race is at Dr. Sander Invite vs current high school star Katelyn Tuohy 


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