Campbell Runs Away with Second-Annual B.A.A. 5K
By Barbara Huebner
BOSTON, April 18 ÛÒ When youÛªve led your college team to a pair of national cross-country titles
and won an NCAA steeplechase crown, a cold and misty spring morning doesnÛªt pose much of a
Jennifer Campbell, a 26-year-old graduate student at the University of New Hampshire from
Watertown, Mass., came to Boston today looking to put up a fast time against good competition,
and she succeeded. Breaking away for good about two miles into the race, Campbell won the 2nd
annual B.A.A. 5K in 16:52, breaking the course record by 44 seconds.
ÛÏItÛªs great to be able to cross the finish line without running the marathon,Û she said afterward, but
quickly added that sheÛªd like to run the Boston Marathon someday ÛÒ even if it is 37 kilometers
longer. ÛÏItÛªs great to be part of marathon weekend.Û
The B.A.A. 5K, which debuted last year, starts at Copley Square and loops around the Public
Garden and Boston Common, passing the State House en route to Commonwealth Avenue
before turning onto Boylston Street and finishing at the finish line of the historic Boston Marathon.
The race, which sold out less than three weeks after registration opened, is quickly becoming part
of the Boston Marathon tradition, and is part of a Sunday morning lineup that also includes
scholastic races and the world-class B.A.A. Invitational Mile.
Campbell and Jeannette Seckinger, who competes for the B.A.A., ran in the lead together until
the 2-mile mark. ÛÏI had girls pushing me the whole way, and thatÛªs what I wanted,Û said Campbell.
The 2009 USATF New England 5K Track Champion and two-time winner of the ING Hartford
Marathon, Seckinger, 27, finished second in 17:00. Her time also broke the B.A.A. 5K record set
at the inaugural running in 2009. Third was 29-year-old Lara Johnson of Boston in 17:41, while
defending champion Maria Varela, 28, of Brighton, Mass., was fifth in 18:14.
A 13-time All-America for Williams College, Campbell ÛÒ a Phi Beta Kappa ÛÒ was the 2003 NCAA
Division III steeplechase champion and captain of the 2004 cross country team that won a
second national title in three years for the Ephs.
She had some stellar company on the course: finishing seventh was 52-year-old Joan
Samuelson, the 1984 Olympic marathon gold medalist and two-time winner of the Boston
Marathon, in 1979 and 1983. It was SamuelsonÛªs second Top 10 finish in the 5K race, but she
says she canÛªt vow to run it every year because she still has her eye on competing at least once
more in the Boston Marathon.
ÛÏNot tomorrow, though,Û she promised.
Other notables in the race included three-time Boston Marathon winner Uta Pippig (13th, 19:02);
11-year -old Katie Rainsberger, daughter of 1985 Boston Marathon winner Lisa Rainsberger
(20:58; 2nd in her age group); Mary Wittenberg, president and CEO of the New York Road
Runners (21:11, 4th in her age group); and Abby Samuelson, 22-year-old daughter of Joan
But the race wasnÛªt just for the swiftest, or the most famous, of runners. It was for everyone who
wanted to be a part of Boston Marathon weekend.
ÛÏI had a ball,Û said Mary Hall of Boulder, Colo. Moments after crossing the finish line. ÛÏIÛªve never
been to Boston before. My husband is running tomorrow. IÛªm here to support him, and he came
out to support me today.Û