MINNEAPOLIS – Running 46 minutes, 46 seconds, Mohamed Trafeh (Duarte, Calif.) won his third U.S. road title of 2011, while Janet Cherobon-Bawcom (Rome, Ga.) ran 54:15 to win her second title of the year Sunday at the USA 10 Mile Championships, hosted by the Medtronic TC 10 Mile.
In a unique matchup for the Championships, race organizers started the women’s field seven-minutes before the men, offering a $10,000 “Equalizer” bonus to the first man or woman to cross the line.
The women’s field started at 7:02 a.m. under clear skies and cool temperatures. Pre-race favorites Katie McGregor (Minneapolis, Minn.), Blake Russell (Pacific Grove, Calif.), Julie Culley (Lebanon, N.J.), Sarah Porter (Blowing Rock, N.C.) and Cherobon-Bawcom led the pack of womens contenders through the early miles.
As the men’s field got underway, a large pack quickly formed with more than 15 men passing the first mile in a somewhat relaxed 4:42. Over the next two miles, Abdi Abdirahman (Tucson, Ariz.), Ed Moran (Williamsburg, Va.), Ben True (Hanover N.H.), Brett Gotcher (Flagstaff, Ariz.) and Max King (Bend, Ore.) shared short turns in the lead before Trafeh joined Abdirahman in the front.
Ahead of the men, McGregor, Russell and Cherobon-Bawcom led the women through five miles in 27:26 before Cherobon-Bawcom pressed the pace. By the seven-mile mark, Cherobon-Bawcom had a small lead over Culley and was on a quest to claim the Equalizer bonus as well as the title.
As the men passed five miles in 23:28, Trafeh and Abdirahman were dueling for the lead and had a 10-meter gap on the chase pack. It remained a two-man race until James Strang (Colorado Springs, CO) joined the pack at the 6.5-mile mark.
Behind Strang, the chase pack also gained momentum and by the eight-mile mark Gotcher and Moran had reconnected with the leaders.
Heading into the final two miles, the lead men had the women’s leader in their sights and approaching the final mile, Trafeh saw his chance to break from the pack and made his move to overtake Cherobon-Bawcom for the bonus. He hit the line two seconds ahead of True, as five men ran under 47 minutes, with Gotcher taking third in 46:51 and Moran was given the same time for fourth. Strang held on for fifth in 46:54.
Cherobon-Bawcom’s finish gave her a 13 second win over Culley, while Russell took third in 54:44 and McGregor and Porter rounded out the top-five in 55:00 and 55:01, respectively.
Hightlights of the USA 10 Mile Championships are available in cooperation with RunnerSpace.com at www.USARunningCircuit.com.
About the USARC
The USA 10 Mile Championships are the tenth stop on the 2011 USA Running Circuit (USARC) and will pay $60,000 in U.S. prize money with the Trafeh and Bawcom earning $12,000 each for their titles.
The 10 mile championships were the final stop for the men on the 2011 circuit with True taking the circuit title with 60 points. Aaron Braun (Flagstaff, Ariz.) finished second in the standings with 50 points and Trafeh took third with 45 points.
With one race (USA Women’s 10km) remaining on the women’s circuit, Cherobon-Bawcom is tied for first in the women’s standings with Jen Rhines (Mammoth Lakes, Calif.) with 30 points each.
The 2011 USARC is a USA Track & Field road series, featuring USA Championships from one mile to the marathon, and attracts the best distance runners in the country. The circuit features ten events for men and nine for women.
The 2011 USARC is a USA Track & Field road series, featuring USA long distance running championships and for the first time will include the USA Cross Country Championships.The USARC attracts the best U.S. distance runners and has ten events for men and nine for women.
The 2011 USARC will feature more than $450,000 in circuit prize money with U.S. athletes competing for the right to represent Team USA in various international competitions.
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 a final $12,500 grand prix purse ($6,000, $4,000, and $2,500) for the top three men and women point scorers overall.
The mission of the USA Running Circuit is to showcase, support, and promote U.S. runners. Since its inception in 1995, the USARC and its races have provided over $6 million dollars to U.S. distance runners.