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Competitive races anticipated for 2019 USATF Masters 5K Championships

8/16/2019
 

ATLANTA — The 2019 USATF Masters 5K Championships are hosted by the Atlanta Track Club’s Atlanta’s Finest 5K. The forecast for Saturday, August 17th, calls for classic Atlanta summertime weather-low 70’s and 80% humidity at the 7:30 am race time. Terrific fields of elite Masters athletes are ready to bring their heat in the heat!

 

David Angell is the defending Overall Masters Champion, charging up a long, hard hill to win last year in 15:45. He shook off John Gardiner in the last half mile. This year he has his work cut out for him.  Kevin Castille, the 2017 Masters Road Runner of the Year, is fresh off a Masters 10K National Championship at the end of April. Greg Mitchell won the Masters Half Marathon Championship last year and the 2015 Masters 5K Championship. Mark Andrews has recently focused on regional competitions, but is ready to return to the national scene; he took the 2016 Overall Masters 10K Championship.

 

Laurie Knowles looks to defend her Overall title against her Atlanta Track Club Teammate, Sonja Friend-Uhl. Knowles ran 17:29 last year; Friend-Uhl took top honors at the 800 meter and 1 mile runs at the USATF Masters Indoor Championships this year. Fiona Bayly, the 2018 15K Champion, finished 6 seconds behind Friend-Uhl in the 2018 5K Championship. Others in contention include Jill Braley, 2nd in the Masters 5K Cross Country last year, and perennial contender, Marisa Sutera Strange, who took the 10K honors in 2016 over Friend-Uhl in a tight finish!

 

Age-grading is the top prize awarded for the best performances relative to age across all Masters Age Divisions. Nat Larson, is the Men’s defending Champion; his 16:24 at age 56 earned a 94.3%. He will need to beat Castille, who took the honors at the 10K in Dedham with a 95.2%. Other podium contenders include Doug Goodhue, Mark Hixson, Tim Meigs, and Roger Sayre. Sayre, Hixson and Meigs finished 4th, 6th and 7th here last year. Goodhue has been moving up in age-grading standings since returning from a long rehab, earning a 92.7% at the 8K Masters Championship in March. Bayly is the defending women’s champion; her 18:20 at age 51 earned a 91.11% last year. She will have to contend with Strange, who earned a 94.4% in the 10K Championship in Dedham at the end of April. Hronn Gudmundsdottir earned a 91.5% and Patrice Combs scored 90.7% in that same race over the Dedham hills of the James Joyce Ramble.

 

Favorites for the Age Division National Championships include: 40-44 David Angell/Laurie Knowles 45-49 Kevin Castille/Sonja Friend-Uhl 50-54 Tim Meigs/Fiona Bayly 55-59 Nat Larson/Marisa Sutera Strange 60-64 Roger Sayre/Patrice Combs 65-69 Reno Stirrat/Victoria Crisp 70-74 Lloyd Hansen/Terry Foody 75-79 Doug Goodhue/Norma Thomas 80-84 John Elliott/Mary Ann Maher 90-94 Nathan Finestone/Betty Lindberg. Meigs came in 11 seconds ahead of Kent Lemme in 50-54 last year; Lemme would love to reverse that finish order this year. Stirrat and Joseph Reda have gone back and forth this year with Stirrat faster at the 8K and Reda prevailing in 65-69 at the 10K National Championships. In 90-94, Finestone, winner of the 10K Championship, will need to beat back a challenge from last year’s 5K winner, Richard Soller, who also took the 8K title this year.

 

Team races are also expected to be tight contests; the host Atlanta Track Club is favored in many divisions, but none will be easy victories. 40+ The Garden State Track Club-New Balance and the Charlotte Running Club will give Atlanta’s men’s team a run for their money. With a strong 1-2 of Knowles and Friend-Uhl, Atlanta’s women’s team should be able to prevail. The Impala Racing Team will make them work for it. 50+ The Greater Springfield Harriers are defending Champions and should be able to repeat. Garden State, the Genesee Valley Harriers, and Shore Athletic Club should have a tight contest for the remaining podium spots. The Athena Track Club won the women’s title here last year but need additional entrants to go for the repeat win. Right now, Atlanta looks to be the favorite. 60+ Atlanta and the Boulder Road Runners battled for the win with the host team prevailing. Boulder is closer to full strength this year and Atlanta is missing one of their top 3 from last year. On paper it looks like Atlanta in a very close race. On the women’s side, at present, no other team is in Atlanta’s class. 70+ The Ann Arbor Track Club defends its title. Atlanta will press them all the way, as will the Genesee Valley Harriers. Atlanta is the sole contender for the Women’s 70 and up title.

 

 

Submitted by

Paul Carlin

Masters LDR/Media Coordinator

Running Professor, LLC/runningprof.com

 



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