The USATF 10 Mile Championships, hosted by the Medtronic TC 10 Mile, are the ninth stop on the 2017 USATF Running Circuit. Next up on the circuit, the USATF 5 km Championships take place on November 4 in New York City. Watch on demand coverage on USATF.tv+.
From the gun, circuit standings leader Aliphine Tuliamuk took the lead and in her usual style pushed the pace early and strung out the field. As the lead pack quick widdled down to a lead trio of Tuliamuk, Sara Hall and Natosha Rogers, the women came through two miles in a quick 10:40.
The trio remained intact throughout the entire race. Tuliamuk did much of the leading, but Rogers took her fair share of time in the lead, too. Hall sat behind both runners for the vast majority of the race, bidding her time to make her own decisive move.
With less than a mile to go, it seemed only fitting that Tuliamuk would charge to the lead, only to have Rogers take over and push the pace, a clip Tuliamuk ultimately couldn’t handle. Rogers and Hall battled with less than half a mile to go and with the finish tape in sight, Hall shot past Rogers, a put a two second gap on Rogers, winning her first race of the USATF Running Circuit season.
Hall’s time of 53:43 was two seconds up on Rogers, who took home an impressive runner-up finish of her own in 53:45. Tuliamuk kept her composure once getting passed to cross in third in 53:52.
Well behind the lead trio, Allie Kieffer ran a tremendous race, much of it by herself, to finish fourth in 54:20. Belainesh Gebre earned fifth overall in 54:59. Emma Bates and Olympian Shalaya Kipp ran to sixth and seventh place finishes in 55:36 and 55:56, while Bethan Sachtleben, Maddie Van Beek and Bridget Lyons placed 8-9-10 in 56:05, 56:42 and 56:53.
Tuliamuk’s third place effort earned her another 15 points toward the USATF Running Circuit standings, clinching her second straight overall circuit title. With 123 points, neither second place Jordan Hasay or third place Neely Gracey would be able to bridge the point gap.
On the men’s side, a large pack followed the lead of the U.S. Army runners early on, as USATF Running Circuit standings leader Leonard Korir, Kipchirchir and a variety of other runners in the field took turns leading a group of more than 20 runners.
Just past the four mile mark, Hansons-Brooks Distance Project runner Ian La Mere took over the lead, as the rest of the field hung off his shoulder. La Mere, a Wisconsin native, strung out the large pack, pushed from behind by a quintet of U.S. Army runners.
The men’s leaders continued much the same for the next three miles, until the pace once again shift, as numerous athletes fell off the back, leaving a group of only nine men in contention.
La Mere, Haron Lagat and Abbabiya Simbassa ran side by side up front for the next mile, until Korir and Kipchirchir decided it was time to sprint to the finish. As the two runners sprinted away from the rest of the field, the remaining pack did their best to hang on.
Into the final quarter mile came Korir and Kipchirchir. The two teammates have raced stride for stride much of this season and Sunday’s finish once again proved to come down to the very last step. As the duo overtook the lead women, ultimately winning an equalizer bonus, it was Kipchirchir who leaned to victory, as both men secured a finish time of 47:33.
The U.S. Army contingent continued to dominate, as Emmanuel Bor, Lagat and Elkanah Kibet finished 3-4-5 in 47:39, 47:40 and 47:41 respectively. Their training partner under coach Scott Simmons, Simbassa, placed sixth overall in 47:45, narrowly defeating La Mere, who finished seventh in 47:48.
HOKA ONE ONE Northern Arizona Elite standout Martin Hehir earned an eighth place finish in 47:50, while Jonathan Grey and Hehir’s teammate Futsum Zienasellassie placed ninth and tenth in 47:54 and 48:23 respectively.
For Kipchirchir, Sunday’s victory was made all the sweeter considering he’d finished second in four of his six USATF Running Circuit races and two third place finishes. Finally outkicking Korir on the roads, winning his first national title and ultimately winning the $10,000 equalizer bonus capped a perfect day for the U.S. Army runner.
With his runner-up effort, Korir adds another 18 points to his USATF Running Circuit standings lead. With a 111-80 lead over second place Sam Chelanga, Korir is all but guaranteed the circuit victory, as Chelanga is currently not scheduled to compete in the final two remaining races.
About the USATF Running Circuit
The USATF Running Circuit is a USATF road series featuring USATF championships from one mile through the marathon and consistently attracts the best American distance runners with more than $500,000 to be awarded in total prize money. A total of $91,000 in prize money will be awarded at the USATF 10 Mile Championships.
The first ten U.S. runners earn points at each USATF Running Circuit race. For the USATF 10 Mile Championships, scoring is set as 22.5 for first, 18 for second, 15 for third, 10.5, 9, 7.5, 6, 4.5, 3 and 2, with those earning the most points receiving prize money at the end of the series.
The mission of the USATF Running Circuit is to showcase, support and promote U.S. runners. Since its inception in 1995, the USATF Running Circuit and its races have provided over $7 million to U.S. distance runners.
Contributed by Scott Bush