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Masters records should fall again at the .US National 12K Championships, Nov. 15

11/14/2015
 
ALEXANDRIA, Virginia -- More than 180 of the nation's top Masters distance athletes converge on Alexandria, Virginia, on Sunday, Nov. 15 for the .US National 12K, which concludes the 2015 Masters Grand Prix circuit, awarding up to $10,000 in prize money in addition to Grand Prix points.
 
Masters Records
Three women are in the hunt for Masters 12K records. Competing in the open race is three-time Olympian, Jen Rhines, who hopes to challenge the 12 km record of 40:31, which she set in 2014. Kathy Martin broke the W60-64 record last year, lowering her own best by five seconds to 48:54. Sabra Harvey should break the W65-69 record of 55:15 after recently maintaining a faster pace in her 15K victory just two weeks ago.
 
Age-Grading
The top-two female runners are Hall of Famer and defending champion Martin along with Harvey. Martin was awarded Masters Runner of the Year in 2011 and 2013, and Harvey won the award in 2014. Both missed races earlier in the season, but they have each come back strong.
 
Martin, 64, won the USATF 5 km Age Grade Championship in early October with her 19:24 finish for a 100.46% age-graded score. Harvey, 66, ran a very tough 15 km course at the USATF 15K Masters Championships in 1:07:12 for a 96.06% score.
 
The top age-graded men are Tom Bernhard and Kristian Blaich with Rick Becker, Tom Dever and Doug Goodhue likely close competitors. Bernhard, 64, had the upper hand over Blaich, 49, in the 2015 USATF 5 km Championship, 93.82% to 92.37%. Becker, 61, beat Bernhard in age-grading at the USATF 8 km Championship in late February but disappeared from the scene until this race. Last year he finished fourth in age grading. Dever, 58, ran 1:17:12 in the USATF Half Marathon Championship on May 31 for a 90.72% , and one week ago, he ran 16:55 at 5 km for a 92.86%.
 
Overall Masters Winners 
The men’s favorite is USATF Masters 10 km Champion, Kristian Blaich but could be challenged by Philippe Rolly. Blaich finished 19 seconds ahead of Rolly at the USATF 5 km Championships. Perry Shoemaker, the defending champion, is the favorite among the women. But Sonja Friend-Uhl will make it a race.  She won her age group in the 800, 1500, and 5000 meters at the USATF Masters Outdoor Championships and finished 2nd to Jen Rhines at the Peachtree 10K.
 
Age Group Standouts
Hall of Famer Carmen Ayala-Troncoso is the favorite among W55-59 racers. Leading M55-59 competitors including Tom Dever, Dave Bussard, and Ken Youngers. Youngers is the defending champion but both Bussard and Dever have posted fast times this year at 5 km and longer distances. The M60-64 challenge will feature Reno Stirrat and John Victoria.
 
Contributed by: Paul Carlin
National Media Coordinator
USA Track & Field-Masters Long Distance Running
317.372.0267
therunningprof@gmail.com


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