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A three-time champion crowned and three Masters records fall at .US National 12K

11/15/2015
 
A three-time champion crowned and three Masters records fall at .US National 12K
 
ALEXANDRIA, Virginia -- Three Masters records fell Sunday, Nov. 15 at the .US National 12K Championships on George Washington Parkway, where Perry Shoemaker ran away with her third consecutive title, Kristian Blaich won the overall Masters crown and Kathy Martin age-graded over 100 percent. The .US National 12K  is also a part of the Masters Club Grand Prix for 2015.
 
Shoemaker (Vienna, Virginia), a W40-44 athlete, finished in 42:03 for first-place among Masters women and 12th-place overall in the Masters field. She claimed her three-peat with a new lifetime best, improving each year from the 42:45 in 2014 and 44:14 in 2013. Sonja Friend-Uhl (Brentwood, Tennessee) was second among Masters women on Sunday, making her finish in 43:23, and Brenda Hodge (York, Pennsylvania) was third in 46:33.
 
Kristian Blaich (Decatur, Georgia), an M45-49 competitor from Atlanta Track Club, was the overall Masters champion, finishing in 39:29. Blaich came through the opening mile at 5:23, but gradually increased to average pace of 5:18. Second in the Masters field was M40-44 Philippe Rolly (McLean, Virginia), who remained less than three seconds off leading pace up through 8 km for his finish in 39:48. Michael Wardian (Arlington, Virginia), the 2014 champion and M40-44 athlete, was third in 40:40.  
 
Records
Masters athletes with record breaking performances include Edie Stevenson (Boulder, Colorado), who ran 53:46 in the W65-69 category, Lloyd Hansen (Salt Lake City, Utah) at 47:03 in the M65-59 age group, and W40-44 athlete Jen Rhines, who finished in 40:04 for 12th-place in the elite women’s field.  
 
Age Grading
Kathy Martin (Northport, New York) had the best overall age-graded performance at 100.41% with her time of 49:21. Stevenson was second overall and second among women at 94.85%, and Shoemaker (Vienna, Virginia), the Masters women’s champion, posted 92.69% to round out the top-three women’s age-graded performance.
 
On the men’s side, Tom Bernhard (Castro Valley, California) age graded at 92.60%. Ricker Becker (Selah, Washington) ran 92.14%, and the overall Masters champion Blaich age-graded at 91.26%.
 
Prize Money
Up to $10,000 in prize money was allocated among among the top-five age-graded performances, the top overall masters finishers, the individual masters champion in each five-year age group and the top-two USATF Masters Club teams in each age division.
 
Quotes
 
Kristian Blaich, .US National 12K Masters champion
On the race overall
“It went out a little slower than I anticipated, but Philippe Rolly and I were pushing the pace leading the Masters field for the first half. Then we left at the turnaround at four miles. Another open guy we were running with dropped the hammer a little bit and I went with him, and I guess Phillippe kind of dropped off a little bit at that point. From then on, I was just running scared. I was pretty sure I could finish up strong, but I had to keep looking back and it felt great. I’m really happy.”
 
Perry Shoemaker, .US National 12K Masters champion (third consecutive title)
On the race overall
“It was a beautiful day - perfect temperature and no wind. It was a great, flat course and a lot of good competition.”
 
On being a repeat champion
It’s wonderful, especially since I keep getting faster each year. My time keeps dropping, and it’s wonderful to be out here with all the Olympic athletes and other athletes. 


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