Huddle, Bumbalough Claim Victory at USA 5 km Championship
PROVIDENCE, RI – Overcast and mild race conditions led to two highly competitive races Sunday morning in Providence, Rhode Island at the USA 5 km Championships, hosted by the CVS Caremark Downtown 5k. Using their track speed over the final stretch of the course, defending champion Molly Huddle (Providence, R.I.) repeated her championship performance, while Andrew Bumbalough (Portland, Ore.) won his first USA road championship title.
The USA 5 km Championships are the ninth stop on the USA Running Circuit, which concludes this fall with the .US National Road Racing Championships on November 17 in historic Alexandria, Virginia. The top ten finishers at each race on the circuit qualify to compete in the .US National Road Racing Championships.
Off an opening mile of 4:53, Huddle and Emily Infeld dictated the early pace, as the rest of the field gauged their efforts off the two pre-race favorites. As the pace slightly slowed in the second mile, Huddle and Infeld continued to lead, while Alexi Pappas, Neely Spence Gracey, Deborah Meier and a few others hung tough just off the pace.
Into the final mile the runners went, as Huddle, Infeld and Pappas gapped the rest of the field ever so slightly. Into the final 100 meters, Huddle put in a burst that neither Infeld nor Pappas could match, as the hometown favorite crossed the finish line victoriously in 15:29.6.
Behind Huddle, Infeld finished just over a second back in 15:30.8, while Pappas rounded out the top three in 15:34.7. Boulder resident Laura Thweatt ran a terrific race to finish fourth overall in 15:51.7, as Neely Spence Gracey returned from injury with a fifth place effort in 16:01.5. Kellyn Johnson and USA 20 km champion Meghan Peyton finished sxith and seventh in 16:01.5 and 16:04.3.
On the men’s side, a brisk first mile of 4:25 led to a slower second mile, which saw the vast majority of top ten contenders still running together in a large pack, as they crossed the two-mile mark in 9:02.
As individuals in the lead pack started to size each other up for their race to the tape, Bumbalough, teammate Matt Tegenkamp and Flagstaff-based Aaron Braun charged to the lead, quickly spreading the field out and clearly establishing themselves as the three strongest competitors in the race.
Into the final stretch of the race, Bumbalough laid down a furious kick to the finish, clearly gapping his competitors and finishing victoriously in 13:45.9, his first USA road race championship title.
Fighting for second, Braun pulled slightly ahead of Tegenkamp in the final 50 meters of the race, finishing second in 13:49.4, while Tegenkamp’s third place finish of 13:49.9, gives him another ten points towards his USARC standings lead. His 60 points put him well ahead of runner-up Mo Trafeh (33 points) and Shadrack Biwott (32) heading into the final two races of the USARC season.
Rounding out the top six, Timothy Ritchie finished fourth in 14:02.7, while Joe Stilin and U.S. Olympian Chris Solinsky finished fifth and sixth respectively in 14:03.2 and 14:14.0.
Ritchie, who’s fourth place effort earned him seven points in the standings, moves from ninth overall to sixth place with 22 points, only five points out of fourth.
About the USARC
The USARC is a USA Track & Field road series featuring USA championships from one mile through the marathon, which will conclude this fall with the .US National Road Racing Championships on November 17 in historic Alexandria, Virginia. The top ten finishers at each race on the circuit qualify to compete in the .US National Road Racing Championships. More information on the season-ending race is available at www.NationalRoadRacingChampionships.US.
The USARC consistently attracts the best American distance runners with more than $500,000 to be awarded in total prize money. The first ten U.S. runners earn points at each USARC race (15 for first, 12 for second, 10 for third, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2 and 1), with those earning the most points receiving prize money at the end of the series.
The mission of the USARC is to showcase, support and promote U.S. runners. Since its inception in 1995, the USARC and its races have provided over $7 million to U.S. distance runners.
Contributed by Scott Bush