LOS ANGELES, Calif. -- Numerous personal bests and top American times were registered on a steamy Thursday evening at the USATF High Performance Distance Classic at Jack Kemp Stadium on the campus of Occidental College. Fans can watch live event replays available immediately on USATF.tv.
Dan Huling started the meet off with a bang, breaking the men’s 3,000-meter steeplechase meet record in 8:17.00, turning in the fastest time for an American in the event this year. His time also set a Jack Kemp Stadium record as well, besting Don Cabral’s 8:19.14 from 2012.
Brenda Martinez, a member of the women’s 4x800-meter relay pool for the IAAF World Relays, had an impressive kick in her timed final to edge Maggie Vesseyin 1:59.91. Vessey crossed in 1:59.96. The second timed final was equally exciting, as Kate Grace, also on Team USA for Nassau, kicked from fourth to first in the final 100 meters to win the second section of the 800 in 2:01.57.
The men’s 800 was exciting as well, as Elijah Greerfrom Nike Oregon Track Club Elite, just a year removed from his NCAA title in the event, crossed in 1:45.86 to win his section and overall. The top seven times all came from the first timed section, asFelix Kitur finished second in 1:46.10 and Robby Andrews, who is competing at World Relays for the U.S., was third in 1:46.37.
Over 30 members of Congress will lead teams in the annual ACLI Capital Challenge®, a three-mile road race. They join participants from all branches of government and the media and have been cautioned to run sensibly to avoid increasing the national oxygen debt ceiling. The race takes place on Wednesday, May 21, at 8:00 a.m. in Washington, D.C.’s Anacostia Park.
In the race will be several congressional committee chairs, agency heads, Admirals, Generals, dozens of on-air correspondents, federal Judges, and print journalists.
The current defending champion and fastest female Senator, Kelly Ayotte (R-NH), will return, as will Senator Rob Portman (R-OH). The fastest man in Congress, Rep. Tom Cotton (R-AR), is back, and several female members of Congress will seek to dethrone the fastest female representative Kyrsten Sinema (D-AZ).
Spokane, Washington—Last year a pair of Ethiopians—Belete Assefa and Buzunesh Deba—captured the men's and women's crowns at the Lilac Bloomsday Run, marking the first time in history that the champions both hailed from that east African county. This year, though, it was that other east African powerhouse showing up in force, as Kenyans led a sweep of both divisions, Allan Kiprono returning to the victor's stand after a one-year absence, and Mary Wacera notching her first Bloomsday win.
A field of 49,094 signed up for this year's Bloomsday, the number reduced somewhat by chilly conditions in the days leading up to race day, as well as a forecast of thunderstorms for during the race. The storms arrived all right, but several hours ahead of time, and conditions for the women's elite start at 8:45 were dry, although with a breezy headwind for sections of the race. Those winds led to a slow first mile of 5:27, with a large pack huddled together down the first hill. As the pack reached the bottom and began up the first uphill at mile 1-1/2, three-time champion Lineth Chepkurui (2008-2010) came to the front and began pushing the pace.
That move began whittling the pack, and by the top of Cemetery Hill at the three-mile mark only seven were still in contention, with Chepkurui still in the lead. A mile later the 2013 AJC Peachtree and Utica Boilermaker champion, who holds the Bloomsday course record, was still in the lead, with only Kenyans Risper Gesawbwa and Mary Wacera holding on. The threesome was still intact at the bottom of Doomsday Hill, but by the five-mile mark at the top Chepkurui had gapped the others to take a 10-meter lead.
Kenyans Abraham Cheroben and Janet Rono won the BIG 25 Berlin with world leading times. It was Cheroben who produced the performance of the day. The 21 year-old clocked 1:11:47, which is the fourth fastest time ever run at 25 k. Fellow Kenyan Kenneth Kipkemoi was second with 1:12:32 while Ethiopia’s Tebalu Zawude crossed the finish line inside the Berlin Olympic Stadium in 1:13:09 for third place. Janet Rono was well ahead in the women’s race which she won with 1:24:37. Valentine Kibet of Kenya took second in 1:26:18 while third placed Maja Neuenschwander broke the Swiss record with a time of 1:27:01. Adding other running events a total of 11,050 athletes took part in the 34th edition of the BIG 25 Berlin.
There was a minute of silence before the start in honour of the former president of the Berlin and German sports associations (LSB and DSB), Manfred von Richthofen, who died on Thursday. Once the runners got off in dry but cool conditions with temperatures between 8 and 11 Celsius a very fast men’s race developed. A group of nine runners passed the 5 k mark in 14:00 and then reached 10 k in 28:20. With some tailwind during this first section of the race the split times were faster than expected and even pointed towards the world record time. This mark of 1:11:18 was established by Kenya’s Dennis Kimetto in the BIG 25 Berlin two years ago.
Spokane, Washington—Last year's Bloomsday champion, Belete Assefa, won't be returning this spring, but 2011 champion Simon Ndirangu will, and so will 2012 winner Allan Kiprono, together with a talented group of international stars who have their sights set on the Bloomsday crown. And in the women's race, last year's champion Buzunesh Deba will pass on defending her crown as she recovers from a blistering 2:19:59 runner up performance at the recent Boston Marathon. Her absence will open the way for a new champion from among a talented women's field, one of the strongest in Bloomsday history.
Kiprono and Ndirangu own two of the fastest times ever run on the Bloomsday course, but it may well be a newcomer, Ethiopian Mosinet Geremew, who escapes the pack and races to victory on Sunday. Geremew, only 22 years old, was the surprise winner of last summer's AJC Peachtree Road Race in Atlanta, and has a 59:54 half marathon to his credit this year. If he wins Bloomsday, he will become only the second Ethiopian male to win here, following Assefa's victory in 2013.